Barack Obama. Orator Laureate of the U.S. Is it any wonder all the kids are doing backflips for him? Hell, I'm old and jaded and he's gotten me to believe.
But even before the goosebumps receded, alarm bells were sounding ever so faintly in the back of my head, and most of them were labeled "McCain/Huckabee '08." Those two camps are increasingly looking past their ideological differences to focus on the one thing they can agree on, which is a deep loathing of Mittens Romney. And that would give us a GOP ticket that would allow a lot of people to hold their noses, gaze fixedly at their candidate, and avert their eyes from his running mate.
Think about it. Huckabee brings in the evangelical vote and might be the widget that justifies a vote in the minds of Republicans who don't think McCain's a true conservative (behold the power of a meme completely in contradiction to the man's actual voting record) but are counting on him working himself into a coronary before the first hundred days are up. And GOPers who aren't necessarily enamored with the idea of a Bible-based state but do salivate at the possibility of a new Hundred Years' War can look past the Baptist minister on the ticket, since, after all, he's only the VP. Add to those Republicans the independents who also don't believe McCain's a true conservative but think that's a positive, and are willing to overlook everything Mike Huckabee has ever said except those bits about us needing to be better stewards of the environment, and we might have trouble.
Who fights this combination the best? I gotta think it's Obama. McCain's "maverick" label, despite being a steaming load of bullshit, will be enough for independent and Democratic voters who hate Clinton to convince themselves that it's really not so bad to vote Republican this time around. And Obama has the unassailable moral standing to confront Bomb Bomb on the current war, and the next war he wants to start, and the several lurking beyond that.
Can Clinton pull it off? I am not optimistic. Could Obama really pull it off against a more bombs-more bibles ticket that just might be the ticket away from guilt the not-ready-yet crowd is secretly pining for? I want him to. I want to jump on that hope train and settle back with a drink and watch the country trundle by on the track back to the America he promises. I don't know if I believe in my fellow voters enough to count on it yet.