Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Hampshire Primary

The subject of this blog is international affairs, but after the US presidential primaries in New Hampshire, I felt the need to write down a few thoughts.

First, after days of incredibly negative media coverage (particularly Chris Matthews, who offered some of the worst Clinton-bashing this side of Rush Limbaugh), with pundit after pundit writing the epitaph for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the media managed to do something all the consultants and spin doctors could never accomplish – they made Hillary a sympathetic figure. It made undecideds take a new look at her and breathed life back into her campaign and spurred her to victory in New Hampshire.

That Obama lost should not have come as a total surprise to the pundit class. To win he needed the support of independent voters. But so did John McCain on the Republican side. Since they both needed the support of the same pool of voters, one of them was bound to be disappointed, in this case it was Obama.

On the Republican side, it’s now a three-man race. Neither Thompson nor Giuliani can be considered a serious threat at this point, given their poor showings in New Hampshire and Iowa. The Republican nomination is still up for grabs though since each of the three candidates remaining have problems. The “capitalist” wing of the party (for lack of a better term ) doesn’t like Mike Huckabee because of his past willingness to use government funds for social programs. The social conservatives have never liked McCain. And Mitt Romney has yet to prove he can win a primary. The upcoming vote in Michigan is critical for both him and McCain.

Finally, hovering above it all is New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. Mayor Mike keeps denying he will be a candidate while making all the moves to prepare for a run at the White House. Right now I’d say chances are 60-40 he will run. The public is fed up with both the Democrats and Republicans; Bloomberg has a successful record as mayor of the nation’s largest city and billions of dollars to spend on a campaign. I think he would likely not run if either Clinton or Giuliani were the nominees from their respective parties (the nation would probably be turned off by a “Subway Series” presidential campaign). Otherwise look for the “I Like Mike” bumper stickers in April.
Sphere: Related Content

No comments: