Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Drop Out Day

All good things must come to an end and on Wednesday the long held dreams for two high profile US Politicians were dashed by the cold, hard light of reality.

Like a pair of University students ditching the final semester of their Politics classes, John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani called an end to their campaign for the Presidential nomination of their respective parties.

Rudy Giuliani, having lost his Florida gambit with a distant third place finish in the state’s primary, stepped aside on Wednesday offering his endorsement and support if desired to John McCain.

Hopefully, he doesn’t offer to set up a desk in the strategy office.

It was the rather strange fixation with Florida that left Rudy to play the role of Republican road kill on Tuesday night, having spent most of the primary season and much of his money on the sunshine state; he had virtually no momentum coming his way by the time that the Republicans made it to Florida.

While most of the other Republicans made appearances in the early primaries, even if they knew they had little chance of winning, Rudy wandered from one rubber chicken dinner to another repeating what had become his mantra of remember 9/11.

And while he most likely deserves some accolades for his service during those horrible times, they were almost six and a half years ago. Since then, while always made aware that danger still lurks, a few other distractions have come along for the American public.

With many American’s losing their homes or walking away from their mortgages and an economic slowdown on the horizon, complete with an unpredictable stock market, they may not have been particularly in tune with Rudy’s clarion call to be ready.

He very much became a form of one issue candidate; six years too late with a message to fully resonate with would be voters. That combined with no shortage of personal issues to cloud the vision of the primary voters and Rudy’s destiny seemed set even before he headed down the interstate.

While he’s offering to join the McCain team, it’s likely he won’t be able to parlay his move into a spot on the Republican ticket, should McCain receive the nomination.

More than a few pundits last night were suggesting that the number two spot may go to Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who despite finishing behind the pack again on Tuesday has decided to remain in the race at least until Super Tuesday.

A fine bit of politics that very well may benefit McCain, it’s expected that Huckabee will draw votes away from Mitt Romney, giving McCain a sizeable bit of momentum coming out of next weeks cross country string of primaries and caucus sessions.

Expanding on a growing belief that there’s an ABM campaign out there, Anybody But Mitt, and anybody very well may be the last guy standing which right now looks very much to be Senator McCain.

Not to be left out of the I gotta go now sweepstakes was John Edwards, who having been humbled in his own neck of the woods two weeks ago, found that there just wasn’t any growth in the vapor trail of Barack Obama’s recent rise in the polls and the still formidable Clinton machine that has begun some serious arm twisting.

Left in the end to be the conscience of his party to a degree, he has chosen to step out of the week to week battles and let the main event get underway without any further distraction. While Edward’s did not endorse either of the two remaining Democrats in the race, reading between the lines of his farewell speech or any number of stump speeches he’s made in recent weeks, you can’t help but think that he might have contributed by osmosis to a few of the Obama press releases in the last few weeks.

It’s doubtful that he has plans to reprise his role as a vice-presidential nominee, though his southern roots would make a fairly good balance to Obama’s northern base. While his calls for a full fledged health care system for all and a need to address the many concerns of the poor, surely play into the tone of the Obama campaign of late, when it comes to putting together the Democratic ticket he may be viewed as yesterday’s news.

Edward’s message seemingly did not hit the right chords with enough Democrats however, to make him more than a passing interest in this primary season.

Like Rudy Giuliani, he has gone from a potential Presidential nominee to a sideline observer in a pretty quick space of time. With the first month of the primary process coming to an end, the battle lines are quickly shaping up in the two races for the nominations. And neither America’s mayor, nor the southern lawyer will be reaping much in the way of a harvest from their efforts in the last year.


No comments: