It's been well noted on different blogs how yesterday’s early edition newspapers made complete arseheads of themselves by writing up their New Hampshire Primary analysis on the assumption that Obama was going to win. There is little better than mild crowing after all, and the Democrat race is causing so much more attention what with its 'first woman president vs first black president' potential. I guess it's worth noting at this point also that the assumption is that the Democrats are going to win the White House by the soothsaying media.
This may indeed turn out to be true, but what I find myself wondering is at what cost internally for the Democrats might that happen? I may be wrong on this but the race to be in the race for the White House has been possibly the longest in history, and during that time, at least on the Democrat side, what we now appear to have is not so much a race for the nomination but a battle of identity politics in the political home of identity politics. It's gender versus race and I find myself asking what impact that battle could have on the unity of the Democratic Party, and if any impact could be detrimental to them and exploitable by their political opponents?
We're already seeing the issues being pitched against each other by the different briefer in the campaign teams. Obama aides have been wondering if the so-called Bradley Effect whereby voters tell pollsters they'll vote for the black guy and then go for old whitey in private. Meanwhile the Clinton team and the lady herself have made no bones about suggesting that when she has done less well expected in debates and polls it is because of the wife-beating misogynistic bastards. Whichever one prevails through the primaries the seeds are already being sewn for internal discontent.
Putting aside the evident spotlight this places on the virtue and near angelic perception of identity politics from the Left, might this bode poorly for the Democrats when it comes to Republican attacks? If the primaries produce accusations back and forth on gender and race then political opponents would be mad to not exploit them and highlight disunity amongst the party, whilst the Presidential candidate talks about uniting the nation around a measure of some sort of change. Then again does it have to be like that or will it?
I am no expert on how these primaries work, but if ever there was a case for a party to have a so-called 'unity candidate' then now would be as good a time as any wouldn't it? Democrat control on Capitol Hill is already starting to create rumblings after all, and a bitter struggle between gender and race could extenuate those rumblings further and cause more widespread damage than many think. So I ask this question to any specialists in American politics. Has there ever been a precedent for a third candidate to rise through the middle? And is John Edwards a man that could do that?
I always remember a truism that the Democrats never win the White House unless the candidate is southerner. With the Carolina's, Florida, and all those other southern states still go could there be scope for even more inaccurate predictions and surprises yet to come?