Official Blog Disclaimer: What follows is neither an endorsement nor expression of approval by The Brazil Times (or any reasonable, sane person) of any candidate, real or imaginary. This blog remains merely ramblings of a somewhat addle-minded old man.
For weeks before the national political conventions began I was saying the best thing that could happen would be if one or both of the presumptive candidates announced they weren't running! Personally, I was just getting tired of the whole business and thought it might be "funner" if somebody was nominated whom we hadn't been hearing about for two long, dreary years. Sometimes I think the most interesting candidates get bumped off first, anyhow.
For the Democrats any prospect of Senator Obama not running didn't look all that interesting. The Dem's would certainly have nominated Senator Clinton. Hillary may or may not make a good President, but she wouldn't bring anything to the campaign which we hadn't been hearing for quite some time.
But, what about those Republicans?
There was no clear second runner. What would have happened if there were a good, old-fashioned floor fight for the nomination; maybe even going three or more ballots like in the old days? History indicates such conventions end up compromising on some "dark horse" -- a candidate nobody ever heard of and objected to by none. Back before 24/7 news coverage such a candidate actually could run almost unnoticed. Dark horses don't always win, or prove to be the wisest choice; they provided, however, a fresh face to the race.
Something like an unknown nominee appearing from nowhere happened with the arrival of Sarah Palin in our midst. At last we've got somebody to kick around we are not already bored with!
The days when an unknown could remain unknown, though, are long past. Just about everybody can have a good time now poking around to find her weak spots. Hey, politics is professional Ice Hockey; they all know the rules before they get in the game. I have a feeling the tough-talking hockey mom from Wasilla will hold up just fine. If nothing else (or everything else), Governor Palin is a definitive example of the "daughters" of the women's movement of the 1960's and on: She rears five kids, runs our physically largest state, and takes shots at members of the Moose Club (did I get that last one right?). Best guess is she is about as qualified as we ever ask of Vice-Presidential candidates, and as qualified as one or two Presidential candidates of the past as well.
At first look, also, she appears to be a fast-study who is comfortable in her element, politics. Then so are John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. But, thanks to Senator McCain's pick and the fiery rhetoric of Senator Obama, this is certainly becoming the most exciting presidential campaign in my memory.
Surely we are in for a rollercoaster ride now. Whatever way you look at it, we got us a fun ride going.
[By the way, if you're a gambler I think I she has a "tell." but I ain't saying what.]
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.