Hillary Clinton has pneumonia. Or maybe Parkinson’s. Or she’s something like a propped-up corpse who is barely alive. It all depends on what you think “the real story” is.
If it all seems crazy, it is. Much of the crazy is simply what we can expect in an election season, hopped up a bit in an internet age when anyone can publish a “news story”. But the most important craziness is actually rather sane in that Clinton, for better or worse, is presumed by nearly everyone to be the next President. She is being held to a higher standard on many topics – including the state of her health. Just as it would be big news if Obama had pneumonia, it’s a equally important when Clinton gets it.
Is that higher standard unfair? Is it sexist? Is it really just an excuse to tighten up the race to make it all more interesting? Yes, to all of that and more. But all of this will be washed away in another month once we are into the debates, so it really doesn’t matter.
The election is a week away. It’s time to make a few predictions and offer some analysis, if only so that everyone can make fun of me when this is all over.
Regular readers know how much disdain I have for the horserace that characterizes most of the reporting, but in the end it comes down to that. Still, there are many issues revolving around the ability to call this thing properly that are fascinating, at least to someone too far into it. My fondest hope is that at least some of them break in ways that defy conventional wisdom and shake things up.
The conventions are over and the election is less than two months away. That can only mean one thing – voters in Florida and Ohio would be better off not watching any teevee. Who is likely to win? The race is shaping up to be Obama’s to lose, although it’s unclear how the US House or other key races will come out.
It’s time to make a few predictions as to how it will go – and what we should be watching for. That way you can make fun of me later. Here are what I consider to be the key points. Ready?
The long season that leads up to an election is more like a basketball game than any other sports analogy – you make your shots, stay with the plan, and stay focused in the last few seconds. That is why campaigns are often defined by gaffs and mis-statements.
The recent comments by Rep. Todd Akin won’t be repeated here, but there are plenty of places where they have been refuted completely. One of them comes from the Romney campaign, which even went as far as to call on Akin to quit his Senate race. They don’t want this anywhere near their candidate.
Polls show that, like a good hoop game, the Presidential election is close. But the gap among women is on the order of 15% and could become much worse. How? This takes us back to a number of mess-ups with women that defined the discussion last Spring and threatened to rub off on all Republicans – something they can’t afford.