The political fairy granted us our two wishes last night: Huckabee dropped out and Hillary stayed in. Huzzah!
This guarantees a bitter fight between Barack and Hillary at least until the Pennsylvania primary on 22 April AND ensures that McCain will be able to fundraise without having to simultaneously worry about Obama’s non-stop tv attack ads (not that there’s anything wrong with attack ads, we love ’em).
We’ve been thinking a lot about the ideological similarities and superficial differences between the Democratic candidates. One friend of ours says it’s because the Democratic party is unified. Okay, fair enough. But, if unified, they have also moved waaaaay left of where they were when they were successful in the ’90’s. Back then, free trade was Democratic orthodoxy.
Kind of makes us nostalgic.
Last week, Daniel Henninger explained this perfectly in his WSJ column, Wonder Land:
Hillary’s politics is the world of Eleanor Roosevelt, when it was all being born anew. The Washington of LBJ’s Great Society in the mid-1960s was alive with policy debates — among Democrats. By now, the Democratic Party’s ideas are largely generic. Everyone noticed that the Democratic presidential candidates were largely singing from the same script. Health care, public schools, green energy, the eternal shafting of the middle class, the unions, protecting Social Security and Medicare. This common script means that the Democratic primaries are largely an audition. The candidates are reading for a role. The lines are known.
With this general lack of difference (salute), Hillary and Barack have had to seize on things that strike us as really, really small differences. Hillary’s success last night seems to have been sparked by two things: Barack’s lack of experience and his inconsistency on trade.
You know, as opposed to her vast experience and “consistency” on Nafta. Still, her quote yesterday about experience–interestingly, both hers and John McCain’s–was fantastic:
I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the Whitehouse. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience he will bring to the Whitehouse. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.
Be sure to check out the latest edition of BYU Political Review. This issue focuses on human trafficking and our friend, Zach Davis, has a particularly interesting article. Take a look, also, at “Obama: The Candy Man Can!” by Ryan Decker, econ major. Decker’s blog is also worth a look.
*UPDATE 2:58pm MST: More from Decker (hat tip: Matt Lybbert) and this is really, really good stuff:
The most obvious disappointment Obama will bring will be failure to deliver national unity. Obama portrays himself as a post-partisan unifier. However, he is the most liberal senator in Congress. His record (what little record he has) is very liberal, and his policy promises (what few he has) are equally liberal. This is my main point. America is divided on Iraq, foreign policy, abortion, taxing and spending, healthcare, trade, and just about everything else. If Obama begins making these liberal policies, he will not unite America. America is divided on these issues because they are difficultâ€”there are many different interests and value systems involved. We are divided because the issues are difficult, not because we lack a charismatic president. Obama will bring charisma to the White House, but he will not bring unity to America.
(bold in original, italics by Matt L.)
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