A Look Ahead to 2008 (Part II)Written by Terry Mitchell
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John Edwards will face an uphill climb for Democratic nomination. Within a couple of months, he will just be a former one-term senator, as he didn't seek re-election this year. However, biggest obstacle for him will be his status as a vice presidential nominee on a losing ticket. Candidates in both parties who lose in their bid for vice president, without having first won, have great difficulty getting a presidential nomination. For example, Joe Lieberman's primary campaign crashed and burned after New Hampshire Primary in January. Before this year, Sargent Shriver (in 1976) and Edmund Muskie (in 1972) were last failed vice presidential nominees to seek Democratic presidential nomination and they were both rejected. On Republican side, Bob Dole was finally able to capture his party's nomination in 1996 after a failed bid for vice president in 1976. However, even he was turned away in his first two attempts (1980 and 1988). On positive side for Edwards, he will have more time to campaign than most of his opponents. Only Gore, Dean, and Mark Warner might have similar amounts of free time to campaign. Barack Obama is seen as a very promising young future star for Democratic Party. He is a state senator who was just elected in a landslide (and that's an understatement) to U.S. Senate from Illinois. He was featured as keynote speaker at Democratic convention in Boston this summer. However, Obama is still a relatively unknown quantity and he'll have to prove himself in Senate. He has, by far, least political experience of all candidates on this list. There have been many politicians from past with similar potentials whose careers have fizzled out before they ever really got started. Even if Obama can live up to all hype surrounding him, he still might not be viewed as presidential timber until 2012. A vice presidential nomination in 2008 might be a better bet for him. Harry Reid has just been elected to his fourth term in U.S. Senate and will likely take over as Minority Leader from Tom Daschle, who was recently defeated. Before coming to Senate, Reid served as Nevada's Lieutenant Governor and served two terms in House of Representatives. Since 1999, he has been Assistant Democratic Leader in Senate. Should Reid decide to run, one advantage he'll have over his opponents is that he'll be acting as official spokesman for party on many issues and will therefore get plenty of free media exposure. Mark Warner was elected governor of Virginia in 2001 after losing a closer than expected Senate race to John Warner five years earlier. Virginia law does not permit its governor to succeed himself, so Warner will not be allowed to run for re-election next year. Therefore, he will be able to devote himself to full-time campaigning for president, beginning in January 2006, if he so chooses. The fact that Warner is a Democratic governor in a strong "red" state will be a positive for him. However, even though Republican presidential candidate has carried Virginia every time since 1968, a Democratic governor in state is not unusual. In fact, since 1977, Virginia has elected a Democratic governor every time a Republican is in White House. The opposite has been true when a Democrat is in White House. If Warner is nominated by Democrats and George Allen is nominated by Republicans, Mother of Presidents will be guaranteed to have produced our next Chief Executive. Obviously, not all candidates on Republican list I discussed last or this week's Democratic list will actually run for president in 2008. Chances are, only about half on each list will run. At this point, however, no one can really say with a great deal of certainty which ones they will be. In addition, some candidates whom no one is predicting right now will decide to run. At this time in 2000, who would have predicted that Howard Dean would run in 2004? Who outside of Vermont even knew who he was back then? In politics, only thing you know for sure is that you don't really know anything for sure. Uncertainty and unpredictability are what make politics interesting to me, but it's still fun to try to guess things and match wits with other pundits once in a while.
Terry Mitchell is a software engineer, free-lance writer, and trivia buff from Hopewell, VA. He operates a website, http://www.commenterry.com, on which he posts commentaries on various subjects such as politics, technology, religion, health and well-being, personal finance, and sports. His commentaries offer a unique point of view that is not often found in mainstream media.
My Two Cents--Did You Exercise Your Voting Muscle?Written by Matt McGovern
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The desire to vote, however, is not a wholly American trait--it's a universal desire. For example, in Iraq, Afghanistan and other such troubled spots, many of their sons and daughters (along with some of our own) are right now fighting and dying for ability to elect leaders and to control destiny of their respective countries. It's ultimate expression of free will on a national scale.
On one level voting seems such a tiny "thing," a relatively small and insignificant event--the stroke of a pen, touch of a stylus to a computer screen, punching of a chad--but when combined with hundreds, thousands, and millions of other such singular acts, voting can be much more powerful than spray of bullets.
By voting we can literally change course of history, and virtually everyone--young or old, sick or healthy--can take up "arms" and vote. Only desperate, disillusioned and disenfranchised resort to violence and intimidation. It's a simple fact--there are many more of us "voters" around than there are those who use fear and guns to gain or maintain power.
So here's hoping you got your "exercise" on election day by exercising your right to vote--a simple act that honors hard work of those who came before us, as well as hard work yet to come. Remember, world we create today is world our children and their children will inherit. Voting is one way for us to rest easy that our voices have been heard and will continue to be heard.
Copyright (c) 2004 by Matt McGovern--All rights reserved.
Matt McGovern combines a rare blend of creative and technical know-how with years of experience and a balanced and purposeful approach to life. He has authored and edited numerous books, e-books and e-zines. Get "Know-How" his free e-newsletter at www.700acres.com/pages/ad_archive.html or explore life, death and beyond with his novel, "CURRENTS-Every Life Leaves an Imprint" at www.MattMcGovern.com/books.html.