Barack Obama whipped Hillary Clinton’s ass in Iowa, and Mike Huckabee won on the Republican side, but where do things go from here? The New Hampshire primary is on Tuesday. Obama has a shot at winning that one too, but because of New England’s dearth of zealous evangelical Christians relative to Iowa, Huckabee will be lucky to finish fourth. Huckabee’s New Hampshire strategy this weekend was to fly in for the debate last night, spend some time this morning chatting up the media, then haul his Chuck Norris-loving ass down to South Carolina, where he actually stands a chance of winning later this month.
Huckabee and McCain took turns last night tearing into Romney over his penchant for adjusting his deeply held personal beliefs in order to get the maximum number of votes. I’m not sure what took them so long; if I had been running behind Romney all this time, the fact that he is a grinning mannequin without a single true conviction would have been the biggest plank of my platform. The second biggest would have been that Romney was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and made a billion dollars by buying and selling other people’s companies, without ever actually working a single day in his life. The third would be that what the hell kind of a name is “Mitt,” anyway?
Rudy Giuliani looked like one of the men to beat for the Republican nomination a few months ago. Now, not so much, thanks to his innovative strategy of campaigning in Florida for a year while everyone else covered Iowa and New Hampshire and got all the attention from the media. Giuliani’s going to lose in New Hampshire on Tuesday, and unless he cleans up and wins pretty much everything on Super Duper Tuesday next month, which has been his stated goal all along, he’ll be out of the running before Valentine’s Day. That would be just fine with me. With his shameless and ceaseless exploitation of 9/11, the constant shilling Dennis Miller has done on his behalf on the radio, and that weird thing he does where his eyes get real wide whenever someone asks him a question, Giuliani can’t hit the bricks back to the Bronx fast enough for me.
Every September, as the Major League Baseball season gets close to the end, and speculation about the postseason shifts into overdrive, I take a look at the teams with a shot and I pick my dream World Series, and my worst nightmare World Series. For my ol’ buddy Varjak, that nightmare Series is always Braves vs. Yankees. Who do you root for there? I root for the Braves, since Pap was a Braves fan since the ‘50s, but I digress. My nightmare World Series as far as this election is concerned would be Clinton vs. Romney. Imagine how crushing that match would be to the movement toward progress and change that has mobilized so many thousands of people all over the country who never gave a shit about politics before this year. Clinton vs. Romney would mean that, in the first year in a very long time when they both had a chance at doing something different, Democrats and Republicans each nominated their biggest, richest phonies. Want to drive down voter turnout nationwide in November, donkeys and elephants? Nominate Hillary and Mitt.
As for my dream World Series, I’m not really sure. I’m pulling for Obama, and if he wins the nomination, I’m not sure who the Republicans have who can really compete with him. Obama is smarter, more eloquent, more charming, and more exciting than anyone the Republicans have to offer, and if it’s Obama vs. anyone on the other side, I think it will be a bloodbath. I still prefer McCain to the other guys on the elephant side. I liked him better in 2000, before he rolled over like a drowsy puppy following Bush’s dirty, racist South Carolina campaign, but I’ll still take him over the phony rich guy, the phony preacher, the mayor of 9/11, and Ron Paul, that crazy fuck. McCain is getting old. But he still at least has guts enough to speak out against torturing prisoners of war, contrary to most of his opponents for the nomination, and even though he hasn’t exactly been out waving the rainbow flag, he isn’t as openly hostile toward gay equality as Huckabee. Most important, McCain is the only Republican candidate who is actually likeable. He has a sense of humor and he seems, most of the time, to be an actual human being rather than an automaton, or a ghoul, or Ron Paul.