I know it’s not a horse race or a football game. It’s about picking a Presidential candidate that can win in November and lead the country out of the dark hours of the Bush/Cheney Dynasty. I expect it’s the most important election of my lifetime. But it still feels like a football game. It’s half-time and Clinton’s up by only one point as they head for the locker-room. Obama has played a steady first half. No big turnovers. Few penalties. Clinton was leading in the pre-game predictions, but has been plagued with injuries and flubbed plays. Right now, Obama has the momentum on his side. While both teams have made it through their tough seasons with flying colors, once they’re in the playoffs, all of that’s behind them. It’s a new ball game.
Meanwhile, in the other playoffs, all the teams have had a bad season. The early winners went down fast when the playoffs started. Heavily favored McCain has had a hard time with the wild-card teams and holding on to his momentum. It looks like it’s shaping up to be a hell of a Superbowl this year.
Escaping from the football metaphors, I find myself haunted by the 2004 election. I didn’t follow it closely. And I wasn’t in love with Kerry. His ‘band of brothers’ theatrics at the Convention put me off. It was too melodramatic, and opened him up to the dirty trick now known as "Swiftboating." Looking back on it, I was surprised at how it went. The Swift Boat Veterans aired their first ad in May. But it was their ads after the Democratic Convention that really did the damage. Kerry had made, in my opinion, a tragic error. He tried to capitalize on his Viet Nam experience, opening himself up to being attacked for coming home early and for his antiwar activities after coming home.
If he’d kept his mouth shut, his war record would have been an asset when they attacked him for hanging out with the likes of Jane Fonda. Instead, it became his Achilles heel. And it’s not a moot point. The Republicans will have a "dirty trick" season later. I’ll bet it comes with the same timing as last time, in the early Fall. Here’s how it went in the 2004 campaign:
So, it’s not the second half of this game we have to worry about, it’s getting too many injuries in the playoffs to be at the top of our game for the Superbowl…