How Will the Recession Impact the Race?

01/09/2008 07:17 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Something the MSM and pundits are not talking much about is how the
impending 2008 recession is going to impact the campaign stump. Exit
polls in New Hampshire, and other national polls, indicate that the
economy has become the most important issue for voters.

Our economic health -- rather than IRAQ, security and social issues
such as "gay marriage" or abortion -- might become the defining issue
for this presidential race. Who will best capitalize on the old Bill
Clinton slogan href="'s_the_economy,_stupid"
target="blank">"It's the economy stupid"?

While everyone is talking about "change" and connecting with voters
on a personal, emotional level, the tune might turn more practical as
the middle class' standard of living continues to decline rapidly.
The candidates will need to start answering specific questions about
how we are going to recapture a healthy, growing and equitable
economy. How we go about implementing "The Great Repair" after the
Bush administration's destructive policies. Questions about our
economic leadership in the world, China, the deficit, financial
equity, competitiveness, globalization, jobs being outsourced,
corporate responsibility, tax policies, etc. need addressing.

The primary season might be over before the economy takes it's most
severe dive, but the economy will become even more important during
the general election. How could this affect the democratic

This could hurt Obama if he is perceived as being too inexperienced.
People might not afford themselves the luxury of voting for someone
exciting and inspiring and instead turn towards the pragmatic.

Clinton might benefit since she is seen as more practically
experienced. Bill Clinton's presidential legacy of economic growth
and a balanced budget wouldn't hurt either.

A slowing economy might also benefit Edwards. His message of equity
for the middle class, fighting entrenched interests and taking on
corporate greed could resonate.

In a presidential race already full of surprising twists and turns,
the economy will be yet another wild card thrown into the mix. How
do you think the recession will impact the primaries and the general

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