Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Missing Mate

I am still digesting all the data from super Tuesday.

The news coverage tells me there is no clear indicator within the Democratic ranks on who will end up leading the party on the November presidential ballot. The coverage also tells me that despite a growing affection by Republicans for Senator John McCain as the party's front runner, there remains significant resistance to McCain among Evangelicals within the party.

So the historically minority candidates (woman and African-American) within the Democratic party will continue to make their respective appeals to differentiate themselves, while the white war veteran Republican tries to figure out if he needs Jesus to win in November.

The photos that supported the front-page newspapers of Feb. 5 underscore one point of differentiation between Hillary and Barack. During the Kodak moments when each candidate appeared to declare victory, Senator Obama proudly stands hand in hand with his beautiful wife -- what's her name?

On the other side of the Democratic victory isle stands Senator Clinton, glowing alone, like a black widow counting her inheritance or an estranged wife celebrating the divorce and her share of the pie. Where is Mr. Clinton, when it matters most for creating imagery and portraying the American family?

Perhaps, Hillary's entire campaign is an allegory of the demise of the American family and the values we used to consider important for leadership. Do we expect the leader of the free world to be capable of managing family matters first?

When it comes down to voting in the booth, how will the political positioning of a loving, well-packaged African-American couple play over the depiction of an intellectually astute, politically motivated female who was publicly scorned by her husband? Will such an image influence how people vote? Will people bring empathy or sympathy into their voting equation for Hillary or will concern instead cause them to pull the other lever for Barack?

On the Republican side, surely there is concern that the party's front runner fails to convince influential media personalities and Evangelicals that he is their man. The party needs to think long and hard whether it even has a candidate that can beat the enthusiasm the Democrats are generating for their party.

If Senator McCain carries the Republican banner into the November election, will the dissatisfaction of conservatives and Evangelicals deflate their energy level so much that they don't vote altogether? If that is possible, the Republicans in Washington better start packing their suitcases.

I can't wait until the candidates bring their court and spark in the Lone Star State.