Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Not live-blogging the GOP Reagan Library debate
Talk amongst yourselves

Your blogstress wishes she wasn't quite so burnt out on live-blogging debates, of which there are far too many this election cycle. (There are some words I never thought I'd hear myself say.) Tonight's GOP debate features the bizarre spectacle of the four remaining Republican presidential candidates sitting at a dais in front of the "Air Force One" plane that went out of service with Reagan, being asked questions not simply by pop-culture newsman Anderson Cooper, but actual newspaper reporters, as well.

But given the general lack of charisma among the Republican candidates, and the fact that this is the umpteenth debate in as many weeks, your écrivaine asks her readers to fill her in in the morning. The debate takes place, even as she types, on CNN.

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White guy gone: John Edwards withdraws from presidential race

The Democratic campaign for the presidential nomination will endure a sad moment this afternoon, when John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, is expected to announce his withdrawal from the race. Yes, your blogstress has been rather hard on Edwards, having a natural aversion to his sometimes transparent displays of opportunism, particularly his attempt to capitalize on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan and his sexist response to Hillary Clinton's verklemptitude in New Hampshire.

But Edwards has brought something quite real to the Democratic debate, and without him, it's doubtful that the role of corporations in creating the hard times experienced today by so many Americans would have ever been brought to the fore. I am also moved that Edwards is returning to New Orleans to make his 1:00 announcement today; it was from that neglected and abused city that he launched his presidential bid.

Of course, the prognosticators are already placing bets on whom the Edwards withdrawal most benefits, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. My guess is that, if anybody gets a bump from the reduction to a two-candidate race, it's more likely to be Obama. Yet with ideology having so little to do with how people will choose their primary candidate, it's difficult to know.

In South Carolina, Edwards won the white, male vote, with some help from Bill Clinton, who made the campaign more racialized than it had already been. Where, now, go all of those white guys who are loath to vote for either a woman or a black man? You know, those good, liberal guys who keep whispering in my ear that they just don't think "America" is ready for a black or a woman as commander-in-chief. Will they transcend themselves, and stay with the party? Or stray to the other side, vote against their own interests, just to cast a ballot for someone who looks like themselves? Stay tuned, mes amis.

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