Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Entertaining Presidential Race

Not sure how many of you know this, but my minor in college was political science. From as early as middle school, I have always been fascinated by politics.

I even entertained the thought of a career in politics. Thankfully, my better judgment got the best of me. I can passionately argue a point all day long, but asking for money is something I despise. And in this country, you can’t get elected without money.

This year’s presidential race is particularly intriguing to me. I can’t remember the last time there was this much excitement during the primary season.

Both parties have their own entertainment value. The Republicans didn’t really seem to have any exceptional candidate, while the Democrats seem to have too many.

And it’s that battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that has me watching more CNN and FOX News than FSN or ESPN these days. It’s a classic battle of old-school vs. new-school. Do you want the older candidate with more Washington experience or do you want the younger candidate with the fresher approach to Washington?

Both sides have their merits, and quite frankly, I believe either would make a great president.

But having said that, I think Clinton is in trouble. Her showing on Super Tuesday was not nearly as impressive as her camp had hoped or needed. As one political pundit put it recently, “She’s not running against another candidate. She’s running against a movement.”

Obama has gone from underdog to perhaps a slight favorite in a matter of weeks. The swell of support for the Illinois Senator is coming from all corners of the country. Too many people believe the current establishment of Washington politics is not working and it needs a change.

And who better to make that change than someone who hasn’t been in Washington long enough to be influenced by the lobbyists and political action committees?

The best ways to measure a candidate’s support has always been money and voter turnout. If people truly believe in an individual, they will show that support with their wallets and their time.

Obama set a record for the month of January with his fund-raising while not taking any direct money from lobbyist or PAC’s. All of his campaign dollars are coming from individual donors--otherwise known as voters.

How bad is it for Clinton? She just tapped her own bank account for $5 million as a loan to her campaign, and some upper-level staffers have been asked not to accept upcoming paychecks. Can you say desperation?

But neither tactic may make much difference. Since the close of the polls on Super Tuesday, Obama has already raised an additional $7 million!

There’s no question Barack Obama is on the rise, the movement is picking up steam, and a major political change is in our future.

I just wonder if Hillary Clinton will get caught up in the wake.

No comments: