Report By Richard Geno
Bill Whalen, Hoover fellow specializing in politics, covered national and state politics from stem to stern. On the presidential level, he pointed out that this is the first time since 1952 that the incumbent president or vice-president was not on the ballot. Despite many of the indicators point to a Democrat election, Bill pointed out that there are many things working against the Democrat candidate.
From the Republican side, there are many disadvantages in 2008. Even though he is not on the ballot, the current Republican president, George W. Bush, has very low approval ratings. The Republican brand is at a low due to the war in Iraq and the slowing of the economy. There is no conservative leader in the country today. John McCain will be the GOP nominee out of default. He does not have the conservative base to count on. Bill Whalen indicated that there are many issues where John McCain has offended and will continue to offend conservatives; but he can promise them to be substantially better with judges, national security and character.
The Democrats are helping the Republican Party by first having a lengthy battle for the nomination. Also, they will arguably choose the weaker of the two candidates in the general election. Bill Whalen pointed out that every time the Democrats pick a limited liberal candidate, they lose. The names of McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry come to mind in recent years. While espousing ideas that will help him get the nomination, Barack Obama's support for universal health care, opposition to free trade, weak defense in Iraq and advocating of higher taxes will work against him in the Fall.
It should be an interesting next six months in national politics.
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