As the 2008 U.S. Presidential primaries finally come to an end, this election cycle––for sure ––will be one that historians, college civic classes, and just everyday people will talk about, dissect and re-examine for years to come. The obvious reason is that whichever candidate advances to the coveted 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue address will represent a "first" in American history. In Clinton... the opportunity for the "first woman president"; in McCain the most "senior-aged" American president; and in Obama... the real "first" African American president.
But realistically, while the historic aspect is nostalgic... we don't have much to pick from this year. As we examine each of the three who remain in the running, I challenge you to take off the rose-colored glasses, and take a look at who they are ...and what they each bring to the table.
Hillary Clinton, 60 years old, understands that it is win it now or... it is probably the end-of-the-road for her. She knows that although McCain can run 'as a man' in his 70's ... and it's okay. But a woman––in her mid-60's, (which she will be in 2012) may not have that same electability argument, or the same luxury.
Clinton has demonstrated that she is a relentless fighter who does not have a "quit", "off", "lose", "give in", or "stop" button anywhere in her mind, heart, or body. It's either that, or she and her ruthless investigative team, have some damaging information on Barack Obama that she knows will rock his very political foundation as her reason for remaining in this race.
She has been able to pull together a coalition of "die-hard" Clinton voters: Women, blue-collar Americans, Latinos, a surprising number of young people, and the Whites-who-will-never-vote-for-a-Black-person (not because of race, as they will tell you "some of their dear friends are Black"), but they would rather vote for one of their own. And their rationale... Blacks vote for their own.
These key voting blocks that Clinton has amassed, are the bedrock of any Democrat being elected to the White House... but...without the Black vote, she cannot win.
Candidate Barack Obama, 46, has shown himself to be a prolific orator, and a quick study. The man, who can electrify the masses with his soulful, rhythmic word presentations...typifies the meaning of an "African" (as his father hailed from the Motherland) "American" (he, and his mother, who was white, were born Americans).
Obama's supporters include a whopping 90+% of the African American registered voters in this country, a large portion of young, idealistic first-time voters, and the Star-bucks coffee drinking, upper middle-class "let's-get-over-this-race-thing-because-Barack-is-not-the-typical-Black-man-and-ain't-he-cute ...white person.
While these Obama voters are the bread and butter of the Democratic party (without which the party will die on the vine) he cannot win without the Bubba vote. And, the main line media can wish all day long that the following is not accurate, but, here is the reality: very few of these certain Whites and Latino voters ...and probably only half of the Clintonite women supporters, will EVER vote for Obama in the November election.
No, the gamble is too big for Obama that he can win the White House with just those from the groups he already has in his corner. The numbers don't add up. Perhaps that's why he is hedging on proclaiming his party's victory on May 20th as he had previously announced. (Either that, or he knows that Clinton has some damaging information on him that will rock his very political foundation).
And now, John McCain ...who at 72-years-old is the designated test driver of the prevailing age theory which declares: today's 50 is the new 30... and that 70 is the new 50. Well, we shall see. And I'll bet that the old schoolers of the world are rooting for him.
McCain, the wise old fox who––not only wrote the book on how to play the game of politics to win––is looking to take on the young buck, Obama, on the national political playground... so he can show him––and all the Baby boomer naysayers, that he still has enough life in him to whip-Obama's- tail. Can we say "win one more... one last time... for the Gipper'?
McCain's presidential-bid coalition will consist of the GOP base, many of the cast-aways from Clinton's group (should she not be the nominee or at least on the ticket as the #2), a sizeable portion of Independents and Latinos... and a great number of Veterans (who support their own through thick or thin).
But, aside from this being a rotten year for the GOP... McCain does not have a rock solid base established to date, as many in the Republican party will be hard pressed to vote for him because of some of his positions in the past. And without the majority of his GOP base turning out in the Fall, he cannot win. Plus... McCain hasn't been able to raise any major money!
I'm sorry... the presidential pickings this year are not stellar by a long shot. But it is looking more likely that we will find ourselves in the position of having to hold our nose and pick the best of the worst!