Presidential Campaign Begins,
Does it Really Matter?
by Dan Ehrlich

Christmas 2010 has a special significance…It’s the start of the 2012 presidential election campaign. Where in Britain campaigning begins only one month before a general election and funding it tightly controlled, in America it takes two years of electioneering and countless millions being spent building to a crescendo during the chaotic party nominating conventions.

In the end after all the media hype and campaign adds coupled with endless hours of right-wing talk radio BS, many Americans will be asking themselves: Does it really matter?

If the election was held now, early polls show President Obama losing to the former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

It’s shocking that the GOP is so lacking in qualified and known talent, all they can currently field are two out of work politicians who many people don’t know. But, wait, its gets better. The Republican, as yet a non-candidate, getting most of the press isn’t even a front-runner. But, she is well known. Yet the only thing Sarah Palin has in common with her two colleagues is she too is a former governor…but one who only lasted half her first term.

Yet the polls also show Obama easily winning over Palin. Maybe that’s why the liberal media runs so many stories about her. The better known and publicized she remains, the better chance for her to be on the GOP ticket. Nothing would make much of the media happier. Aside from their man remaining in the White House, think of all the Palin jokes that would emerge.

On the other hand, there are liberals and conservatives alike who fear Sarah’s ability to tap into popular discontent and gain a following with her down-home back woods rhetoric.

Of course Palin’s current low poll numbers aren’t because she has the massed resources of America’s feminists against her. Her big mouth often uttering inaccuracies and nonsense, coupled with her rather flaky career, lack of hard experience and a less than stellar education, has sent up red flag warnings even reality TV addicts can see.

But, going back to the initial question: Does it rally matter? It does as far as someone like Palin having the power to start WW3 with the launching of our nuclear missile arsenal. But, as far as domestic issues go, most presidents listen to a braintrust of advisers and often wind up doing things against the popular sentiment.

From my mind since 1964 we have had only two presidents who domestically made the country a better place…Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton.

Going down the list:
· Lyndon Johnson…Created more civil and equal rights laws than any other president.
· Richard Nixon…Watergate, resigned in disgrace.
· Gerald Ford…A partial term filling in for Nixon
.Jimmy Carter…Effete and ineffective
· Ronald Reagan…Set the course for US economic decline, also Iran-Contra scandal…that, in fact, was far more serious than Watergate.
· George Bush Sr…”Read my lips no new taxes”…one term
· Bill Clinton…Sex scandals aside, he kept his promise to balance the budget and left office with a hefty treasury surplus.
· George Bush Jr…Converted America from the biggest creditor nation to the biggest debtor nation thanks to pointless tax rebates and waging a war in Iraq on a false premise.
· Barack Obama…The jury hasn’t yet begun deliberations.

So, with this sorry record for educated and experienced leaders, could Sarah Palin do much worse? Or is all this stop Palin rhetoric mainly because she’s not a Washington insider who’s not playing the political game they way it has long been played? We will have about two years to find out.

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