Good news for McCain, Clinton

March 5, 2008 at 5:52 pm Leave a comment

Last night’s presidential primaries in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont brought good news for Sens. John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton. McCain won the 2008 Republican nomination after a four-state sweep, while Clinton took three out of four (Vermonters went for her rival, Sen. Barack Obama) to stop a long losing streak.

What does this show on both sides? Bush Country went for the man who challenged Dubya eight years ago, as did Ohio, which helped the incumbent earn reelection in 2004. McCain may never win approval from Ann Coulter, but it sounds like the people who go into the voting booths don’t mind him. One warning sign: His home-state voters didn’t go overwhelmingly for him, which could indicate a weak base.

Clinton seems to have won in part by attracting Latino votes in Texas, which has been called a strength of her campaign. The media rather crassly suggests that Latinos won’t vote for Obama because of alleged racial tensions between Latinos and African-Americans. Could this story be explored more thoughtfully regarding why Latinos are choosing Clinton instead of Obama?

As was the case in 2004, the economy doesn’t seem to be a dominant issue in this election. Otherwise, why would McCain, a defiant NAFTA supporter in job-starved Ohio, win the Buckeye State? Same question goes for Clinton, whose husband gave us NAFTA in 1993. Voters want something more than a candidate who will do his or her best to ensure a strong national economy. What do they want? Experience? Character? Values?

On the Republican side, it can be said to McCain that, like Macbeth, “Thou hast it now” — everything except the presidency, at least. Will his pandering to fundamentalists prove as damaging to his chances as Macbeth’s actions regarding his royal cause?

For the Democrats, the American Spectator (OK, not the most bipartisan source) forecasts a battle that will not end until August. Which will triumph: Obama’s charisma and change versus Hillary’s staying power?

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Entry filed under: President 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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