by Mel Griffith
The 2008 presidential campaign is well under way and by next February it will be narrowed down to two candidates. So far, neither party seems to have come up with anybody too attractive. On the Democrat side, Hillary offers us four more years of the Clintons. Obama offers less than two years experience at the national level and no experience running a state or anything else. It is often pointed out that Lincoln was from the same state and didn't have much experience either. While Lincoln gets high marks for winning the Civil War, it is likely that a more experienced and more patient president wouldn't have gotten us into the Civil War in the first place. Previous presidents managed to keep tensions under control and differences between the North and South might well have been settled by discussion without the loss of 600,000 people. John Edwards seems mostly interested in boosting that he can lose the Iraq war faster than anyone else. All the Democrat candidates have sure-fire formulas for losing the war as fast as possible.
So, far, the Republicans haven't come up with any candidates to get exited about. McCain was supposed to be the easy winner but instead seems to be fading away. People appear concerned that McCain seems to wake up in a new world every morning and nobody knows what he will do tomorrow. Unpredictability is not a good trait in a president. Guliani looks like a good candidate for the Democrat nomination who somehow filed in the wrong party. Anybody who votes for a gun control fanatic like him because he is a "law and order" candidate needs to remember Franklin's advice that those who would give up liberty for security deserve neither. Romney has at least shown the ability to stay married for a while, but most of us in the South think that there has to be something wrong with anybody who can get elected to anything in Massachusetts.
Hopefully, there is still time for some better prospects to enter the race. Gingrich seems to be about the smartest politician around, but has been badly damaged by a lack of discipline in his personal life. The Republican party's best hope may well be to persuade Fred Thompson to get into the race. He is a more attractive candidate than anybody who's running on either side so far.