Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Importance of a (Completely) Clean Slate

As evidenced by the Republican party's not so subtle rejection of Chuck Hagel, it seems as if a break on one issue from the party lines is enough to doom a campaign or career. Hagel's comments in which he suggested that Iraq was gradually becoming another Vietnam have put his name high on the hitlist for many conservatives who see his comments as representing a supreme level of disrespect for the President and the party. It is unfortunate that maintaining a voting record 100% down party lines is necessary to keep one's support. Hagel is now loathed by Republicans and has little hope of winning back a seat in the Senate, but what is most surprising is that Hagel is not, on a whole, a middle of the road Republican. Among other agendas, Hagel believes in:

-banning abortion
-prohibiting gay marriage
-the privitization of Social Security
-the reduction of taxes for the wealthy

So, what does this mean for the 2008 on a whole? Well, for one, good luck at becoming the Republican nominee with a view on a key issue such as Iraq, abortion, or gay marriage that breaks too much with the party's general set of beliefs. With each passing week I am continually amazed that so many conservatives are voicing support for Rudy Giuliani when in fact his record paints a picture of an entirely different man than we see today. If the Republicans can separate themselves from Giuliani like they did Hagel, watch out Mr. Mayor, 9/11 won't be able to carry you to an election vicory.

The Democratic side may seem more compromising, but a similar pattern as the Republicans arises in a more suble manner. Despite the public's lack of knowledge of his platform, Barack Obama remains one of the frontrunners in the 2008 election. The idea of Obama is one of change and a fresh approach to politics, but he can only ride the unknown/underdog candidate wave for so long before he must step up with some big ideas and cast aside the 24/7 barage of "red, white, and blue America" slogans which have defined his public image since 2004. We have yet to see whether Obama can deliver on this, so for now let's say that he might be in a tougher spot than we think he is.

In Trouble: Hagel, Giuliani, Romney, Obama

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