In the race for the White House there are no contenders, only pretenders
Whether you’re watching a 24-hour news channel or reading any editorial section of any newspaper, you get the feeling no viable presidential candidate in 2008 will succeed in getting the keys to the White House.
It’s a constant scalping these individuals are faced to endure, as they’re run through the gauntlet that is presidential politics. Some don’t have enough experience or inner connections, while others have been corrupted by too much time inside the beltway and K Street cronyism. Some are too old and some are too young, some are failures at marriage and some don’t have the proper skin pigmentation or a phonetically pleasing name. And one doesn’t even have a penis – an obvious necessity for occupying the oval office, according to many people with penises.
Let’s start with the “Maverick,” Sen. John McCain (R-A.Z.). The captain of the Straight Talk Express is 70 years old; McCain likes to joke that he’s older than dirt and has more scars than Frankenstein. If elected, however, McCain will be 72 years old when he takes the oath of office, making him three years older than when Ronald Reagan – the oldest man ever elected president – began his first term. Rightwingnews.com – clearly an unbiased source – said that if, “McCain were to be the nominee, his age could be the deciding factor that puts a Democrat in office.” Also, USA Today’s Jill Lawrence wrote in an op-ed that “McCain’s age and health are potential liabilities,” before noting his three bouts with skin cancer.
Prognosis: the former P.O.W., who is arguably the most credible person on the issues of torture, doesn’t have a chance to be president because the ravages of senility and the possibility of extinction will catch up with him by his second term. Meaning his first term is all but sabotaged, too.
On the opposite end of the spectrum sits Sen. Barack Obama (D-I.L.). The 45-year-old, first term senator from Illinois was thrust onto the national scene after delivering a “clean and articulate” speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Fox News political analyst Dick Morris, though, summed up the argument – albeit falsely – that Obama’s rivals are ratcheting up against him, saying that the senator has “never introduced a bill in Congress.” According to the Library of Congress Legislative Database, Obama in fact was the sponsor of 152 bills in the last Congressional session alone. Fox also reported that Obama attended a radical Muslim school, known as a madrassa, while growing up in Indonesia. All this is true, besides the fact that Indonesia is a secular country and the school Obama attended did, and still does, contain boys and uncovered girls playing together. The point being, of course, is that fanaticism in Indonesia isn’t a major problem. But the terrorist seed has already been planted.
Prognosis: The odds of a half black man with little foreign policy experience named Barack Hussein Obama becoming president of the United States might be slim, even though Obama’s retort to the experience issue is damn good. “You know, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have an awful lot of experience.”
Next up are the two current frontrunners: Republican Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City during 9/11, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Most national opinion polls show these two candidates with early leads.
Giuliani’s strengths are that most Republican voters don’t know where he really stands on a lot of issues. They simply know him as the charismatic man who stood up to the terrorists and helped a shaken city recover from a near debilitating wound. This, according to most pundits, will become a weakness. Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly said that Giuliani has little chance of securing the Republican nomination because he will not resonate with “grass-roots Republicans or Midwest Republicans,” because Giuliani is “So New York!” The former mayor does align to the left of most Republicans on benchmark social issues, but is far from the Massachusetts Lefty that neo-cons will try to paint him as. Giuliani is also on wife number three. And New York Tabloids have recently speculated that the third time might not be a charm for old Rudy, either.
Prognosis: Giuliani’s centrist positions, lack of marital bliss and non-existent NRA membership will trip him up somewhere between Louisiana and Nebraska. And can a third wife really be a first lady? Important question.
Speaking of first ladies, a former one has emerged from the shadow of her husband – the most adroit politician the Baby Boomers produced. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is nuanced and knowledgeable and armed with enough cash to sink a luxury liner. But the Clinton’s, and their marriage, have been as much of a target for the right as the Bushes remain for the left. And Clinton does not bode well with liberal bloggers, who loathe her unwillingness to admit that she made a mistake in voting for the Iraq War. Progressive.org called the senator, “Cold and calculating.” Clinton does, at times, come across as overly focus-grouped, and she falters in many areas that her husband flourished in – like working a room. However, like them or not, the Clinton’s guided the country from 1992-2000 in a direction that included peace, prosperity and a respected reputation around most of the world. One could argue things have changed.
Prognosis: Sen. Clinton, like her colleague in the senate John Kerry, is a poor joke teller. She is polarizing and should have left Slick Willy after Monicagate. She failed at Universal Health Care in 1994 and now comes across as both too feminine and too unladylike. How that is possible, I don’t know. For Hillary the shame is that she has all the right tools to be president. Except anatomically.
It appears the mansion on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, come 2009, will be without a tenant, because real estate agents can’t seem to find a suitable homeowner.
M.W. Fritz is a freelance journalist based out of Washington D.C. Every issue, he provides the SiDEKiCK with an exclusive political commentary from our nation’s capital, bringing all the respectability and professionalism of this paper (not much) to a completely subjective and often ridiculous analysis of our governing body. He can be reached at email@example.com.