Pilkerton's Prognostications

This blog contains some of my past articles for the school newspaper and other musings I feel like posting. Beware liberals!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

DemocRAT Race


After a nice winter break there is the sad reality of returning to class, braving the harsh weather, and waiting out the cold in desperation. This is similar to the sad realities the Democratic Party faces this spring. ?Tis the season for primaries. With Iowa in the books and the New Hampshire undecided-fest behind us, we look forward to the coming months with tremendous anticipation.
It is understood that politics is not the sexiest topic out there so let me give those of you non- Uberpundits a little rundown of what is going on in the political arena in preparation for the 2004 election.
While jumping out to a fast start, Vermont governor and ultraliberal, Dr. Howard Dean was the early favorite for the nomination. Dean carried many of the Hollywood political blowhards on his coattails, which led to early media coverage and great photo-ops. Gov. Dean got himself in trouble early in the process by negating the importance of Saddam Hussein?s capture as ?irrelevant? concerning the ultimate safety of the United States. After campaigning relentlessly in Iowa, mostly emphasizing his proposed initiative for a balanced budget, Dr. Dean came in second in Iowa, which spawned his infamously named ?I have a scream? rant. Dean has since taken the advice of his campaign managers and mellowed out some, and is bent on redeeming his image as well as his standing in the race for the Democratic nomination.
Physical freak, war veteran, and Massachusetts senator John Kerry is the front-runner for the nomination after two consecutive victories in Iowa and New Hampshire. Kerry is often portrayed as the most ?electable? candidate in this year?s crop. Kerry, while less liberal than Dean, is still more left than other candidates, most notably Lieberman and Clark. John Kerry took advantage of Dean?s suspect character and ran with it. Kerry has Washington experience working for him, which lends him credibility to the undecided voters as well as to the political junkies. The man is 9 feet tall, has hair like a helmet, and rides a Harley; if this isn?t a front-runner I don?t know what is.
On the lower tier of candidates, but still not out of the running, is North Carolina senator John Edwards (and no, not the idiot psychic from television). Edwards is a bluechip Democratic prospect and a one-term senator who is making himself the dark horse of the race. While fi nishing in third in Iowa and tied for third in New Hampshire, Edwards? stock looks to be on the rise with South Carolina and other southern states coming up in the primary schedule. Edwards reminds a lot of Dems of their savior, Bill Clinton, as far as charisma and charm are concerned. Edwards looks to separate himself from General Clark in the upcoming primaries, but still might fall short of the nomination after all is said and done. Regardless, look for Edwards to make a push in the Democratic Party in the years to come.
Entering the race a little late was retired Gen. Wesley Clark. Clark entered the race as the anti-Dean, and now that Dean is fading it appears as if Clark will do the same. Though Clark eked out a tie for third in New Hampshire at 12 percent with Edwards, he doesn?t appear to have the personality or political experience to make any real push for the nomination. Gen. Clark is campaigning on the ticket of a strong Democrat with a military background to combat the common notion of Democrats being soft on foreign policy and military issues. I suspect Clark of really being a Republican who was talked into running for the Democratic nomination by John Kerry to thwart Dean, but that is just one man?s humble opinion. In any event, Clark is really a nonfactor who, despite highhopes for the South, will be out after the next round of primaries.
Holding steady at fifth place and loving it, is local product and perennial loser Connecticut senator Joseph Lieberman. Sen. Lieberman took up residence in a small New Hampshire apartment during the primary and, still with this triumphant act of desperation managed to draw 9 percent of the vote. After a disappointing run in Iowa and this pathetic showing, many in the know assumed Lieberman would drop out and go back to burning effi gies of Al Gore. This is not the case, however, and Lieberman has set his sights on the South to refresh his campaign vigor. I assume that after a horrendous showing in the next set of primaries (Feb. 3) Lieberman will slink back to Connecticut with his tail between his legs. He isn?t stupid enough to believe his own rhetoric, or at least we as Connecticut residents, should hope not.
Getting the honorable mention is prolifi c blowhard, pompous exploitation artist, and crowd favorite, the Reverend Al Sharpton. I am not quite sure how and why this man manages to get his snout in the public trough, but his impressive collection of velour jumpsuits and well-spritzed hair are always welcome. Sharpton was essentially invisible in Iowa and got only 350 votes TOTAL in New Hampshire (that 350 is out of 210,000 voters). Sharpton will hope to make a statement in the South but will fail miserably and will end up going back to doing whatever it is he does.
Aside from a few trace elements, these are the studs for the Democratic Party nomination this year and all are vying for the chance to oneon- one with the GOP machine in November. This primary season will only get more humorous, pathetic, and dirty as it progresses, so keep an eye on the news this semester.


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