July 5, 2012

Public forum

Who will prevail in fall election?

As we try to enjoy our summer and survive this seemingly never-ending heat, most of us have turned a deaf ear to the tit for tat politics of both presidential campaigns and the nonstop hyperbole of the talking heads on the cable networks with their latest “breaking news” stories  and endless polls that are almost meaningless this early in a contest with only two viable candidates. This just in ... Obama and Romney are running  neck and neck throughout the nation in July. What a shocker! This presidential election seems that it will hinge on three things and the rest is just noise meant to distract us long enough to get us to the next commercial.   

Which politcal party will be  best at turning out its base? Can President Obama garner the same enthusiasm as an incumbent as he did as a relatively  new face with little political baggage? Or will Gov. Romney, despite his late conversion from moderate to ultra-conservative, be able to harness the almost pathological hatred the GOP has for his opponent? How well the efforts, these last few years, by the Republicans to suppress the vote in states they control legislatively have worked could be a major factor in deciding this.

The second is who will best be able to condemn the other for our current economic climate. Will Mr. Obama be able to place the blame on the previous administration's incompetence and lay it at the feet of a do-nothing, obstructionist Congress more willing to play partisan games than create jobs? Or will Mr. Romney be able to paint the president as naive about the ways of business with no real plan nor the ability to use the bully pulpit to lead us out of these troubled times?

In the end it could come down to the presidential debates, when both gentlemen finally share the same stage. Who commands the moment the best, has the best body language and  delivers the clearest message. Who will have the most meaningful sound bite, the best zinger or the dreaded gaffe.

Until the cooling winds of fall arrive and our focus returns to deciding our nation's future leader, this presidential election sounds a lot like a swarm of mosquitos at a backyard barbecue. So spray on some deet and enjoy the pulled pork and potato salad as we try and  ignore that whine in the background. 

Ernest Bowman, Kokomo