Over the past week, Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney announced that he was suspending his candidacy. This followed a series of wins in key states by John McCain– a moderate on everything but the war with Iraq.
While the whole conversation about who the true conservative is in this race (or whether there indeed is one) is interesting, what’s more interesting is what Rep. Ron Paul and now Mike Huckabee are doing in this year’s primaries.
In my life time, the nominee from a given party has always been chosen in early on in the primaries. The party convention was just a week long infomercial about the parties, and a chance to hear some people speak on both sides of the aisle. I’m told that this is not always how it has been, and it would have been that way this year, except no one (except God) knows the future.
On the Democrat side, it was all but guaranteed that Hillary Clinton would be the nominee. There are even some republican pundits stating that she is marching toward her coronation, with Barak Obama as an interesting side story. Hence a set of front-loaded1 primaries.
Unfortunately for Hillary, the field narrowed very quickly, and the cult of persona that surrounds Barak is sweeping this man into a place where he’s now leading with convention delegates. All of a sudden what was inevitable is no longer looking so.
Here’s where it really gets interesting, though. On the Republican side you have a candidate with little funds and no real hope of selection, and yet he continues– and continues to have an effect. Say what you want about Ron Paul, but the effect that he’s had on the campaigns of the other candidates is obvious. His libertarian views have inspired lots of grass roots support, and the money he raised in a couple of well planned fund raisers has garnered attention.
And then there’s Mike Huckabee. He was never supposed to be on the radar, and then he won Iowa. Now that McCain’s in front, the party bosses have called asking him to get out of the way as well. Only he (like everyone else on the Republican side) feels and says that he’s the only conservative in this. And by the way: he’s not getting out. And over this weekend he took at least 2 of the 3 state’s primaries.
Does he have a chance? I don’t think so, except if we see a convention that’s divided and decided differently than on majority vote.
Why is it fascinating? Because we have candidates still in the race to make an impact on policy. We have candidates in the race that think that they’re inevitable when they are not. The world of politics is unpredictable. And then there’s the whole fact that we’re not guaranteed another day.
It reminds me of the movie “Facing the Giants (aff).” Here was a team that believed that they had lost, they were packing up to go home and have the season done when at the last minute they get the call that the team they played had cheated, and they’re back in it.
I’m not saying that this will happen– there’s no predicting going on here. What I am saying is that there is far too much time between now and November, and God only knows what will happen!
- Grouping together a lot of big states early to get a large amount of votes and hopefully establish inevitability.