As we get deeper into primary season, here are a number of issues --including even more disquieting election anomalies from New Hampshire -- that are worth considering.
For all intents and purposes, the Democratic Party might well know in a few weeks, after SuperDuper Tuesday February 5, who its presidential nominee will be. The Republicans, despite wide divisions among its various party factions, may also have their nominee chosen.
However, the situation is so fluid in both parties -- the Democrats' top two contenders running neck-and-neck, the Republicans' top three shifting state by state -- that it's possible, though unlikely, that we won't know who the
nominees will be until the Summer.
THE DEMOCRATS' CHOICES
It seems fairly certain that either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will carry the Democratic Party's banner into the November campaign. The more populist John Edwards -- largely marginalized these past months by the party and the mass media, both afraid of the economic populism he represents -- still lags far behind in third, though he still has a good shot at some of the Super Tuesday states.
I've just sent another check to Edwards' campaign, out of a belief that it's important to have that more progressive voice out there, forcing Clinton and Obama -- who are both in the centrist middle -- to respond to economic and other issues Edwards raises so passionately.
The assumption here is that the Republicans will choose either Romney or McCain, with Huckabee trailing in third place, and that Michael Bloomberg will be a non-starter even if he decides to mount a third-party run, which I
don't think he'd be foolish enough to do.
THE REPUBLICANS' CHOICES
It's safe to say that the GOP nominee, whoever he is, will be a pro-war, Bush-lite candidate who will feel obliged to cater to the party's fundamentalist/authoritarian base, but also one able to make connections with Independent voters who will help decide the November election.
Which leads me to suspect that the Republican ticket might well turn out to be McCain/Huckabee or Romney/Huckabee, all of whom, even with their considerable political baggage, seem able to connect with ordinary voters.
On the other hand, this is such a wacky election season that the Republican nominee, for balancing purposes, might well decide to name Condi Rice as his running mate. Or Gen. Petraeus. Or Dick Cheney. Or Attilla the Hun. But I repeat myself.
COMPLETING THE TICKETS
But what might the Democratic ticket look like? I'm open to your input here.
So here are my guesses as to a possible Democratic running mate; see what you think of these vice-presidential choices, which are presented in no particular order of preference.
If Hillary takes the prize: