The Bhutto assassination and presidential politics

There is this interesting analysis about the possible effects of the Bhutto assassination on the primaries in today’s Wall Street Journal:

Assassination Reverberates
Through U.S. Presidential Race
December 28, 2007; Page A10
The assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, dramatizing the violent unpredictability of world events, reverberated through tight races for the U.S. presidential nomination in both parties and potentially gives an edge to candidates boasting of experience over those promising change.

All year, voters have indicated they are weighing the need for seasoned leaders against their desire to shake up Washington. Recent polls had shown a tilt toward change. On the Democratic side, a shift now — just as some voters are making up their minds — could benefit New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, whose campaign since January has promoted her “strength and experience.” And that would come at the expense of chief rival Barack Obama, the freshman Illinois senator who threatens her in both Iowa’s Jan. 3 caucuses and New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary five days later.

Among Republicans, the news played to the strengths of Arizona Sen. John McCain, long identified with national-security issues, just as the onetime front-runner was showing signs of a comeback. It could also boost the flagging candidacy of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has parlayed his celebrity as a leader after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks into a campaign focused on antiterrorism.

I think the analysis is probably correct. Close your eyes, imagine an international crisis and then think – who do you want to be president when the crisis occurs – if you had to choose between Obama, Edwards or Clinton?

I think it is clearly Clinton.

I would actually like to see a Clinton / McCain race in 2008. I think they are both civil colleagues who would campaign, for the most part, on issues.

I imagine them going around the country holding a series of civil debates on policies and issues, not on personalities.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.