Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Quick Politic

I'm tremendously happy to see Clinton take the New Hampshire primary. Every day I'm hoping more and more that she's the Democratic candidate. Because she honestly stands the best chance of winning the presidential election (that probably has something to do with the fact that she'd do the best job out of all the Democrats).

Sure, Obama is shiny and new and kind of exciting in a let's-ignore-reality sort of way. But I seriously doubt that he'd be an effective national leader. Plus, there's a very good chance he'd never get elected.

Yeah, sure, he could beat Romney or Guiliani in a national election. But so could __________ (insert joke here)(I was going to write 'Ralph Wiggum', but The Simpsons preempted the line I had planned for this post. Seriously.).

I seriously doubt Obama's ability to beat either Huckabee or McCain. McCain has legislated circles around Obama in Congress, and he'd do so in the run up to the election too. If Clinton's experience card is worth playing against Obama, then McCain is sitting on the whole trump suit. No way the country picks blind youthful exuberance over Vietnamese-prison-camp fortitude.

And though Obama is a likable fella, he'd be out charmed by Huckabee any day. Sure, some people aren't sold on Huckabee's down-home, old fashioned, laid-back, Christian summer camp style, but those folks aren't voting Republican anyway. The middle of the road people - and there's a ton of them - are going to like the guy who seems most like them. And without a doubt, that's Mike. See? You know a dozen guys named Mike. See how normal he is? Ain't no way Obama can compete with that. Oh, and Chuck Norris helps neutralize the Oprah edge.

So all in all, if you want the Democrats to have a shot in '08 (which I do), then plain and simple, Clinton's your candidate.

With a skill that knows no measure,
From the golden store of Fate
God, in His great love and wisdom,
Made the rugged Granite State


joel. said...

The last time we elected the guy who seemed "most like [us]" it turned out great.

Jeff said...

Huckabee would get slaughtered in a general election. I don't see him as having any appeal to independent voters, who have already been burned by voting for "likeability" and who won't do it again.

Matthew B. Novak said...

Joel - Picking the guy most like us may be wise or otherwise - at this point I'm not appraising the quality of the decision, just the inevitability of it.

Jeff - Yup, it's inevitable. I think you seriously misapprehend who the independent voters are. There's an enormous group of people out there who will vote either Democrat or Republican and have, in the past two elections, put Bush into the Whitehouse. Why do you think they wouldn't find Huckabee appealing? He's got many of the same socially conservative positions as Bush (abortion, same sex marriage; trust me, these stances have broad appeal to huge chunks of the nation, not just the Evangelical base), but he's not coming off as especially hawkish (he's called the Bush foriegn policy "arrogant") and he's not beholden to big oil companies. Those are people's two biggest problems with Bush, and Huckabee has got 'em both checked off his list.

Oh, plus I think you underestimate the ability of the American voter to see differences in candidates. Even if they got burned on likeability once before, they're happy to overlook that fact this time around.

Against Obama, Huckabee would win. Clinton has a chance against anyone.

Jeff said...

Wait, you're saying that independent voters care about likeability and, in the same breath, saying that Clinton has a better shot against Huckabee than Obama? Clinton is many things, but likeable is not one of them. Obama's just as likeable as Huckabee, and perhaps more so (he won the "who would you like to have a beer with" poll going away - slightly skewed, of course, by the fact that Huck's a teetotaler). So I think Obama would hammer Huckabee, while Clinton would probably squeak by.

Matthew B. Novak said...

What I'm saying is that each candidate will be able to play off their different strengths. Hilary might not be likable, but that wouldn't be the angle she'd be playing, and therefore her losing on likability might be trumped by her winning on other things (like ability to lead a nation).

Likability is the angle - and really the only one - that Obama's got. And since likability is one of Huckabee's angles too, he'll be playing that against anyone he's running against. And I'm of the mind that he'll be better at it than Obama. Obama is likable because he's suave. Huckabee is likable because he's genuinely a likable guy. I mean, Huckabee is running with Chuck Norris, and has "offered" Stephen Colbert a VP nomination on multiple occassions. Obama is the guy who snubbed Oprah. It's not hard to know which of the two is more likable.

marvelous patric said...

if huckabee won the election, i would cry and then run like crazy for canada. this is a man who said the reason we have to outsource jobs to india is because we abort our workforce.

obama is shiny and new. that's what i like about him. i think all this "experience" talk is a lot of crap. let's face it, the only person whoever has experience being president is the person who is president. and, as we can see, that don't mean shit. clearly, the last eight years have proved any idiot can be president.

at least with barack obama, i don't have to hear about what he was doing 20 years ago ad nauseam.

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