It would be nose to nose, whoever ran.
Some polls seem to indicate that while Americans want Democrats to lead the country, with Barack Obama as the candidate, some Democratic voters might be tempted to vote for Republican John McCain. Yet Barack Obama's huge new gains among high-profile Democrats (and the Oprah factor) might edge out Hillary Rodham Clinton. All that said, Americans narrowly want the changes a Democratic president would offer. Hillary Rodham Clinton offers longtime insider experience, hard-won gains that some doubt and others repudiate and the long-overdue evident proof of the 19th amendment to the Constitution. Barack Obama offers hope with morning dew on its brow and the truest change in the face of American government before the eyes of the world since the 14th Amendment.
I'm just a writer, not a fighter. A citizen soul, not an analyst.
But what grabs me by the throat right here is that voters wanted a Democratic president (that usage bothers me; they should all be "democratic' presidents) -- which is to say, a president who is a Democrat, eight years ago.
The American public wanted a president from the Democratic party eight years ago so much they might well have actually elected one, Al Gore. And four years ago, it seemed that they wanted a president who was a Democrat so much they came within an Angstrom unit of electing John Kerry, held back only by fear of changing leads during "a war" and truly nasty smear tactics.
Now, after virtually two years of campaigning, the same thing might ... happen again to the Democrats... the party that Americans say they want to lead, the party with goals Americans say they share.
Is this some kind of gift?
Can Democrats somehow field their best and brightest and still manage to trip over the finish line?
Did what once seemed to Democrats an embarassment of riches facing off a lackluster peanut gallery somehow turn around and bite its own tail?
Is there a theme here?
Do Republicans simply do this better than anyone else? Is it because they -- despite what people so love to say about Hillary Clinton -- have absolutely no shame and a replete sense of rectitude? Do they look back at the last eight years and manage not to turn away?
I don't know what this means to you.
But I have three sons of age for military service -- all young, bright and beautiful, all with genuine and non religious-based objections of conscience, one already filed. I hold on to my health insurance to the tune of a minimum-wage salary in payments each year, and with everything that ever has or could go wrong with me, including a bunion, excluded.
It means that my kid's classmate, who joined the Marines one day after a fight with his mom, might well not live to be 20; hotheads are great Marines so long as no one expects them back in one piece. It means that my weekend babysitter's fiance, who never meant to be a soldier, who joined the National Guard to PROTECT HIS HOMELAND in case of emergencies, get great benefits, healthcare and the pension his job didn't offer, now may be headed back for his second 11-month visit to Iraq this fall, leaving his pregnant bride.
It means that a guy down the way who lost his job at a factory, who now works 30 hours a week in a coffee shop and just discovered that his wife has cancer that is entirely curable -- if either of them could afford treatment -- might get a divorce so that his wife can get health-care benefits as an indigent, before it's too late.
Something's happening here, and what it is, is abundantly clear.
We all know the tune to this song, all eight versus and the chorus.
I don't know why we can't think of the words.
Causes Jacquelyn Mitchard Supports
National MS Society, Women Against MS, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, One Writer's Place