I love American politics. It’s my form of WWE — all the cheers and jeers with all the spectacle to go along with it. One day, I think the American presidency will go the way of the President of the Galaxy from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and be little more than a distraction from the real power.
Heck, it could be like that already, for all we know.
Today, it was announced that Hillary Clinton would be willing to consider a Vice-Presidency with Barak Obama as top billing. But here’s a thought: Are Americans ready for this?
Let’s review the American presidential history, shall we?
43 Presidents. Every single one of them a white male. The closest the United States has ever gotten to breaking that mould was with Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 — an election I remember well, notably due to her Presidental candidate Robert Mondale. (Refer to a previous post featuring [[The Shrub is back|lack-lustre Democratic nominees]].) It was a risky time to attempt such a running mate. Abortion was a hot topic of the day, and the United States was a lot more conservative back then.
A black man (or African-American male, if you prefer)? The Rev. Jesse Jackson tried twice, in 1984 (defeated mostly as a result of himself) and 1988 (defeated by, of all people, Michael Dukakis). He wasn’t the first African American to try, but he’s been the only one until Obama. And by far the most successful. (Colin Powell declined not to run, though he might have done well.)
But the question remains: Given the history of the last two elections (one being a near-travesty of democracy), will this work? I think that both Obama and Clinton could stand on their own. They’ve broken through the problem of charisma (they’ve both got it in spades, which accounts for the delay in getting the nomination pinned down), and could stand well against John McCain.
But together on the same ballot?
It almost seems too liberal to me. Personally, I’d love to see it, but I have my doubts that even after eight years of Bush’s rather dubious leadership that they would turn to an idea that radical. (Remember the United States’ tendency for Red vs. Blue states, and a number of states that voted out gay marriage in pure terror of change.)
Maybe I’m being too cynical. Maybe I’m not giving enough credit.
I know this much, though: McCain had better watch himself. The mere second he even thinks of using race or sex as part of his stance, he’ll immediately alienate a huge section of voters. If nothing else, this will be the most politically-correct election you’ve ever seen. 😉