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Hillary & Obama: the guys to watch in 2008

By Al Kags

The views herein are based mostly on instinct but they feel so real that they just may be true. In 2008, America will hold yet another election to present the free world (which one is that?) with a new leader.

Kenya maintains a dubious claim on Obama, left,even as he is set to stand for US presidency.

As the mid-term elections for senate come up, eyes are mainly focused on the 2008 presidential elections and now that it is becoming clear that that election will be epic in its fundamental nature, with a woman or a black man coming into the running and being serious contenders, my gut tells me that that is where we should be focused.

Kenya has an interest in this elections – even though it is a dubious one. One, Barrack Obama (picture left) is the son of a Kenyan emigre and there is the perception (misplaced, I think) that as president, he will favor Kenya in a big way. Also, as part of Africa, the Democrats have progressively been more pro-Africa than the rather concervative republicans.

From the looks of things, the 2008 American elections will be the first since 1928, where non of the candidates is an incumbent either as sitting president or vice president.  The candidates in 1928 were a 54 year old mining engineer named Herbert Hoover (originally surnamed Huber) and 55 year old Alfred Emanuel Smith (originally surnamed Ferrara, picture left). Smith, was the governor of New York, having grown up in the Manhattan, when he was nominated by the Democrats to stand against the Republican Hoover.

Hoover (picture right) won the election to become the 31st president of the United States mainly because the Republicans were associated with the surging economic boom of the time and Smith was a prominent Catholic. Americans had problems with catholics in those days.

Mining engineer Hoover (left) became the 31st President of US because his Democrat opponent, Smith, was a catholic and republicans were associated with the economic boom of the time. 

Not so today. The Republicans are associated with the speedy depletion of several billion dollars in a war that, disguised as a search for weapons of mass destruction and a search for freedom in Arabia, has ended up killing millions of people. The democrats are standing a good chance especially since George W. Bush has had his chance to clean things up.

There certainly will be a lot of activity over the next 2 years and the busiest bodies in my expectation will be on the democrat side, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Senetor of New York and wife of the immediate past president, William Clinton;  Barrack Obama, who everyone feels happy calling the son of a Kenyan and senator of Illinois and on the Republican side, is Rudy Giulianni , the former mayor of New York (the is italicised because he was the leader right at the centre on 9/11) and perhaps – just perhaps Condi Rice or Colin Powell as  running mate.

Of course there’s Senator John McCain, a third generation soldier from Arizona but i see him only as running mate material – not as a line 1 contender.

2008, I expect, is the year that we shall see, one of two groups of people take the US presidency. Either it will be a woman or a non-white. I believe that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the next president of the USA. She’s smart, she’s a she, she’s white and she’s influential. Barrack Obama, a black American man (who are we kidding, Kenya?), is great but he has lower chances than Hillary simply because he’s black. I’m betting that he will be running mate though.

In a TV recent interview, WABC political reporter Dave Evans asked Hillary if she would repeat the pledge she made when she first ran in 2000 that she will complete her full, six-year Senate term. By so doing, Senator Clinton would rule out a run for the White House in 2008 and Clearly, she was not willing to repeat her pledge.

Popular opinion is that Senator Clinton is the Democrat
party nominee of choice for 2008.

 “I can’t make a decision now,” she said. “I have made no decision. But if that concerns any voter, they should factor that into the vote they make.” We can take it for granted now that she is in the running and she is comfortable with not being re-elected into senate.

Obama is now also “officially” in the race – he did not deny the possibility of a presidential bid in a recent TV show where he was publicising his new book, Audacity of Hope.

“I would say I am still at the point where I have not made a decision to pursue higher office, but it is true that I have thought about it over the last several months,” the 45-year-old Democratic senator told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The cautious language not withstanding, these two could have a show-down in the democratic party nominations and/or agree to go it as a team. Either way, Senator Hillary Clinton will be president and Barrack Obama will be close by.

So what does this mean for you and me? Nothing much. 

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