Saturday, November 10, 2007

Front Runners Hear Footsteps

Weeks before primary voting in The Election That Looked Like It Would Never Come, front runners in both parties are losing some of their luster.

Yesterday's indictment of Bernard Kerik may finally slow down Giuliani's broken-field running toward the Republican nomination. He won't swivel-hip away as effortlessly from the corruption of his post-9/11 business partner as he has from abortion, gun control, gay rights and multiple marriages. Conservatives, burned by so many crooks in Congress, may balk at iffy integrity in the White House.

In Iowa, Rudy's woes give new hope to Mitt and his money, Fred Thompson's sleepy stumping, John ("I was right about Iraq") McCain, and there could a perfect storm brewing for Mike Huckabee, moving up in the polls and fund-raising, who's getting praise from Bush's former favorite speech writer and is about to reel in his first Religious Right whale, James Dobson.

To the left, Barack Obama has finally found his campaign voice, competitive if not combative, and Hillary Clinton's national lead is narrowing. New Hampshire polls next week will show a closer race and in Iowa, it's a tight three-way with John Edwards, who could now claim residence there, not far behind.

Signs of Clinton concern abound: being caught planting questions, setting up still another web site to counter attacks, the former President trying to deflect blame for the 1993 health fiasco away from his First Lady.

His emergence was prompted by Obama's needle that "part of the record she’s running on is having worked on health care" while also suggesting "that somehow she doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that it didn’t work.”

Not exactly brass knuckles, but Obama is beginning to blend the politics of hope with some nimble in-fighting, pointing out that "to say there are no disagreements and that we’re all holding hands and singing ‘Kumbaya’ is obviously not what I had in mind and not how I function. And anybody who thinks I have hasn’t been paying attention.”

Voters are beginning to pay attention. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Could be wrong, but what I think we are seeing is the dismantling of the Giuliani candidacy. Romney is the likely choice for the Republicans and they've got plenty of time to repackage him as an affable, competent centrist.

Democrats should be very worried about a Clinton-Romney contest. Romney would likely win Michigan and Ohio.