Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav is the name that really shakes things up

The “bounce” the Democratic National Convention brought was in the single digits. The Real Clear Politics poll average gives a 3.9% lead nationally to Obama. No poll conducted and released shows him ahead by double digits.

In other words, the Denver meeting was a political failure. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, there is not way to get around the history and the numbers. With the opposition to the sitting President, the state of affairs in the nation and the positive convention coverage, a strong campaign would be up by 15 or 20 points.

Indeed, the Obama Biden ticket has the weakest showing of any Democratic ticket against a Republican ticket of an outgoing Republican President in the history of polling. Obama-Biden can still win. However, the history and the numbers tell us what we at Voting under the Influence saw as the convention unfolded, the Democratic National Convention was a bust.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that stated, “Jesus is a Democrat.” I do not believe that the good Lord would define Himself politically; however, there are things outside of the human control that might aide the Democrats. Hurricane Gustav appears headed for the Louisiana coast. If that hurricane hits, it will interrupt the normal ebb and flow of the Republican National Convention. The normal ebb and flow would likely put the race back into a sort of tied status. The Gustav factor is a wildcard politically. It could help or hurt.

Logic dictates some reactions to Gustav. President Bush should not go to the convention. He should be on the job, perhaps heading operations as close to the action as possible. Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has already said he is not going to Minnesota, as he should not. McCain and Palin should be ready to go to the region and offer whatever assistance their clout can give. Obama and Biden should be prepared to do the same.

After all, Senator Obama, who was in the United States Senate when Katrina hit, was not able to use his all powerful political status he touts to bring people together to get more done for New Orleans. It is easy to miss that fact. It is easy to blame President Bush. And, believe me, Bush did mess the response to Katrina up. But, Obama was no champion of New Orleans during those dark days in American history. Senator Obama’s record on that matter is dead silent.

Now, Gustav appears. I pray it turns into a tropical low and brings just a little rain. However, if Gustav packs the predicted punch, it will be a test of the political leadership of the United States on both sides of aisle. I hope President Bush has the good sense to be President first and politician second and worry about the hurricane more than the convention. I also hope and pray that Obama and Biden forego the political cheap shots and use their clout in the United States Senate to help bring about immediate assistance. I hope and pray McCain and Palin do the same. Ideally, seeing the “Big Four” together at one venue announcing unity and support to help the region would go a long way in healing the nation.

While we disagree strongly on this and that issue, there seems to be one issue all of us agree upon. When our fellow citizens are harmed by a natural disaster, they need our help. For whatever reason, the good folks of Louisiana again seem to need our prayers and our help. It appears Gustav can not be bought off. He can not be promised some political favor or office. He is just out to kick our fellow citizens.

Both Obama and McCain talk about how they want to be above the normal politics. Now is their chance. They both can use whatever influence that they have to get behind helping the people of Louisiana and openly supporting the President, if the President removes himself from the politics of the situation and just acts as a President should.

Looking at the raw politics, if Gustav hits hard, and the President does his job and stays home and runs his job, the campaign that does not join him in helping the people of Louisiana will lose come November. And, frankly, that campaign should. There are some things that government does that are just not political. The test of who puts country first is at hand.

1 comment:

  1. I think we are at a point where the country is so politically polarized that double digit leads in polling are going to be a rarity.