A good friend tried to persuade me last evening that in the end this year’s elections for president, vice-president and the Congress will be decided by money. This, of course, mirrors the accepted wisdom of the social scientists. For most ofthem elections in a highly developed "market" are a matter of funding and "branding."
Maybe so, maybe not. I hope not.
In any case, this year seems very different. The Obama and Huckabee phenomena speak to something very much at odds with the accepted wisdom of the social scientists.
Barack Obama is virtually an unknown quantity. He is a gifted orator. He carries himself like a president of the Kennedy type. His election will signal a new phase in American race relations. We all know that race relations haunt us in the ways that Faulkner expressed so well. Nevertheless, his meteoric ascension to threaten a Clinton restoration is illogical. Who is this man and what will he really do if he achieves his goal? Not enough is known about him to say.
And then there is Huckabee. I would like to have a beer with him but he probably does not drink. He is anathema to the political establishments of both parties, a son of the despised rural South, an evangelical Protestant minister, and another gifted orator. His very name sets the teeth of political commentators on edge. Christopher Matthews, in a display of rage, called him the "hick" a couple of nights ago. Now Huckabee has humbled Romney, the poster boy for political ambition. He and McCain are clearly combining to destroy Romney in New Hampshire. Look to see Huckabee do better than expected in New Hampshire.
Maybe this isn’t just about money and marketing? pl