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Monday, May 05, 2008

Fighting like cats and dogs

It is the most hotly contested presidential nomination battle for decades and now, according to the Guardian, there is proof that Clinton and Obama really have been fighting like cats and dogs.

The newspaper draws our attention to the way that Americans are plunging their pets into the fray. On the one side we have Cats for Obama on the other there is a Pets for Hillary site.

The report continues by telling us that there is a video on YouTube of a couple of West Highland terriers "howling for Hillary". Though, really, who knows what they're howling for? The indignity of being made to wear caps and Hillary badges? Maybe they're John McCain supporters - he, incidentally, has 22 pets including dogs, turtles and fish.

Obama doesn't have any pets, but that isn't stopping his popularity with them. Also on YouTube is the Pets for Obama video, with dogs "singing" "We're standing for Obama and we're sitting for him too."

The piece concludes: If it came down to the pets' endorsement - and lord knows why it shouldn't - Obama will sail through, having won the ferret vote ("ferrets for Obama" badges are on sale). In the US, ferrets have become a highly politicised group after the then New York mayor Rudy Giuliani banned them from the city in 1999. Best of all, though, is the Obama-supporting llama, who has appeared in numerous parades across Iowa. According to a blog post from Obama HQ, its owner Pat McNally is bringing the woolly camelid to more events "to spread awareness about Barack". Raising awareness through the medium of a llama? It's risky but it might just work.

John McCain also has a ferret.
a couple of West Highland terriers "howling for Hillary". Though, really, who knows what they're howling for?

Perhaps they were under sniper fire :-)
Why dont she just give up and go home for goodness sake. All she is doing is slowly but surely destroying the Democratic Partys chances of a win in November. It is statistically impossible for her to win!! What is she playing at?
Why all the fuss about this? Vicious beasts and those ugly animals are always the ones drawn into politics. :-)
“Let’s Make a Deal!” Monty Hall circa 1963

It is becoming clear from the Presidential Primaries that Democrats like both candidates, a lot. Public debate on the concept of a “dream ticket” has started, but typically the question is put backwards. It is the VP that makes the offer to give up the chance for the top slot. This much is obvious or there is no deal. So the real question that needs debate and resolution is what should the VP get in return?

Minimally the VP should be a close advisor to the President, like Al Gore in the Clinton administration; maybe a formal administrative position appointment, Secretary of State or Attorney General. But even an “inner circle” VP position falls short of a fair trade. A good deal should have balance.

Consider the current/former British Prime Ministers - Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. To avoid a split party they made a deal. Blair ran for PM first while Brown got the commerce position. Then Blair stepped down so that Brown could lead. In our case, the candidate getting run for President first, should counter by limiting their own term in office to 4 years and fully promoting their VP to be President for the next two terms. In other words the one who goes first gets four years; the one who goes second gets a shot at eight. Who is best suited to go first is something for the candidates to decide. However, it is possible to at least imagine both candidates going either way and that is an indicator of a good deal.

In the heat of the current campaign, initial response to this deal idea can be negative: “Those two will never work together!” But consider two simple truths: As Democratic Senators these two candidates have worked together repeatedly. Also, as politicians, they will do so again in the future.

But who benefits from a deal? We do - the Democrats and the Nation. Even against a united party, the “Rove political machine” is quite capable of putting John McCain into the White House Nothing less than a “deal based” grand coalition gets us into the proper position to take the White House, makeover the Congress and the put the Nation back on track.

What about after the election? As the country navigates the rocky waters we all worry “may be round the next bend”, it will be useful having two respected national figures to inspire, to show the flag, and to urge the public forward. Why not bring John Edwards into the administration? Remember that he was the candidate pounding away about the economy back when the rest were still debating the Iraq disaster.

Should this deal put a stop to the primaries yet to be held? No! It may be a fluke that Pennsylvania and the other “late” states get to influence the primaries. But this is a good thing. However, the candidates do need to re aim their artillery pieces to bear upon the past seven years, to illuminate where we went wrong and to show what we need to do to get back on track. Seeing which candidate has the best aim on this target is exactly what Democratic voters need to hear and vote on.

And let’s ignore all those pundits that selectively pick through party rules to “prove” that this candidate must win or that one can not. The fact is that either candidate can win this primary. Also either candidate can win the White House. Rules are best set before the contest starts. Trying to color them after the voting begins has little merit. In particular, if super delegates get to vote any way they want, then THOSE ARE THE RULES.

But the real question is what do we want? It’s our primary, our election and our country. If a consensus for a dream ticket gathers steam, then we should tell the candidates what the deal is, not ask them. And if one of the candidates refuses to dicker while the other moves to put the interests of the nation in front of their own? Well then, the decision for any super delegate becomes a very simple one indeed.

Let’s make a deal.

Radnor PA
Interesting contribution Mark.

Obama is like Blair, whilst Clinton is like Brown.

However, whether Blair should be leader before Brown is a matter of great debate. In 1994 opinion polls said "let's have Tony". By 2004 they were saying "let's have Gordon". By 2008 they were saying "let's have Dave".

Based on this historical comparison - go for McCain.

It'll just save time. :-)
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