Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Presidential Predictions Revisited and Revised

Since waiting until it’s totally safe to make a prediction isn’t any fun, I’ll go ahead today, well in advance of the important March 4th primaries in Texas and Ohio, and change my prediction: Barack Obama will get the Democratic nomination for president.

Previously, I had picked Clinton to win base largely on the notion that the two candidates were equally preferable but Clinton had the establishment of the party at her back. My first scenario had her necessarily picking Obama as her running mate, both to coalesce the party and to appeal to the largest part of the voting populace in the general election.

Where I went wrong was assuming the two candidates were equally preferable. Apparently, they aren’t. Obama just has more of the good ol’ charisma. There just aren’t many policy differences between the two, but Obama is appealing to that part of us that just likes a good-looking, engaging, positive-sounding leader. Ronald Reagan had this (and that was about all, if you ask me), as did Bill Clinton. This appeal may not make the best president in terms policy but it is still part of the president’s job to, in some way, gain the trust of the governed.

So I see an Obama/McCain match-up. What I really can’t imagine right now is who these two men will pick for running mates. I still say there is no way Obama picks Clinton and I don’t see Clinton accepting anyway. But who knows. Maybe Bill Richardson?

McCain is likely going to have to pick so true wingnut to even get the conservative base to show up at the polls in November. And if conservatives understand that running for vice president is a farm team system for future presidential candidates, maybe they can find it in them to vote for McCain. Just who that should be, I have no idea. Everyone I can think of would just be a drag on the ticket. How about Aaron Schock, if he agrees to give up his run for congress? I can dream, can’t I?

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