Saturday, March 29, 2008

Race for the White House- 3/29/08

The build up to the Pennsylvania Democrat Primary seems even longer than the two weeks preceeding the Super Bowl, and for die-hard Democrats, it must seem even longer.

While polls out of the Keystone State continue to show Hillary Clinton with a solid lead over Barack Obama, this has been a pretty bad week for her campaign nonetheless, mostly related to the criticism she has received for what her critics say was a fabrication and what she claims was an honest mistake about sniper fire on a 1990s trip to Bosnia when she was First Lady. This has led to her slipping in polls to both Obama and Republican John McCain and the Senator from New York has found herself on the defensive in regards to new questions about if she is willing to say anything for political reasons.

His opponent's stumbles have perhaps taken some of the heat off of Obama in relation to the Jeremiah Wright controversy, yet it does appear that the story is still not completely going away and Obama seems at times to keep saying new and different things about his feelings towards Wright and what could have possibly caused him to leave his church after all. For her part, Clinton finally commented on the matter, perhaps to try to change the topic from "Snipergate" (ok, who are we kidding with "perhaps"), saying that she would not have remained a member of a church where Wright was the pastor.

While national polls show varying results, several state polls continue to show McCain moving into a much more solid position at the present time against either Democrat. This development and the continued negativity in the Democrat races, featuring surrogates tossing around terms like "Joe McCarthy" and "Judas" are leading some prominent Democrats, party chair Howard Dean chief among them, to publicly call for some sort of resolution to come about by the beginning of January. The last couple of weeks have seen discussion of such things as the party holding some kind of superdelegate miniconvention after the last primary is held in order to try to avoid a trainwreck at the national convention in late August. One nationally prominent columnist even speculated that former Vice President Al Gore may walk away as the party's compromise choice when all is said and done. A couple days ago, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, an Obama supporter, publicly called for Clinton to exit the race, in a move she basically laughed off.

In the meanwhile, McCain spent the week giving some policy addresses, which received mixed reviews from some conservatives, and also released his first general election television ad which dwelled on his time as a POW in Vietnam and other patriotic themes.

To state the obvious, the last month has been pretty kind to the Republican standard-bearer. One week saw relevations which could prove to make it very difficult for one candidate to win a general election and this past week might have long-term damaging implications for the other. The two of them are still slogging it out in a contest that may not be close to winding down. John McCain continues to be a lucky politician.


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