Monday, December 18, 2006

One Less Dead Fish In The Bucket

Evan Bayh Drops Out of Presidential Race
Indiana Senator Evan Bayh announced a surprise decision today that he would not to run for president. Bayh began unofficially running the moment that John Kerry lost in 2004, immediately calling Kerry's largest contributors and announcing that he was a moderate Democrat, the only type who could win in 2008. This announcement shows how much established Democrats are being affected by the excitement the surrounding possible presidential candidacy of Illinois Senator Barak Obama. Whether or not Obama can prove to America that he's got the experience to run the world (which is, essentially, the current job description of the President of the United States), remains to be seen.

One thing that doesn't remain to be seen, though, is whether Obama can draw a crowd. He can. Evidently Bayh was scared out of the race by the contrast between Obama's rock-star-like reception last week in New Hampshire (which holds the nation's first presidential primary in January 2008), and the modest turnout of wait for it... DOZENS... for Bayh's own appearance there on the same day. Eeeep.

2008 used to be Hilary Clinton's turn. It's been well known for years that she's going to run. She's quietly raised millions of dollars in the last six years and has a huge war-chest because she hasn't faced a serious challenger yet for her Senate seat... but has been able to use that seat to gather cash, prepping for a Presidential run.

She used to have the all-important Black Vote clinched because of Bill Clinton's popularity in the African-American community and because she's spent the last six years courting it directly. She had brought all the African-American minister organizations into her camp. Right there, that's 40% of the Democratic vote. That leaves only the 60% White + Hispanic vote for Hillary's 4 to 5 competitors to squabble over, and she would likely get a LOT of those votes, too. Yes, the 2008 Democratic nominee -USED- to be a lock for Hillary.

Now, however, she may be pushed out. If Barack Obama enters the race, her best-laid mousey plans gang aft aglay. Suddenly the Black Vote is up for grabs and Hillary's strategy of triangulation on the Iraq War begins to drastically hurt her. She's been one of the most vocal supporters of this idiotic war (in preparation for nullifying a "weak on defense" charge in 2008 because of her Democratic-ness and femalen-ess) and that continuing support will hurt her badly if our troops aren't out of Iraq by 2008. The exit polls in this last election showed that the #1 concern on people's minds was this stupid war. If Hillary and the Senate allow Bush to leave our troops in harm's way refereeing Iraq's civil war, that opens the door wide for Obama to become the "I never voted for this war" candidate and push for withdrawal.

The Wild Card in her favor is the dangerous streak of Royalism that's emerged in American culture where we pick a family and anoint them as our elected sovereigns. The Bushes. The Kennedys. People seem to actually like the idea of a family which hands power down from generation to generation. I'm sure that in 20 years we'll see Jeb Bush's stalker-creep son George Prescott Bush running for Florida Senator and winning. Maybe one of Neil's kids. Or Doro Bush's unholy offspring. We loves us a royal family over here. That royalist streak helps Hillary Clinton because her husband is known countrywide in a way that it doesn't help Evan Bayh because his daddy never won. Christ, Paris Hilton has more of a shot than Evan Bayh... everyone's stayed in one of her Grandpa's hotels.