January 11, 2008

Editorial:

In this Presidential race the message is clear: time for a change!

The Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries are over and the Presidential hopefuls are gearing up for the California primary which is a part of Super Tuesday. On Super Tuesday, February 5th, 22 states will hold Democratic primaries. From this, one candidate will emerge with enough delegates to be selected the Democratic Presidential hopeful.

The message that came out of the Iowa caucuses was loud and clear: time for a change! This was exemplified by the extra ordinary turnout and the exuberant participation of youthful caucus attendees. Benefiting from this call for change was Barack Obama who, surprisingly, won in Iowa. The unprecedented surge in new political activism is not good news for the Republican Party. The change that these voters want to see is a change from the present Republican Presidential administration.

Hillary Clinton the frontrunner, until the Iowa caucuses, righted her campaign with a narrow victory in New Hampshire. Ms Clinton is in the enviable position of having to show that as a woman that she can be a strong leader, but it was a show of emotion and vulnerability that changed the fortunes of her campaign. The show of emotion resonated with the woman voter in New Hampshire who came out in force and voted for Ms Clinton.

But it was not only change that brought the voters out, it was also the candidates themselves who have created a sense of hope and an opportunity to do something never done before, elect either a woman or a black man as President. Plus there is the prospect of a Hispanic, Bill Richardson who has inspired many. The surge in activism within the Democratic Party is that the voter has a strong field of exceptional candidates to choose from. The two leading candidates are Senators Hillary Clinton who brings experience and knowledge to the race, and Barack Obama, who is exciting, fresh, and invokes images of Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy. John Edwards who is still in the race also brings experience and enthusiasm to the race. The campaigns of Clinton and Obama have inspired many and attracted unprecedented amounts of money to their campaigns. Each candidate is strong and each is a little different giving the voters a choice, this alone is a change. All too often the choices in candidates have come down to a choice between the lesser of two evils.

If the choice comes down to Clinton, a woman, or Obama, a black man, this would be a historical opportunity for the United States.

The race for delegates now heats up. The campaigns will travel to Nevada and then on to South Caroline where both primaries had been moved up to give the Blacks in South Caroline and the Hispanics in Nevada a bigger voice in the primaries. Nevada’s population of 2.5 million is one-third Hispanic. These early primaries are a counter balance to both Iowa and New Hampshire which consist predominately of white voters.

The Florida primary, which is a key state, will take place January 26 and then it is on to Super Tuesday where the delegate rich states of California, New Jersey, New York, and Illinois along with 18 other states will hold their primaries.

For the first time in a long time this Presidential season is exciting and fun to watch. There is a desire for change, and opportunity to make history, and there are two strong frontrunners in Clinton and Obama, with the outside possibility of Edwards still out there. The next four weeks will be interesting as we watch the candidates and as the voters make their voices heard as to who they would like to see as their Presidential candidate.

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