Jan 19, 2008 (The Weekly Vice) -- The alarm clock is ringing.... The Weekly Vice has pledged to predict who the Democrat and Republican Nominees will be and we're not going to wait until month's end to go ahead and nail our own coffin.
Before you laugh, consider this. This is a serious forecast and one I'll shamelessly boast about when I am proven right. If I end up being wrong, I expect a public flogging in the comment section of this post, and I'll deserve it. But let's have some fun with this in the meanwhile.
My choices don't reflect who I like best. They represent who I think will become the two major party nominees and why.
Why John McCain Will Be Your Republican Nominee:
Whether Republicans like it or not, the country has moved back to center if not slightly left of center. Those who voted Democrat in one of the last 3 elections are likely to vote Democrat this time unless the Republican candidate is outspokenly politically centered.
The mean spirited, venom filled political rancor that has existed over the last 8 years has worn thin the nerves of most voters (including the Republican voter), who will not send a candidate to Washington who paints a target on their own back.
John McCain does not satisfy all Republicans because of his weak stance on immigration reform and the McCain-Feingold blunder. He is however the most acceptable candidate to the independent voter now that Giuliani has dropped out of real contention.
Huckabee has done well, but his views are too liberal for some conservatives. His platform has been marinated in semi-extreme soundbites that will prove to be too divisive for Republican moderates who have grown weary of the religious attacks that George Bush has been repeatedly harpooned with.
Huckabee has made a strong showing thus far, and he'll have at least one more strong primary, however the bible belt caucuses are just about exhausted and the moderate voter still hasn't been heard outside of primary that McCain won.
McCain is beginning to surge because the moderate voice is just now firing up and because Huckabee spends most of his time retelling folks what they failed to hear right the first time. Candidates who get mired in their own words, have a hard time attracting voters outside of their own grass roots.
John McCain, despite the severe moderate that he is, offers the Republican base a breather from the shrillness of the liberal argument. He has credibility on the war, and has credibility when he tells voters that he will pull our troops out of Iraq the very moment it can responsibly be done.
Those who want us to get the job done in Iraq and then get the hell out of that country tend to like McCain - and neither Romney or Huckabee shows strong credibility on that position.
I don't think at this point Romney is a true player. His Michigan win was a stacked deck and he won't make such a strong showing again. Watch and see. Romney will sink with each new political gaff he's likely to make as the pressure goes up.
John McCain has been through this before, and has learned where and how to pick his battles, a luxury the other Republican candidates are beginning to prove themselves unable to do nearly as well.
The rest of the Republican field is really not worth talking about, and you'll see why over the coming three weeks. No media attention means no airtime... and airtime is vital to a campaign.
Why Hillary Clinton Will Be Your Democratic Nominee:
I'll be counting the minutes after I publish this post, before I get my first email from an exasperated Obama fan who absolutely thinks I'm looney for picking Clinton as your Democratic Nominee. Let me assure you, I have good reason for my choice.
Yes, Obama has done well, but there's method to the madness here that even those in the national press have yet to catch onto.
A close Clinton-Obama match up is what the Clinton camp has expected since he emerged as the contender months ago. The Clinton Machine is counting on a strong showing from Obama who is decidedly left of center. She likes this, because it creates the perception that she is a true centrist who can capture all of the blue dog Democrats, many of the independents and a few of the moderate Republicans.
The Clinton machine knows the Democratic voter. It's a leftward leaning voter who would really love to go for an Obama, but is smart enough to know a politically centered candidate will be more acceptable to independents and even the dejected Ron Paul voter who may punish the republicans for rejecting the Ron Paul message.
Clinton has a larger voter base than just the devout Democrat. For the first time perhaps in history, there is a vibrant Social Republican base that will have no place to go, should Republicans return an apparently strict conservative to run in the General Election.
Since Democrats must make their choice without knowing who the Republican Nominee will be, they will likely send a candidate to the General Election who has the best chance of picking up those stranded moderate votes. Obama simply does not have that appeal because he's committed himself to pulling US troops out of Iraq without reservations.
Many independents want to leave Iraq as soon as possible, but they want to do it in such a way that won't require our return, should Iran or another country seek to take advantage of our exit. Obama has realistically disqualified himself from moderating his view on this in an effort to capture the anti-war vote.
Yes, he looks good to Democrats, but the General Election isn't going to like the primaries. This is the trick bag that lost them the election the last time around. I'm assuming in my prediction that Democrats have learned their lesson about flirting too strongly with the extreme left, but we'll soon see if that's true.
Obama has established himself as the leftist candidate, which means he cannot return to center, while Clinton has hovered on center knowing she can always drift left when she needs to.
Although Clinton has established herself as a left-of-center politician for many years, the media will most certainly saturate it's political buzz with her centrist sounding views now. It already has and she's now overcoming the chastisement of the far left who have been rebuking her like a naughty school girl for her refusal to indulge the anti war base with promises of immediate withdrawal.
Clinton's strategy is far more appealing to moderates and independents - and Democrats who are still kicking themselves for sending the imploded John Kerry to the General Election. They will think twice before confining themselves again to a candidate who has already shown his cards to the opposition as Obama already has on a number of issues.
The Clinton campaign has not yet reached it's apex. Obama on the other hand is riding that peak now. The candidate who shows the most momentum during the primaries almost always wins the day, unless they are too far behind. Clinton does not have this problem.
The Weekly Vice
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