Congratulations to Senators Hillary Clinton and John McCain for their victories in the New Hampshire primary.
While the key word of the 2008 presidential campaign is "change", the two winners in New Hampshire are probably the least likely representatives of change running in either party.
Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign still looks back to the days of her husband's presidency. Many people feel that President Bill Clinton was a good president, likeable, and always entertaining and interesting in his views and actions. But, his presidency is over and it is time to move on and stop looking back to these supposed "glory days" of yesteryear. On reflection, with the year long impeachment trial and other matters that distracted the Clinton Administration from pressing public issues -- domestic and foreign, they were not that glorious.
Historians will not rank the two-term Clinton presidency as anything more than average. The former president is a brilliant politician but he has already had his two terms in the White House. There is no need to resurrect his presidency, as Senator Clinton appears to be alluding to in her speeches on the campaign trail.
For an election focusing on change the Clinton campaign seems to be looking back to her husband's presidency more than it should. The Clintons are fine public servants but enough is enough. Do we really want eight more years of an ongoing public soap opera? Maybe we do and the voters like this "blast from the past".
Many voters feel her campaign is more concerned with reviving and restoring the Clinton name and reputation than about looking ahead and providing needed change for the country.
While anyone running for the nation's highest office has to have a large degree of ambition, it appears to a good number of voters that Senator Clinton somehow feels that it is her right to become our next president.
Her emotional display before the New Hampshire primary was almost a sign of her disbelief that the American people did not share her view that she should be our next president. And, at the debate it seemed as if it never occurred to her that she might not be all that "likeable".
On the other hand, Senator Obama does seem to be a fresh face who really is promoting change. He is new to the national political scene and very short on foreign policy experience. Yet, if our nation is really looking for change, and is willing to throw the dice, and take a chance the Illinois senator might be what the country needs at this point in our history.
One gets the feeling that in his speeches Obama is talking about taking the country in a new direction, and conveying what is good for all Americans in order to unite our country. He would be a uniter.
Senator Clinton might feel she is an agent of change and a person who can unite America, but along with the experience she always says she has is also a lot of baggage from her past.
While Obama and even Edwards, in his shrill talks against corporate America, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson seem sincere in their remarks about changing the country for the country's sake, Senator Clinton's speeches seem more about the Clintons than about changing the country.
Exit polls from Democrats in New Hampshire indicated that Obama would be a stronger candidate against McCain, Guiliani or Huckabee.
Many voters are saying loud and clear that it is time to turn the page and change the direction of our country away from the Bush policies and to focus on the future and not get bogged down in what has happened in the past.
While the country says it wants change, the odds are 50-50 that Senator John McCain could capture the White House if he wins the GOP presidential nomination.
John McCain, a true public servant who has served his country admirably and speaks his mind even when it is not politically correct, is not an agent of change. McCain, who would be America's oldest president, and Senator Clinton, no matter what they both say, are not people who will embrace change.
They are both rooted in the past. It is good to have experience to govern effectively, but it is better to have a clear vision of what you want to do once you are in the White House.
The voters in New Hampshire obviously disagreed with my analysis so it is on to Nevada and South Carolina to see if Obama can keep his supporters fired up, and if Hillary brings out a new campaign strategy.
In this very unusual but exciting and historic presidential campaign, it is rather ironic that while polls show more than two-thirds of Americans oppose our involvement in Iraq, the GOP possible nominee John McCain is a strong supporter of our involvement in that war.
Stay tuned for the latest twists and turns in the 2008 road to the White House--they will certainly occur.
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