About a month ago I was making bold predictions about the interesting race for the nomination of both Democratic and Republican Party this American primary season.
Well, interesting the race remains but it looks as though my predictions have gone to pot! At that time I was envisioning a fairly competitive but straightforward race for the Democratic nomination, and a hugely complex and anything but straightforward Republican nomination.
Well, since then John Edwards has dropped out of the running for the Democrats and leaves it as a straight two way fight between Clinton and Obama. This one is hugely tight following yesterday's mammoth number of Primary contests (so called Super Tuesday, or Super-duper Tuesday if the fancy takes you). Currently Hillary Clinton has secured 760 of the 2025 required delegates for the Democratic National Convention to win the nomination. Barack Obama is not far behind though with 692.
I would imagine that it will be a bit clearer as to who the nominee will be as we enter the actual convention but it looks very likely that the race will go to the wire.
A month ago, I predicted that the Republican contest would be even more fascinating than that of the Democrats'. My thinking then was that the four main contenders at the time would appeal to such different constituencies (in a geographical; ideological and social context) that none may secure the requisite number of delegates to automatically secure their party's nomination. However, exit stage left (or right I suppose given that this is the Republicans I refer to) Rudolph Giuliani with a big endorsement of John McCain, and McCain has won New York and New Jersey along with California and Illinois. He now has 570 delegates of the 1191 needed to win the nomination.
My predictions of an old style smoke filled room convention for the Grand Old Party have themselves gone up in smoke. Shows what I know.
Anyway, many other bloggers have declared their preference of candidate. At this stage I err towards Barack Obama given what he has said about engagement with the rest of the world, if he stays true to his word and wins the Presidency then I would imagine that we would see a far more progressive foreign policy. His domestic policy seems much of a muchness as far as I can make out, and I do wonder when all his fairly embryonic and vague talk of being for "change" (although no bad thing in the context of the current incumbent's track record) might start to provoke a more rigorous analysis of what he is all about, but he just about gets my endorsement out of the likely front runners. It must be said though that I am not really convinced of the progressive nature of any of the likely candidates, and do feel that the American two party system is a bit of a Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee situation.
Shame that there isn't a latter day RFK in the running. That might just have secured a bit more fulsome praise from these quarters.