Misc Commentary On The Top Democratic Contenders

*** John Edwards has been talking about Jesus in the painful, hamhanded manner that Democrats normally do. In other words, he attempted to use Jesus as a blunt instrument to hammer his political enemies:

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards says Jesus would be appalled at how the United States has ignored the plight of the suffering, and that he believes children should have private time to pray at school.

Edwards, in an interview with the Web site Beliefnet.com, said Jesus would be most upset with the selfishness of Americans and the country’s willingness to go to war “when it’s not necessary.”

“I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs,” Edwards told the site. “I think he would be appalled, actually.”

My guess is that if Jesus were to come back today, He would be upset by a lot of things being done on the right and the left. The left in particular, I’m guessing, wouldn’t be too happy after hearing a few sermons that covered topics like gay marriage, abortion, and sex before marriage. Again, that’s not to say that he’d be happy with everything conservatives are doing either, but politicians on both sides of the aisle, like Edwards, should get out of the business of talking about, “what Jesus would be saying,” about the policies of their political enemies.

*** Barack Obama is the only Democratic contender I feel the smallest smidgen of sympathy for because some of the attacks being leveled at him by his fellow lefties are so blatantly unfair. For example, what kind of question is, “Is he black enough?” But this is even worse,

Democrat Barack Obama, who would be the first black president, has white ancestors who owned slaves, according to a genealogical researcher.

The researcher, William Addams Reitwiesner, says the discovery is part of his first draft of research into Obama’s roots. Obama’s father was from Kenya and his mother was a white woman from Kansas.

Obama wrote in his autobiography, “Dreams from My Father,” that while one of his great-great-grandfathers was a decorated Union soldier, family rumors also say he is distantly related to Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy.

You know, it’s bad enough that we now go into extensive detail on what presidential contenders did in their college years, but in the case of Obama — and for that matter, Mitt Romney’s polygamous relatives — people are actually trying to use what these candidates’ ancestors did against them. How ridiculous!

*** Dick Morris is pointing out a deficiency in Hillary Clinton’s strategy:

“WHEN pressed about her qualifications for the presidency, Sen. Hillary Clinton falls back on her husband’s domestic-policy record – claiming credit for the good economy, welfare reform and the balanced budget.

It’s a very fine record, indeed – but it’s Bill’s, not Hillary’s.

Hillary was the moving force behind the Clinton presidency in 1993 and 1994 – with primary responsibility for the disastrous health-care plan, which helped hand Congress to the Republicans. After that, her husband sent her into a polite exile.

…The 1998 Lewinsky scandal returned Hillary to her ’93-94 role of power-behind-the-scenes, directing the response to what she called the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” But nothing happened in those years beyond saving Clinton from impeachment.”

The Clinton years present an interesting dilemma for Hillary. On the one hand, she’s going to try to present the good times as “her accomplishments,” but there was also an enormous amount of scandals that occurred, bad behavior, and events that have taken on a darker light over time (like Clinton’s weak record in dealing with terrorism). Furthermore, the situation is further complicated by the fact that almost everything from the Clinton years with Hillary’s fingerprints on it turned out to be a debacle. There was Hillarycare, the Clinton Administration going through their political opponents’ FBI records, & Hugh Rodham’s crooked pardon deal among other fiascoes. All in all, “the Clinton record” will probably hinder Hillary as much as it helps her.

*** A couple of days ago, I was talking to a friend who said that he thought the Goracle could jump in the race late, upset the whole apple cart, and take the Democratic nomination. After all, he said, look at what Howard Dean did in 2004. He came out of nowhere and unlike Dean, Gore already has a built-in fanbase. Plus, by staying out of the race until then, Gore would be avoiding attacks and letting the other candidates beat each other up.

However, from my perspective, there are a lot of problems with that scenario. For one thing, the 2008 race started a lot earlier than the 2004 race did, the field was weaker on the Democratic side, and Howard Dean had already taken off by August of 2003. If you have someone like Gore enter the race in, say October 2007, I’m of the opinion that he’ll be too far behind in fund raising, endorsements, and top talent to catch up.

Now, that might not be the case for a real political super star, but there is no one of that description waiting in the wings in either party (Barack might have been the only guy who had a chance to pull that off). In Gore’s case, yes, he has a lot of left wing fans, but his approval rating is upside down (higher negatives than positives) and I don’t think he would be a standout favorite over the other 3 candidates in the race if he got in right now. So, in October, he’s not going to magically become a much more prominent candidate. He’ll be the same candidate he is now, but 40-50 million dollars (at least) behind the other top candidates. Since the race is already at a fever pitch and the nominations will be decided by early February of 2008, no candidate can afford to wait until the last moment to jump in the water.

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