By Alan Caruba
Day after day and hour after hour the pundits on the cable news channels and elsewhere keep telling me that Sen. Obama has the nomination sewed up and should be printing new business cards that say, “President of the United States.” Meanwhile, Sen. Clinton keeps digging herself a deeper hole in a seemingly hopeless effort to seize the nomination from this Illinois upstart.
The whole purpose of a campaign is to let the voters take the measure of the candidates and get to know them. They are grueling affairs that test the physical and mental ability of the candidates to meet the great challenge of the presidency. They should be. It’s a job of such immense responsibility that only someone with a grasp of history and an iron will should occupy the Oval Office.
Despite all the hours of analysis, the speeches, the campaign strategists, the fund raising, the instant responses back and forth, I have concluded that (1) Obama will ultimately be the Democrat Party candidate and (2) he will lose to the utter amazement of those who think they know more about politics than the American people.
I was reminded of Harry Truman who ran for the presidency after having had to take over when Franklin D. Roosevelt died. When he ran on his own, no one thought he had a chance against Tom Dewey, the Republican candidate. No one except the voters who gave him a resounding victory. By the time he left office, Truman’s popularity rating was as low as that of the current holder of the job, but history would be his vindication.
Truman had set in motion the machinery to wage the Cold War against the Soviets, had saved Europe from their domination with the Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift. He fought the Korean War to a stalemate that saved South Korea without setting off a third world war. He desegregated the armed forces.
No one would have guessed Truman would have been capable of turning in such an excellent job, even if it often was not appreciated at the time. Somehow, though, the American people had the collective wisdom to take his measure and elect him.
I don’t think either of the Democrat candidates can even stand in Truman’s shadow.
Sen. Obama is an empty suit. He’s too slick, too packaged, and far too vague when it comes to offering a vision of the future that does not contain the seeds of appeasement, defeat, and withdrawal from the big stage of history. Sen. Clinton is just too obsessed with power to be trusted with it.
That leaves the Republican candidate, John McCain. I can guarantee you one thing. In November 2008 Republicans will not stay home on Election Day. They may not love John McCain, but they love their nation too much to take any chances about the future.