Wednesday, January 30, 2008

FV engages in what ifs

I am pleased with the results of the Florida Republican primary. McCain, while an Iraq war supporter, is still the sanest voice in the GOP field and could gain wide support in a general election. True, he would make it harder for the Democratic nominee to win in the general election, but wouldn’t it be great to have a contest between two good candidates? Granted, by November we’ll be sick of whoever the nominees are, but we’re not there yet.

If McCain remains the front-runner, the Republicans will be making a pragmatic choice by nominating their best chance to retain the White House. And as Andrew Sullivan points out, a McCain nomination means the sure end of U.S.-sanctioned torture, for which we can all be thankful.

On the other hand, if Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, the Dems will be chancing fate by selecting the most polarizing figure of the entire field. I’ve talked to a few people who are interested in Obama and his message, but would vote against Clinton in a heartbeat. These are folks who will vote; they’re not staying home. I think the Democratic leadership has realized this, with the vast majority of endorsements going Obama’s way. But I never underestimate the Clinton campaign and their ability to get what they want. And Edward’s exit could aid Clinton next week.

I’m not calling a Super Tuesday winner for either side. As far as I'm concerned it's still all up in the air. But my hope is for a McCain vs. Obama match up. And a plea that whoever the nominees are try to keep it about the issues and not about tearing each other down through lies and misrepresentation. This may be a silly hope, but as one candidate keeps reminding us, it’s not always na├»ve to hope.

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