Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On to the General Election

Based on recent super-delegate declarations, the AP is reporting that Sen. Barack Obama has clinched the Democrat nomination. He will be facing Sen. John McCain in the general election this November. This, of course, means we will be electing a senator to the presidency for the first time since 1960 when Sen. John Kennedy was elected.
It is too early to make predictions since a lot can happen between now and November. Here are some things to watch for over the coming months to gauge the way the winds will blow.

  • Will Sen. Hillary Clinton (and by extension former president Bill Clinton) work aggressively to heal the rifts in the Democrat party? The opposite side of that coin/question is will they work behind the scenes to undermine the Obama campaign?
  • Will there be other shoes to drop regarding the, as of yet, extremely poorly vetted Sen. Obama?
  • Will Sen. McCain work so hard to get crossover Dem's/Independent's votes that he loses the Republican base that isn't too fond of his "Maverick" act?
  • How angry will women voters be over Sen. Clinton not getting the nomination? It would be a mistake to underestimate the level of emotional investment some women (particularly older women) had in seeing a woman elected. Here is a quote from a liberal blog I stumbled across:
    I have grown tired of voting for men.

    My decision to abstain this year, and in all future years from presidential elections in which men are the only candidates, if I make the decision, will be purely personal and idiosyncratic. I am simply tired of using my right hand to pull a lever, push a button, punch a chad or embed a chip that says, You are so right. I'm not worthy. Not one of us is. Yet again.
    I doubt that person's point of view is very prevalent, but it does show the mindset of some segment of females.
  • Will Sen. McCain make any missteps or have any health issues that will be used to demonstrate his advanced age?
  • Will the "In The Bag for Obama" media actually report his various gaffes and screw ups with the same glee they normally reserve for Republican slips of the tongue? I guess we already know the answer to that one.
  • Will conditions in Iraq improve to the point that Sen. Obama would need to modify his surrender now position?
  • Lastly, who will Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama pick as their vice presidential running mates? It is true that running mates don't win elections. However, running mates can cause a ticket to lose. This cycle the VP picks will be more closely scrutinized than in other elections due to McCain's age and Obama's extreme lack of experience.


Blogger Ben said...

All your points are good questions that we need to keep in mind.

Look, I think that Americans (not me) would prefer a Democrat. The question is whether or not it is this particular Democrat. The election will be about Obama, not McCain. The people who will decide this will be the ones Obama has insulted. If he can win a bulk of them back, he will win. If not, he wont.

June 4, 2008 at 10:56 AM

Blogger LargeBill said...


Agree that for the most part this election will hinge on whether Obama can acquire bulk of the Clinton voters. He is particularly helped by the length of time between now and November. Most people won't be able to stay angry that long. All his nutty friends and associates will be dismissed as old news by then as well.

June 4, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with your assertion that Obama has been "poorly vetted."

The guy has just run a national campaign for president for nearly 18 months and beat the Clintons. Let me repeat, he beat the Clintons in a race for the Presidency.

You cannot tell me that if something was out there that would negatively impact Obama's chance for President, Bill and Hilary would not have discovered it and used to their advantage.

Say what you will about Obama and his policies but the guy has run the gauntlet and come out a little bruised but victorious

June 5, 2008 at 9:44 AM

Blogger Ben said...


The GOP turning fire on him as opposed to his own party can not be compared.

June 5, 2008 at 10:42 AM

Blogger LargeBill said...


To take Ben's point a step further, in addition to the opposition party being tougher than a candidates own team, you also have to consider that the things that may matter to undecided voters in a general election are markedly different from what would matter in a Democrat primary where you are dealing with mainly dedicated liberals.

You may be right that he is clean as a whistle and there are no other shoes to drop, but I doubt it. Between Rezko and his other friends he has shown very poor judgment of people and that will likely show up more as he is further examined.

June 5, 2008 at 11:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get it. Primary election is different than general election. But remember this was no ordinary primary election. Most primaries are basically over by March and the also rans don't want to bring up the nasty stuff because they want to be in good graces with the presumptive nominee.

This was not the case this year. Dem race was neck and neck and let's face it, the Clintons play to win. If there was something out there, they would have found it and found a way to use it.

Also it was in R's best interest to get dirt out on Obama during Primary. They desparately wanted to run against Hilary, not Obama. Republicans had wet dreams about nipping Obama in the bud in the primaries and facing Hilary in the General.

So yes, you won't find much dirt on Obama. As for "associates" let's face it, all politicians have acquaintances, hangers on, supporters, etc who look slimy under the spotlight. It comes with the territory. I am sure John McCain can match his list of shady characters with that of Obama's any day. Bottom line is I don't think it says a whole lot about either candidate.

June 6, 2008 at 7:08 AM

Blogger Ben said...

You are wrong. Hillary would have been a lock to win. We have a chance against Obama - but I am far more fearful of Obama being president.

June 8, 2008 at 10:43 AM


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