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The Shifting Political Landscape

February 7, 2008

With Mitt Romney announcing today that he’s dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, I realize that this country is at an all-important juncture–one that is unlike anything we have ever experienced before. Is the United States ready for it? In the running are an African American, a woman and the oldest presidential candidate ever. Each candidate has their own strengths and weaknesses that play into the nation’s support for who will be the next person to lead our country. This also marks the first time in a long time that the next president will more than likely come purely from the Legislative branch of government and there are fears that the transition between branches will be difficult.

Hillary Clinton is a very strong woman, but that strength is in my opinion often misdirected toward propagating the Clinton brand. She may or may not be a distant relative of Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movie series as she sometimes comes across to the nation and she also has flip-flopped her opinion more than the line-cooks do on a Sunday rush at Denny’s. Barack Obama is like George W. Bush’s charismatic alter-ego. For all the stumbling our current president does, Obama comes across as cool, collected and in-the-know. It’s a trait that this country definitely needs as we try to repair our image on the world’s scale. I’m not entirely sure Obama would be able to get the things he needs to done, however, especially given some parts of the country’s (and other nations as well) still deep-seeded (and entirely incorrect) racism towards African Americans. I’ve been to parts of the South where that racism still exists and wonder now how those people I’ve encountered in Mississippi and Tennessee would react to having him as their Commander in Chief. Presidential politics, however, is luckily not just skin deep. A group of Obama supporters was asked by Fox News’ Hannity and Colmes to name one good thing he has done while in the Senate. Their answer? Nothing much came to mind. I’ve looked back and thought about the same thing from my own perch in North Dakota. I can’t really come up with anything either.

Across the aisle we have John McCain. He’s kind of like our country’s grandpa. At the age of 77, he’s got years of experience in politics and as a former P.O.W. in Vietnam. We moderates like him because of his many lefter-leaning stances on various issues in the Senate. He is, however, still a Republican and will encounter the current stigma associated with the party. His more moderate stance has also proven to be a large issue for the far-right and evangelicals of the country. Their vote has proven to be fairly important in past elections and they really don’t have their own candidate to support this year. I highly doubt Mike Huckabee will come close to winning the nomination and personally feel that our country has had enough of evangelical leaders for a long time. I don’t even want to get started on Ron Paul. Read some of his newsletters from the 80s and early 90s and you’ll be scared. Read the ramblings, spammings, and griefings of his supporters across the internet and you’ll understand why those who so fervently support him have been given funny names on various blogs and comment sections across the internet (a common term on Fark: Paultards…tee hee!).

As I said before: we are at a unique juncture as a nation and I think at the tipping point for change. Who knows what this election will bring. I’m just along for the ride.

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