Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bob and Dwight, Hillary and Barack

A sure sign I'm getting old(er)--reminiscing about the past:

There once was a feisty, stubborn President who had decided to engage in an unpopular war against a menace. The war lasted long, longer than it should and it had come to seem that the U.S. couldn't win it. The battle to replace the President featured a stalwart of the opposition party, a Senator who had been tried and tested in national politics for many years, who had proudly carried the party's banner through many political battles. The Senator was the favorite of the party machine, which had watched in disbelief as the party lost the prior election with a disappointing candidate. And the Senator represented a proud political heritage. Two years before the election the Senator was the odds-on favorite to win the nomination and the election.

Then there burst onto the scene a savior, someone with no great experience in party politics, no heritage except as a son of Kansas, someone who was favored by the media because he was so likable, so representative of the best of America, someone who could make us all proud of the opportunities provided by the country.

The two candidates battled tooth and nail through primaries. The Senator was acknowledged to be capable and smart, but no one could really warm up to the person. Not so with the savior, whom no one could dislike. The savior was attacked for insufficient detail in his proposals, for campaigning on likability rather than content. But the attacks availed not, the two went into the convention virtually tied. A battle over which delegates to seat settled the matter, and Dwight David Eisenhower defeated Robert Taft and went on to win the Presidency.

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