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Presidential race continued #5

There have been extraordinary politics this past week.

First, Hillary and Newt on the Sunday news show circuit.

Hillary and Newt made the talk show rounds today. Hillary is cementing her position as front runner - laid out the details of a comprehensive health care coverage. Newt announced during a speech this week that Hillary had over a 90% chance of getting the nomination and an 80% chance of getting elected. Hillary, in an extraordinary streak, appeared on all five major news talk shows.

We could quibble, but I would guess that Newt's math is generally correct.

His motives - maybe a little trickier. He is on record that if his team gets $30 million of pledges, he'll run. And he knows that no one fires up Republicans like Hillary. Newt generates ideas like a forest fire generates sparks. He is bright, experienced and articulate. He is also pudgy and has an ugly divorce in his past. He would fire up the Dems even faster then Hillary fires up the Republicans. I'm wild about his point of view, real conservative opinions and small government approach. But, I'm extremely doubtful and the possibility that he could get elected.

Second was Alan Greenspan's book publication and the reporting thereafter.

Also making the rounds over the last few days was former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan. Also as smart as they come, adroit in his language and arguably one of the finest central bankers ever.

He talked straight about the economic policies of the Bush administration (full disclosure: in this blog I've been very critical of those very policies, or perhaps the lack of a policy). He feels that the loss of majority positions was not merely a result of Iraq, but also of profligacy of the reigning Republican majority. And that President Bush, by failure to veto anything, enabled the gargantuan deficits that won't hurt me that much, but diminish my (theoretical) grandchildren's prosperity.

This became great grist for editorial writers.

And the Bush administration came back with an all-time lame excuse - Dennis Hastert, Republican and former Speaker of the House and all-world financial profligate, didn't want the President to veto anything, so he didn't. Not exactly a position that one would expect from the leader of the free world.


James said…
I really don't want a third George W. Bush term and I really don't want a third Bill Clinton term. I thought about it the other night, and realized that when I add up the Bush presidencies and the Clinton presidencies, almost my entire adult life has been consumed by these mediocre, and sometimes very bad, presidents. Now, unless something happens to derail it, there's going to be yet another Clinton term. I had hoped that in my adult lifetime there would be at least one noteworthy president. I'm going to keep hoping for that. The thought keeps popping in my mind about the people in Europe who lived through the 30-years war. I feel the same way about what is promising to be close to 30 years of Bush-Clinton. Lord, have mercy!

The only chance I see to break out of the Bush-Clinton morass is either Obama or McCain. I was really leaning strongly toward McCain until he went to the White House and somehow was convinced by the Administration that he shouldn't take such a strong stand against torture. Before that happened, I was 100% behind McCain. I loved how he took Rumsfeld to task over the number of troops, and how he took issue with the Administration's happy talk about the war.

Now, though, the only one that I feel can break the mold is Obama. I wish he weren't so cautious. I wish he had more experience. Still, I don't think he will make the same mistake Bush made in packing the government with cronies and party hacks. I feel that he will, instead, bring in the best minds he can. That's why I hope he does well in Iowa and New Hampshire.

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