September 19, 2007

It's somewhat painful to realize that the U.S. is only in the midst of the nominations process. There is much more rhetoric to come, once the actual campaign for the Presidency begins. Of course in so many ways, the campaign has begun. The field of dreams is loaded down heavily, and we await the first casualties. Clearly there are those who need to stop rearranging the deck chairs and call it a day, while others need to stop listening to their handlers and try, even if for a day, to say something unscripted. One gets a sense that every soundbite, every speech, every gesture and emotion played out has been test-screened in 30 states. And how many more YouTube videos from the candidates can we be expected to take, as they reach out the masses and crave to be seen like you and me, and the guy next door, and your old-enough-to-vote niece too?
Were I a Democrat American and able to vote I would be struggling with the choices. I really want to like Hilary. No doubt she has the experience to bring to the White House but she is astonishingly wooden and deliberate. Everything she does comes off as mighty calculated and cunning. For all of his incalculable faults G.W. Bush brought his aw-shucks persona to the game, which endeared him to the electorate. Hilary has little natural charm and her intense intelligence will, sadly, also play against her in the sexist world of politics. Plus she has an albatross around her neck that may be impossible to spin and photo-op out of the public memory. I feel for Hilary's advisors. What do you do with your client's egomaniacal spouse? Sure, the Democratic public adores Bill but that's not who Hilary is after--they're already in the bag. Hilary needs the fence-sitters and the disillusioned Republicans. Parading slicky Billy around will only force those precious votes away.
As for Barack, it's pretty much impossible not to like him, but he appears woefully unprepared for the presidency. Yes, yes, So was Bush Jr. but the world has changed for Americans and I suspect that they will be especially wary to the appearance of competency. While America is likely keen for substantive change Barack may, ironically, be all those wonderful things we look for in a fictional president. I wonder if he will be able to overcome the very real obstacles of social order that still define his country.
All I can say about John Edwards is that his wife always appears to have the more intelligent, insightful, and astute observations on hand. He looks better in her company and seems out of his depth in foreign policy matters.
But hey, I could be wrong on all accounts. In the modern age perception is reality, and my sensors may be in disarray. Then again, maybe not...

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