The Election of 2008

Posted on November 26, 2008

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After the endless campaign that lasted two years, the election is fast receding in our rear view mirrors. As President-Elect Obama begins to fill his Cabinet, I offer you a few thoughts.

Up front, I voted for McCain in this past election. I was concerned about Obama’s complete lack of experience, his views on foreign policy, taxation, and health care, and yes, some of his personal associations. And I was utterly turned off by the hyperventilating and exuberant coverage of his campaign and the unquestioning cult of personality some of his supporters bought into. In my view, he was nowhere close to being vetted, and the media relinquished their responsibility to journalism to become cheerleaders for Hope and Change.

In any case, my guy lost, and Obama won, for which he deserves credit on running a successful campaign and on having the honored distinction of being elected our first black President. I wish him well and I hope he does a good job in the office. His cause was helped by a listless McCain, who was quite possibly the worst potential candidate the Republicans could have fielded. McCain’s success in the primaries was due to their front-loaded nature, and in some states, the ability of Democrats and independents to water down the Republican vote. I hope the GOP takes a long look at their primary process, just as the Democrats need to take a look at theirs as well.

McCain was also aided by a media perception that he was the most “electable,” that his moderate to liberal views would deepen the base of support for the Republicans. His defeat should dispel those perceptions, and I would caution the GOP against some sort of move to the left. The conservative base was let down this election by a candidate who has spent the last several years working against them, and he didn’t help the GOP in the general electorate as given a choice between a Democrat and kind-of-a-Democrat, folks will choose the real thing.

Despite breathless predictions to the contrary, I firmly believe that this is a center-right country, and Republicans need to remember the success they had in the past was based on running on conservative principles, not by pandering to a shifting and in some cases imaginary center.

Only time will tell what the future holds.

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Posted in: Politics