A non sequitur. I started reading the New York Times online instead of in print. Can you start with a non sequitur? Probably not. Given that a non sequitur is a statement that does not follow logically from what preceded it, you can't start with a non sequitur since there is nothing that proceeded and therefore no logical lapse. Like I was saying, reading the Times online is way easier than reading it in print. I had recently cancelled my subscription to the Times because I wasn't really reading it and what not, but if you use the Today's Paper link on the website, you get an organized list of every headline, and you read the ones you want and it's fucking fantastic. I find I read a lot more of the articles in the online edition instead of just flipping directly to the op-ed and crossword. The only drawback is that you can't do the crossword online, or I think maybe you can but you have to pay for it. And if you didn't get to read a section or something, it stays online for a week. If I got busy and didn't read the Science Times on Tuesday, let's say, the whole Science section is online until the following Tuesday, when it's replaced by the new one. Awesome. And I just recently made the NYTimes site my home page, which more or less ensures that I look at it every day. I still go out and buy the Sunday Times, though, for the magazine, which I'm addicted to.
My point is that I was reading today about the Republican debate yesterday and some other related articles about the primaries, and I wanted to comment on some things even though it seems way to early to start discussing this shit given that the election is over a year away. Except this shit has been in the news for at least 6 months now, and is dominating the Sunday Meet the Press/Chris Matthews type shows too.
First of all, it boggles my mind that Rudy Giuliani is currently the leading Republican. If he's nominated, he's going to get Killed with a capital K between February (when the nomination will likely be decided) and November about all sorts of shit from his past, including his multiple marriages, his carrying on with his current wife while still married to his previous wife, his association with Bernie Kerik, who turned out to be a dude you don't want to be associated with, and all sorts of other shit. I mean, I get the idea that a lot of his personality quirks (if that's what you want to call them) won't really fly outside New York. Also, Giuliani is way more liberal than a lot of Republicans seem to realize. Or else he's way more conservative than I realize, but I lived and worked in New York for most of his term in office, and within his zone of influence for his entire tenure.
Mitt Romney seems like a weird dude to me. I don't really know anything about him, but how many Mormons live in Massachusetts? He might be the only one. It's kindof strange that there isn't really one candidate that stands out for the Republicans to hang their collective hat on. McCain seems like he should be running away with this nomination, but he isn't, in fact he's behind both Rudy and Romney. I was reading that some of the influential Republicans feel like Mike Huckabee is the most qualified candidate, but some of the stupid things that shouldn't matter are holding him back, like his name, and the fact that he's from Hope, Arkansas, which is where Bill Clinton is from. I guess no one wants to talk about "President Huckabee". It seems clear over these past couple weeks that Fred Thompson is not going to be a real player in the election. I don't think he really even wanted to run, he just got talked into it by somebody.
It astounds me that motherfuckers have been underestimating Hillary Clinton for over 15 years. She's clearly the best pure politician on either side of the race and has the most experience out of all of them too. It seems like people just have it in their minds that a woman can't win, and that may by why she's sneaking up on us as not just the frontrunner for the nomination, but to win the whole damn thing. I'm not in love with Hillary or anything, but clearly she'd be a competent leader and those who don't think so are going to find themselves bowled the fuck over by her momentum before they realize it.
I like Barack Obama and I like the idea of having a relatively young president with at least a moderate amount of idealism left, which is kindof the platform that he's running on. I think he would be a competent leader as well, and if he builds up some momentum, I can see the country getting caught up in the Obama wave. He seems to be the only one aside from Clinton who has the wherewithall to mount a serious campaign after the primaries.
I do not like John Edwards. That's all I have to say about that.
It seems like Bill Richardson should be putting up a better fight. And Dennis Kucinich is short. What are the names of the other Democrats, because I forget? Dodd, Biden, these guys are hopeless. I like Joe Biden, though.
The really interesting part about this whole thing is that the states are scrambling for their primaries to mean something, and for the first time in my voting history (since 1996), my primary vote is going to actually mean something. I was proud to vote for Bill Bradley in the 1999 primary, but Gore had sown it up by then, and I think Bradley was off the ballot in every other state except New Jersey at that point.
Anyhow, states like Michigan and Nevada are scheduled to have their primaries even before New Hampshire. Michigan, who feels like its being ignored and that it has issues like unemployment and the auto industry that need to be taken seriously have made sure that they are not taken seriously by actually schdeduling their primary for January 15, against the wishes of the DNC and therefore forcing every candidate to promise that they will not campaign there. In fact, all of them pulled out of the Michigan primary yesterday except for Clinton (who was leading in polls despite not having campaigned) and Dodd (I don't know why he stayed, maybe trying to get some name recognition by getting a significant number of votes ahead of some of the important primary dates).
In fact, almost all of the states have moved up their primaries into January and February and both of the nominations should be wrapped up by February 5th of next year when over 1,600 delegates will be decided on in 22 states including California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois. The only big states to be decided after Feb. 5 are Texas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. I'm kindof surprised that Pennsylvania hasn't tried to move up from April 1 to at least March 4, when Texas and Ohio vote.
So that means that from basically Feb. 5 of next year until election day in November it's going to be a 2 horse race (unless they convince Bloomberg to run as an independent (which isn't going to happen, but I'd be enormously interested in a Bloomberg candidacy for president)). The conventions are going to take place in the summer, long after any sort of relevance has passed.
I find it strange that there aren't federal guidelines for primaries. I know you're going to pull out the states' rights argument here, but electing the president is the most important decision that the country makes as a whole, and putting all of the eggs in Iowa/New Hampshire/South Carolina basket is kindof strange.
Anyway, my prediction, Clinton v. Romney, and I almost don't believe it myself, but I think Clinton is going to win.