I'll admit, I haven't been paying a whole lot of attention to the campaigning so far, other than a few headlines including those that mention Barak Obama's early leading on the Democrat side. It's certainly interesting for the Dems though, with one of their leading candidates being black and the other being a woman. It's funny though, the party was critisized in the last election for not being able to win because they didn't know how to pick a leader... in all honesty I thought Kerry was a decent selection, but his flip flopiness ruined him. So what are the Dems doing to shake that? They're going pick a leader who will probably not win.
I'm not saying a black man or a woman should not be President, but do any of you think they could actually win against whoever the Republicans choose, regardless of policy? I'm sorry, but I just don't think America is ready to ditch the prototypical image of "the President". We must admit, the Presidency has a visual image attached to it, thanks in large part to Hollywood. Other than Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact, I can't think of any other movie or TV show I've seen where the President hasn't been clean-cut white male under the age of 65 or 70, usually with some grey hair. Well there was that Commander in Chief show, but that got cancelled after 1 season didn't it?
And I certainly do not want to sound as if I'm sitting up here in Canada critisizing the American electorate. We have zero female policial leaders federally and provincially, and I don't recall a visible minority ever running for leadership in my memory. We had a woman PM, but she never actually won an election... in fact, she lead the governing party straight into oblivion but that wasn't really her fault.
I can't help but think that although it's a feel-good story for the Democrats to run either a woman or an African-American, it is bound to result in a loss next November. I believe this to be true for one reason only, the so-called "swing voters". A large number of these voters who remain undecided even after hearing all the policies are obviously too disillusioned by the process to make an edcuated choice. And in the end, they'll go with the one that looks like the Mr. President they see in the movies. It's a mistake that parties will make when choosing a leader... the Liberals did it in Canada a year ago by selecting Stephane Dion who may be a nice guy but he sure as heck does not come across as someone who can beat Stephen Harper on a personal level.
With that said, I think it would be quite amazing to see the first black or first woman President. Without getting bogged down in the details (because as I've said I haven't followed it too closely), both Obama and Clinton seem to be worthy candidates and good leaders on an intellectual level. I suppose it will also depend on who the Republicans choose... will Huckabee's leaning toward the religious right push more moderate conservatives away?