Friday, January 11, 2008
Beware the "Experts"
"He's alive! (Unless he loses South Carolina)"
After the "shock" of the New Hampshire Primaries, it is amazing to watch the political pundits and pollsters continue to tell us who is winning and losing in this or that state even while they try to explain how they screwed up in the Democratic race in New Hampshire. Well, what did I expect, that they would all resign and find another line of work? Not hardly. They will still tell us that candidate X has to win state X to keep his candidacy alive. Conversely, if candidate Y loses state Y, then he/she is dead, and so on and so forth.
One of the more interesting ideas floated around about Clinton's victory was that voters might have been reluctant to tell a pollster that they would not vote for an African-American candidate, in this case, Obama. Thus, the reasoning goes, many (white) voters answered "Obama" to the pollster's question, then proceeded to vote for Clinton.
Another theory is that Hillary's "crying" episode swung the vote her way. I sure hope not because that would say a lot of things about the mentality of the voters. Dennis Kucinich, never to be left out of the fun, is calling for a recount in New Hampshire-certain that he will eventually be declared the "Real Winner"-a la "The Real Killer" in the OJ case.
At any rate, it seems that the race between the female candidate and the African-American candidate is now seeing the introduction of the "cards", gender card and race card respectively. First, it is Hillary as victim of sexism, then Obama as victim of racism. Can't we just let them fight it out and see who wins on their merits-or lack thereof?
Now we have Bill Clinton calling Obama's candidacy a "fairy tale"-a stupid comment from a classless former president. Equally as stupid are the reactions from some who think it smacked of racism. Sure enough, Bill immediately runs to Al Sharpton (Mr Great Moral Arbiter of Race in America)to gain absolution for an offense he didn't commit.
Then there was Chris Matthews taking a shot at Hillary in declaring that the only reason she became a senator and presidential candidate was because she was married to a husband/president who "messed around". Isn't it great to see liberal Democrats tying themselves in knots over charges of "racism" and "sexism"?
On the Republican side, the South Carolina debates last night are viewed generally to have been a gain for all the candidates-with the exception of the hapless Ron Paul. The others all performed well, and Fred Thompson really got high marks for his quips, especially the one about the virgins for the Iranian speedboat sailors. Frank Luntz, the Fox News Republican pollster, was there again with his EKGs hooked up to focus-group voters and measuring their responses to every word uttered by every candidate. (Just a joke- I like Frank.)
I also think (like Sean Hannity) that we should measure very carefully what the mainstream news media says about the Republican candidates. According to Hannity and others, the MSM favors Huckabee and McCain, both becuase they are probably the most liberal and the former because, if nominated, they figure they can tear him down more easily. You know, Baptist minister/intolerant religious fanatic and all that. Makes sense to me since we know that the MSM is about 80-90% Democrat. At any rate, conservatives who plan to vote Republican shouldn't let these characters form our choices.
In conclusion, I have one question for the pundits and pollsters, who are so much smarter than the rest of us: If Kucinich, Gravel and Paul finish every state primary in last place, are they still alive?