Political pendulum swinging
Published 4:58 am Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Politics is like a pendulum it swings back and forth. It is much like the economy, which is either up or down. In fact, political fortunes are intertwined with the ups and downs of the economy. Indeed they often run concurrently.
A political novice could take a look at the 2008 Presidential race and easily conclude that Barack Obama was elected president because of the economy. Our country is in the worst economic throes since the Great Depression. It began under George W. Bush’s watch. Therefore, only a Democrat could have won the White House.
Obama adroitly outmaneuvered Hillary Clinton in obscure caucuses and wrestled the Democratic nomination from her. After garnering the mantle of Demo-cratic nominee, he was destined to beat whoever Republicans nominated. As the Republican nominee McCain was saddled with the Bush legacy, economy.
There is an old political maxim which often runs true and that is that more people will vote against something or someone than for somebody. The 2008 election was a referendum on George Bush and the economy. It was very similar to the 1932 election when Roosevelt crushed Hoover and the Republican Party in the early days of the Great Depression. The same scenario occurred in 1992 when Bill Clinton upset George Bush, Sr. The economy was in the doldrums and Clinton defeated an incumbent president. The mantra made famous by Clinton’s campaign guru James Carville was, “It’s the economy stupid.”
What about here in Alabama? Our politics is more black and white. White Alabamians tend to vote for Republicans. Black Alabamians tend to vote for Democrats. The Republican generally wins the state because there are more whites than blacks in Alabama. This is unlike the rest of America, which is becoming more like a melting pot. The Hispanic vote is becoming the most pivotal ingredient to victory on the national scene.
We in Alabama have already contributed one pick up to the GOP challenge. Parker Griffith’s switch to the Republican Party during the Christmas holidays gave them an early start on the surge without having to win the seat at the ballot box.
Nationally the tea leaves indicate that there is more intensity and fervor among Republican voters this year. This could spell disaster for the national Democrats. If the Republicans supersede the predicted 20 seat pick up and get to 44 they take control of thE House. The Republicans are also expecting to pick up between 4 to 6 seats in the U.S. Senate.