Sunday, December 16, 2007

Clinton v. McCain Lacks Excitement

Iowa’s largest paper, The Des Moines Register, has endorsed Hillary Clinton and John McCain, saying the two are their respective party’s most prepared candidate.

That seems accurate. I don’t think I can argue that Clinton and McCain have a level of experience and federal governmental expertise that outmatches their competitors’. Both certainly possess the intelligence to be president and have that tried-and-true feeling about them. But, really, how boring.

After months and months and oh-my-God endless months of campaigning, The Register endorses the original odds-on favorites. After Obama’s glow, Romney’s money, Huckabee’s insurgence and Edwards’ indefatigability (not to mention the delightfully nonconformist campaigns of Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul), we’re back to where we started: the curmudgeonly conservative and the plastic liberal. Wheeee.

Hopefully The Register’s endorsements portend nothing. The Republicans should at least give us a race interesting enough to end in someone other than McCain. Or Giuliani. Those two have done a heck of a job obfuscating their moderate instincts while crushing their once-formidable integrity under months of transparent pandering. They might still lead national polls (Giuliani) and win establishment approvals (McCain) but I think the Republican Party will end up with someone else.

Over on the Democratic side, Obama is the only viable threat to Clinton, but that’s a serious threat. He may not have the kind of experience so-admired by The Register, but he has an authenticity of character and an originality of voice necessary to overcome Clinton’s perceived inevitability.

I hope some excitement comes out of this insanely long election season. I have no horse as of yet, so I’m hoping some drama illuminates these carefully guarded candidates. Even if that doesn’t help me come to a decision, it’ll at least be more entertaining than the kind of election The Des Moines Register recommends.

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