Friday, June 6, 2008


Analysis of a constituency’s voting tendencies has created whole industries paying armies of experts who energize the political machines of organizations whether they are chasing control over local government or national office. National power shift in the White House over the past decade and a half has seen voters react against the sitting President rather than for a new candidate. The vacillation is seeing extreme fluctuation in the current race for the White House, even greater than previous elections. The analysis doesn’t need expensive experts.

Bill Clinton’s dalliance in the oval office was so broadly seen as having tarnished the sanctity of the White House and the Presidency, that its impact fuelled by both his political opponents and the media, stimulated powerful widespread reaction. A simple self serving act destroyed Bill Clinton’s effectiveness and all potential of what could have been a very significant Presidency under what could have arguably been the smartest person to have held the office. The balanced budget, the managed national debt, and the generally healthy economy, were not up for debate or consideration. Bill had been personally inappropriate.

In their reactive state, voters scampered for refuge in the decorum and devout religiosity presented by George Bush and his wife. Bush’s claim of being a bipartisan "uniter" fighting against big government was seen as a bonus but was a secondary consideration. The White House would be restored to its historical glory and returned to being the symbol of the inviolability of American forthrightness, respectability, leadership and power. Pride would be restored, and all stains expunged.

With little consideration for economics, and an evidently firm belief in debt, the Bush White House, with devout Congressional support, made dramatic and sweeping decisions that not only brought a cloud over the Presidency and its image, but braced a financial yoke on America that will take generations to unfasten and release. The White House now finds itself with a resident whose popularity has fallen to the lowest ever recorded for a President. American voters, now more concerned about income inequality, loss of purchasing power, social security, and a retrenched appetite for aggressive international policies, are reacting. They are again making a radical shift in the opposite direction akin to a heave of the pendulum even more dramatic than the momentum that elected George W. Bush.

The size of that oscillation has been evidenced in the turnouts for the Democratic primaries. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama effectively campaigned for representation of their party, energizing and pulling some record numbers well beyond anything the Republican party and John McCain could muster.

In the end, with messages of change, reconciliation and hope, Obama pulled significant numbers of particularly young voters which may well provide Democrats a long term allegiance if he delivers on his promises and Democrats capitalize on that support and build on the movement. Nothing in his background indicates that he is capable of delivering, but his message found resonance in a vast majority of an agitated and dissatisfied voting population. Again we are witnessing a radical voter reaction to a sitting President, which is now favoring a candidate presenting a position and attitude very antipathetic to that currently in power.


Post a Comment