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Politics & Power

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And Then There Were Two

So it has come down to two men and one presidency up for grabs. You can count Nader if you want but the ship has pretty much sailed on him ever being a presidential spoiler again. It seems that now the race has come down to as Will Smith put it in Men in Black II “New hotness…old and busted”. The hardened road warrior John McCain taking his last shot at the White House will be going toe to toe with the rising star Barack Obama taking his first shot at the Oval Office.

The rhetoric has already begun to fly and it is becoming clear that this is going to be a dogfight through the election in November. The strategy seems to be the same basic Democrat vs. Republican limbo contest for who can sink lower to muddy their opponent. It hasn’t gotten too personal yet but it is only June after all. In recent comments John McCain questioned Obama’s fitness to lead in the war on terror. In response Obama offered that if McCain and the Republicans hadn’t essentially fabricated a war in Iraq, we might have actually caught Osama bin Laden by now. Still on issues but swinging low in the early rounds. It seems only a matter of time before a few blows land below the belt.

The focus of the media has now turned to the running mates and how the running mate choices might impact the outcome of the race. Early polling has Obama slightly ahead of McCain despite the fierceness of the primary battle recently ended with rival Hillary Clinton. Many of the early polls do show some Hillary Clinton supporters leaning toward McCain which should be of concern to the Obama camp. If Democrats cannot unify the party by the end of their convention in August, they will face an almost impossible challenge to win the White House. Howard Dean has expressed confidence that the party will come together before the November election but he and the rest of the leadership face a daunting task in finding that unity.

After remaining silent during the primary race, Al Gore endorsed Obama at a rally in Detroit. His endorsement adds to the list of old guard Democrats coming out to rally around Obama. Nobody is certain what Bill Clinton’s role in the upcoming campaign will be but after some of the statements made while campaigning for his wife it may be difficult for the Obama campaign to benefit from his speaking on behalf of the Illinois Senator. Despite that obstacle, many pundits feel that the former president could be an asset to the Obama campaign.

On the other side John McCain has been steadily working across the country to drive home his message of security and prosperity under experienced leadership. Not benefiting greatly from the presence of the current president on the campaign trail, the McCain campaign has only tapped the current administration for private fundraisers without press. There has been no indication of where McCain is leaning on a running mate or if he will try to utilize former president George H.W. Bush out on the campaign trail. As the only remaining living Republican ex-president he represents the strongest ties to the Reagan era and a more popular Republican administration than the current Bush administration.

From here on out it’s no holds barred full contact politics and if the early volleys are any indicator this is going to be a race for the record books. Let’s get ready to rumble!

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

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