Back in 1996 when Bill Clinton was riding on a high popularity rating Republicans nominated Bob Dole and Bob Dole elected Jack Kemp to become his VP.
In 2008 the air somehow feels the same. In 1996 it was pretty obvious that Clinton would be re-elected and no one wanted to seriously challenge him. So Republicans threw Dole a bone to get rid of him and send him off to retirement at the same time. Kill two birds with one stone.
Dole who realized his huge underdog status and was too old to put up a good campaign selected Jack Kemp to pump up the energy. His platform was based on telling people don’t elect Clintons because you’d have 4 more years of scandals.
Well we had 4 more years of scandals that made history! How fun was that? World was at peace, economy was good and news was “All Monica ALL the time”! We went through impeachment of a President for only the 2nd time in history. The basis of the kangaroo court was lying about oral sex.
The aftermath was funnier. Republicans leaders fell one by one for worse sexual escapades than Clinton’s staining a dress. They all apologized and resigned in disgrace. To top it all off Bob Dole became the spokesman for Viagra!
Now 12 years later many of the talking heads and pundits are the ones who made their careers because of Clinton. Most people in Fox News and MSNBC and the likes of Ann Coulter became famous during the “All Monica ALL the time” period. Maybe you recognize some of them.
Today not only Republicans have a less than popular president but his approval rating is only second to none other than Nixon who resigned the office! So the atmosphere is the same as in 1996. Democrats are in a good position and Republicans found someone to throw another bone to and send off to retirement.
McCain just like Dole doesn’t have the stamina to run another campaign so he elects Palin to energize the crowds. Palin herself can be a subject of another article all by itself. The inexperience, the “populist” message that they keep pushing, the Miss America aspirations and pot calling kettle black, all and all a very intriguing strategy. By the way, Ahmadinejad portrayed himself as a “populist” and we all know what happened next. If you look back many of those who portray themselves a “populist” turn out the opposite. Bush himself is another example with his cowboy boots and “guy you like to have a beer with” message.
McCain/Palin’s message is Obama’s inexperience like Dole/Kemp’s message was four more years of scandals. Since we replaced “fun” with “scandals” we can easily replace “change” with “inexperience” and hope for 4 good years of Obama.
The Obama/Biden ticket is positioned well but the Republican’s machine is a well oiled machine that has come through 2 close and controversial races in 2000 and 2004.
Obama/Biden ticket needs to stay on message and not get distracted. If controversies pop up take advantage of it like Bill Clinton did. Use it to your advantage but stay on course. Don’t be afraid and don’t rock the boat. If at all possible don’t engage in pissing contests like Kerry did when he was being swift-boated. He kept saying he doesn’t need lectures on bravery from someone who dodged the draft.
McCain/Palin should hope for a miracle but plan for a retirement party into the sunset. Maybe in Key West with margarita songs. If for some freak of nature they win I just hope they realize it was an upset and don’t say what Bush said when he threatened people by saying he had earned political capital by winning the election and he intends to use it.