Who Can Win in November
|This is my analysis of this issue, mostly formulated while sitting on the Beltway going to and from work.|
Mike Huckabee: No
Reason: He has no momentum. He has no cash. He is probably running for McCain's VP. Not a bad result for him, quite frankly.
Mitt Romney: No
Reason: Mitt Romney? Be #%@%ing serious. Some have accused him of being a flip-flopper (which is an idiotic and childish term, but then look at the people who use it). That doesn't really encapsulate his "style". Romney is so transparently craven in his willingness to change his "beliefs" that he can really only be labeled with a much more stark term that is often thrown around when discussing politicians but I've never seen one that epitomized the word better: LIAR. Either of the Democrats would beat him like he stole something. (One kind note, John McCain is completely and demonstrably lying about Romney calling for a timetable to leave Iraq. I almost feel sorry for Romney when he tries to argue this point because he is right.)
John McCain: Yes, with an "if"
Reasons: McCain is beloved by the media. That is a powerful constituency to have in your corner. He appeals to independents. Independents will decide this election (as they always do, thank you very much) and he can win them, which is important because Republican turnout has thus far been depressed and they will likely be greatly out numbered by Democrats and Independents come November. Any Republican is going to need to pull a large number of Independents, which McCain can do and none of the other Republicans can. However, (the aforementioned "if") none of that will matter unless Clinton is the nominee. John McCain can't unify the various Republican factions behind him on his own. He needs Clinton to do that for him (see below).
Hillary Clinton: Yes, with an "if" (but leaning towards No)
Reasons: She's got the money and the machine behind her. She is the "inevitable" candidate, after all. She is smart and capable - I have no doubt she is qualified. (However, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd were probably more qualified and they got their @$$es handed to them.) If she goes against Romney, she wins (but Florida decided - in an actually CONTESTED primary, mind you - that it won't be Romney; so, it doesn't really matter). If she goes against McCain, she can and may well lose. She will do what the lackluster field of Republican candidates could not do - energize and unite the Republican base. Right now they are licking their wounds and trying to figure out what went wrong and how they fell so far so fast (easy question really - GWB). If they get poked with the Clinton stick again, they'll find something to be against which will be powerful enough to possibly turn the race for McCain, if he can pull enough Independents (which he probably can).
Barack Obama: Yes (no "if")
Reasons: He's got at least as much money as Clinton and he is gaining big names in the party (Leahy, Kennedy, etc.) not to mention he has enormous grassroots support. He will bring most of the Clinton backers behind him (anti-Bush fervor for the Democrats is even stronger than anti-Clinton fervor for the Republicans) and even if he doesn't get them, polls have shown that he is bringing new people into the political process at every turn. He will bring in new voters and young voters. He is the kind of candidate who builds loyalty to a party for a generation (think Reagan). He will not continue the hyper-polarization that has marked both the Bush and Clinton years. He will not carry the baggage or negative connotations that comes with the Clinton name and style. He can win a decisive victory over McCain. He could take the vast majority of the Independent vote from McCain. Think of winning 60% of the popular vote! That is the kind of mandate that no President has had since Reagan and that is the kind of mandate that the next President will need to accomplish difficult, important, groundbreaking things (Health Care, Climate Change & Energy Independence, winning the War on Terror). We have seen what happens when a President governs with 50.1% (and really only cares about 25%). Once he gets past the primary, he'll be unstoppable.
So the winner in a rout: Barack Obama. Let's get past the primary and get it done.