What do you know about the race?

Published 11:01 pm Wednesday, January 2, 2008

By Staff
Have you been paying any attention to that presidential race yet?
I wouldn't blame you if you hadn't - although it's hard to get away from on it the national news - because Iowa and New Hampshire have had all the attention so far in this primary season.
But Alabamians get a chance this year to move up their political influence a bit. Our primary is scheduled for Feb. 5 - around the same time as a lot of other states who were looking for more attention from candidates.
It's hard for them to muster much effort for nine electoral votes, apparently. Visits from candidates have been somewhat sporadic this year - I think I remember John McCain and Rudy Giuliani jetting in for a few moments, and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama stopped in Selma last year for the anniversary of the Bloody Sunday civil rights march.
I tend to like election season - not so much the sniping among candidates but the excitement of what will happen next and how that will shape the polls from day to day. It's fun to watch, even if from a distance.
But it's hard for many of us to get excited about those votes in Iowa and New Hampshire, especially when those folks are getting personal door-to-door visits and all we get are satellite images on CNN.
Still, what happens in the coming weeks and months is important for the future of our country - maybe now more than ever.
I hope our country is not as bitterly divided as it has been in the last two elections. Political differences are one thing, but outright animosity is quite another.
Political writer Andrew Sullivan believes that the bitter divide is not so much perpetuated by what voters really believe but by the media's constant insistence on keeping up the fight - especially the fight between Baby Boomers. The difference between the right and the left, he said, is the same as the difference between those who served in Vietnam and those who protested it.
It's an interesting perspective - one I'm not sure I entirely agree with - but considering it certainly puts the past two presidential races in a different light,
I'd like to think we're past those battles now. We have so much to consider in the coming presidential race - especially the war we're in now, not one that was fought decades ago.
In coming days and weeks, we'll try to take a look at the candidates and their views. I don't expect The Brewton Standard will be able to have many sit-down interviews with candidates, but we'll do our best to find out what they stand for and how that affects us as voters.
I encourage anyone who is a supporter of a particular candidate to write letters to the editor (but no form letters, please) or let us know if you're working for a campaign so that we can share with readers how local voters look at this election.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 251-867-4876 or by e-mail at kerry.bean@brewtonstandard.com.