Thursday, January 25, 2007

I heart US presidential election campaigns

Don't ask me why, but I love American presidential election campaigns. It might stem from reading Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 at a young and impressionable age. [I read all manner of weirdness when I was growing up, thanks to having two older brothers. My favourite reference book was the Dictionary of Modern Thought - wish I still had a copy. The cover was blue.] Seasons 6 and 7 of The West Wing are among my favourites because they deal with a presential election campaign, despite the absence of Sorkin's writing. The primaries, the caucuses, the obscure local issues that define which candidates progress - I love it all.

Perhaps the joy springs from being far enough away to savour the spectacle without being enmeshed in the centre of it. The week before the 2004 elections I happened to be on holiday in Florida, always a crucial state in close races. Grud, it was election wonk heaven. Every second ad on TV was for one side or the other. [The rest were for a Nicholas Cage movie called National Treasure, seemingly some kind of modern-day Raiders of the Lost Ark involving the Constitution of the US, natch.] My personal favourite had to be this one, which seems to suggest that anyone who votes for John Kerry wants to get ripped apart by wolves...Now the mid-term elections have passed and George W. Bush is officially a lame duck president, the race is on for both parties to select who will be nominated as his successor. Hillary Clinton is gearing up for the fight of her life, while charismatic rising star Barack Obama looks like giving the former First Lady a run for her money. Is America ready to elect a woman or a mixed race candidate president? Time will tell.

Amazingly, the first attack ads of the 2008 campaign have been scheduled to air in New Hampshire and Iowa, two of the key states whose early results in primary season can launch or kill a prospective candidate's chances. The person under attack is Republican John McCain, a Vietnam veteran who's supporting President Bush's plan to put more troops into Iraq. That's getting McCain tagged, more than a year before the first primary and nearly two years out from the presidential elections. Let the games begin...


Simon said...

McCain is so screwed already, never mind that he's an old man and not in good health.
The Republican Champion has yet to emerge.

merjoem32 said...

I used to like McCain but I've changed my mind now that he has gone senile. It's still more a year away but I'm already excited for the 2008 presidential race.