I'm a Pundit Too

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Chaotic Political Process

The countdown to the April 22 Democratic primary in Pennsylvania is nearly over. The showdown in the Keystone state is especially important for both candidates for vastly different reasons. For Hillary Clinton, it is another “big” state that she needs to capture to solidify her claims that Obama cannot win the general election in November. For Barack Obama, it is one of the few remaining states that he desperately needs to win to convince the super delegates that he is the candidate to support.

The Pennsylvania contest has become interesting based on the voter registration numbers. For the first time in more than a generation, the Democratic registration rolls have swelled to a greater number than that of the Republicans in historically conservative Bucks County and other Republican strongholds. The Democratic party points to their candidates and their cross party appeal. The aspect that the Democratic leadership is neglecting to take into account is the prospect of Republicans switching parties to either prolong the Democratic infighting or to throw their support behind a candidate that they believe is easier to beat in November. Talk radio superstar, Rush Limbaugh, calls it “Operation Chaos”. The effect of this strategy was seen in Ohio and Texas, where Hillary collected her first primary wins in several states.

Whether or not you believe that the chaos strategy has had any effect, you must admit that the news stories since Ohio and Texas have brought out information that may not have been told until late summer. From Obama’s ties to Tony Rezco, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and William Ayres. The Ayres connection has become of interest of late, especially since more details of their connection has become known. Ayres was a member of the radical group Weather Underground. He was arrested but never convicted for more than 25 bombings during the 1960’s. He has since made comments stating that he was saddened that the bombings had not accomplished more. Clinton has made her own headlines with her amateurish claims of sniper attacks during her trips as First Lady.

Obama has begun to show some strain under the political microscope of a Presidential campaign. Last week he made some comments at a fundraiser that caused quite a stir. He said that voters in small towns in Pennsylvania cling to religion and their guns because they have no other hope. It was just another indication that the man that claims to be the candidate for the average voter, is completely out of touch with the rest of America. Obama attempts to portray an image of humble upbringing, but his education at the esteemed Punahou Academy, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School are rarely seen on the resume of an average Joe. I have no problem with someone who can afford to go to prestigious institutions, but don’t try to mislead the public into thinking you have been where they are.

Next Tuesday will be an interesting test for both campaigns, but this race is not nearly over. This is a battle that will last until the convention with the war of words and scandals will only continue to escalate. Both sides believe that they will win the nomination. Obama because of his popular vote totals, Clinton because of her wins in the big states, but neither side will have enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the convention. The political process has never been more fun.

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