The Penn Primary. While I was watching the Hillary’s win margin counter bounce between one and two digits all night, I wondered how much of a difference this primary would make, and hoped that, somehow, time would speed up so we wouldn’t have to deal with the incessant over-analysis that would follow.
True to form, pundits began to earn their keep with their graphs, charts, and color maps. One thing was evident – they are tired. They don’t have anything new to say. In the world of 24 hour news, it was remarkable that even they admitted that were merely repeating the same thing over and over: older vs. younger voters, the fight for the middle class, blue vs. white collars, the delegate math, etc., etc.
I myself don’t have too much to add to the noise, but I saw two things that stuck out during each Democrat’s speech after the election – the boxing gloves in Hillary’s crowd while she spoke, and the twin male Abercrombie & Fitch models behind Obama as he spoke. If ever there were images that crystallized the different worlds the candidates inhabited, these were they: A woman who, in order to be seen as presidential, has to represent herself as a fighter, more macho than the men she is running against, and a candidate so in tune, so lock-step with the younger generations, that specialty apparel companies are trying to sneak product placement in front of potential youthful consumers. As is customary in this digital generation, my reaction would be described best by simply writing “LOL.”
Over the last few weeks, the comment that I most disagreed with was the idea that a candidate should drop out in order to wrap up the primary and move on to the general election. Of course, most of the talking heads are saying that Hillary should be the one to bow out. She is trailing (barely), and, if you listen to the “fuzzy math” of the pundits, you’d think this was a fool’s errand. I honestly don’t believe that to be true.
This primary is good for democracy and good for the people of this country. After the elections of Bush/Gore and Bush/Kerry, this country needs to know that their votes actually count. The fact that this primary wasn’t decided on Super Tuesday means that now each state, one by one, is being paid attention to. The candidates are doing more house calls, more pie eating at diners, more town halls and radio interviews and senior center visits in their towns. It means more people are going to have the opportunity to let their voices be heard before the eventual winner moves into the ivory tower of the White House. For many, it will be their best chance to truly have some currency for trade…their votes for the candidate’s ears. We are seeing record numbers of voter registrations and more people attending caucuses and getting involved on a local level. I believe it is the combination of both history making candidates that is driving this celebration of suffrage.
So while the people behind the anchor desk bemoan yet another week of uncertainty, I believe this exercise will eventually make each of the candidates stronger, more in-touch individuals, and, regardless of who wins, the fact that this road to the White House had so many pit stops along the way will make for a much better trip.
I would warn of one thing – donor fatigue. I wonder how far down the Rolodex the Clintons will have to go before they start taking money from the shadier lists they’ve been avoiding. How many times can Obama ask his cadre of collegians to pony up their hard earned keg money before the coffers start to echo? And once a candidate does win, they will have to do it all over again, and also ask the other candidate’s supporters to part with the needed cash to go against the McCain machine. Money should not be the reason to hurry up this exercise, but it should be a consequence taken into account.
The answer to the above issue, as well as all the issues mentioned ad nauseum over your air, radio, and digital waves, is for the dream ticket to emerge from the Democrat convention. It will be hard, and there is no way that either candidate will admit considering this option. The biggest reason is not ego, but because they both have too many people working tirelessly on their behalf raising money and bringing in votes on the slim chance they may be chosen for the coveted #2 spot. There is no way either would get the same type of help if the slot were already reserved. However, the dream ticket would be a fitting and graceful end to the primary. I believe no mater who is on top, if decided by the people and not in a back room, the bases will be happy and ready to work for the next round.
Miguel Guadalupe grew up in New York City and currently resides in NJ. He is an Account Executive at FirstRain, a search-based research company for investment Professionals, and has worked in financial services for over 10 years. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he currently volunteers for various alumni and community organizations, and is the proud father of a talkative and tenacious toddler.
Miguel Guadalupe is a Director at Gartner Inc, a technology research company. Miguel (he’s the one in the middle) grew up in New York City and currently resides in New Jersey. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he currently volunteers for various alumni and community organizations, and is the proud father of a two beautiful girls.