We reflect more on the year that was by looking at the story of a comedian, a fundamentalist, a self-proclaimed martyr, a retired soldier, grassroots campaigns, and some audacious hope.
This year holds some very exciting promise. After putting up with a scary, war-mongering, constitution-defying, oil-greedy establishment south of the border, there is finally a chance for it to change.
While the election is still a solid 11 months away, there has been no shortage of drama already in this very wide-open race. At the start of the year, it seemed destined to be a Hilary Clinton against either John McCain or Rudy Guiliani, now a short while later and that remains in question.
On the Democratic side of things, we have seen the rapid rise of Barack Obama and a fairly strong surge by John Edwards. At the end of the day though, I think that Obama really is going to be the one to pull ahead. The man is just too good of a speaker, and is putting forward too strong of a message to be ignored. There is a certain appeal in an Obama-Edwards ticket, if for nothing else than potential sitcom moments that a black guy and southerner tandem possess. Saturday Night Live would have a field day with those two running together.
Of course, joining the Democratic candidates was comedian Stephen Colbert, whose satirical campaign came very close to reality. He planned on running in his home state of South Carolina, and garnered incredible support, including the fastest growing Facebook group in history. However, the South Carolina Democratic executive council voted against his nomination. It's too bad, because him running could have made things very, very interesting.
On the Republican end there seems to be a far more open field. There is once again the man that was blatantly robbed in 2000, John McCain, who is joined by former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani, and a cast of relative new comers to the world's eye. With the "Back to Basics" message coming from Senator Ron Paul that seems to be gathering a very large grassroots movement, and the "Trust in God" message coming from Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, being the two most interesting.
Huckabee seems to be gathering all sorts of momentum, especially among the evangelical-right that helped put Bush into power. I would not at all be surprised to see a Huckabee-Obama showdown, in a truly monumental and epic presidential race. We would see the first African-American candidate, promising change, go up against a Southern Minister who has associated homosexuality with necrophilia at one point. Make no mistake about it, this is a very important year for the course of the United States, and therefore the world. We should have a lot more to reflect on in one year's time.
Until next time,