Well, it’s getting real close with the pundits falling all over themselves to keep hope alive, whatever that means. McCain has to win enough tried and true Republicans to go with his moderates and independents to have any chance at winning. So he is dancing as fast as he can to solidify his position as a real American hero from which to challenge the Democratic Party and its policy of enfranchising a speedy withdrawl from Iraq and what others will identify for him as a form of surrender.
Obama is a meteor flying forward and picking up the unfulfilled dreams of three generations of liberal Democrats who have been waiting for a candidate from the left to crack the nominating ceiling that has separated countless idea packed wannabees from becoming the standard bearer of their Party.
And then there’s Hillary, who has been one smart lawyer for children, one smart First Lady, one smart Senator and one smart woman. But, is it her turn?
In the brutal world of American politics there are few guarantees. Guliani came and went. Edwards came and went. Romney came and went and all his fortune and all his fame may not be enough to gain Mitt the nomination in 2012 or 2016. Too many events and far too many battles will occur before that day, changing the political landscape and shaking up all the calculations. So, Barack Obama stepped to the plate in 2007 and this is his year just as much as it is the year of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
What separates them then? Two very sharp lawyers, one from Harvard the other from Yale. Both are U.S. Senators. Both represent the left wing of their Party, with Hillary to the left of her husband the former President and Barack, with a voting record to the left of that. But Obama stood up against the key vote in the U.S. Senate, which gave President Bush a green light to initiate the Iraq War. Hillary voted in favor and has not apologized as had John Edwards and John Kerry. However, Obama was not a member of the Senate when the vote occurred. That asterick is significant, because there are different pressures on an Illinois State Representative and a United States Senator.
What about there positions today? Not a whole lot of difference on their Iraq timetables. I believe Clinton expresses more information on the process of withdrawing the troops, supporting the Iraqi people and our national security concerns.
Who has the moxie to beat McCain? That’s the $64,000 question. First, it depends how well he manages to bring his Party together. It depends on whether the economy or Iraq is the major issue in the fall. It depends on which Democrat can best unify their Party. And it depends whether McCain can sell our American War on Terror as the penultimate issue of the 21st Century.
I have spent the better part of my adult life aligning with the liberal Democrat that generally lost the nomination fight to a more seasoned more centrist Party stalwart.
This year is different. This year I hear Obama’s lofty words resonating not only in my heart, but also in the meaty parts of a brain that hungers for something and someone who truly represents more. I was built to want universal health care and tangible education reform. I am crazy for publicly financed infrastructure projects that will keep our bridges and schools and government buildings from crumbling. I want an urban revolution that engages young people in creative programs that will give them responsibility and teach them trades and that may actually begin to save our cities.
The world is changing and has grown even more scary and pockmarked by regional wars. As much as I want to believe in Obama, I do believe in Hillary. Maybe it is my age. But in the final analysis I am faced with a choice between what I know and what I don’t. I see the specter of 9/11 both in my rear view mirror and in our future. And thus, I will be compelled to cast my ballot in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary for Hillary Clinton.