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Butterflies for Barack


It has become a standard political axiom: when it comes to presidential races, Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line. Regardless of whether the voters ultimately confirm this conventional wisdom, there’s one bipartisan truth: breaking up is hard to do.

As a sizeable portion of the nation goes ga-ga over Barack Obama, we should remember that political love affairs seldom last as long as the break-ups. Here in California, we’ve seen just how difficult it can be when a political love-affair turns sour.

Former Governor Gray Davis was popular enough to win two terms in office, but when he cheated on Californians by lying about the extent of the budget crisis in 2002, the Golden State quickly threw the bum out with a special recall election less than a year later.

In dumping Davis, Californians fell hard on the rebound for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, developing what now seems like a co-dependent relationship.

We swept Schwarzenegger into office in 2003, on the hopes that he could shake up the broken system called California government. Two years later, we rejected each of his appeals to fix the state’s problems, which sent his popularity plummeting. While many expected a break-up in 2006, Californians went back to Schwarzenegger to stand by our man for another four years. With another budget crisis looming, and the state looking once again un-governable, many wonder what kind of doormat the California voter must be to have Arnold walking all over them!

Likewise, across the pond, the French are rapidly falling out of love with President Nicolas Sarkozy. Although he was elected less than a year ago, his jet-set lifestyle and very public romance with Italian songstress Carla Bruni, the French have soured the President on their choice, like an uncorked bottle of Bordeaux.

With today’s news, Democratic voters are no doubt having an inner debate between the attractive, smooth-talking Casanova or the practical fiancĂ©e who promises to put food on the table every night. Until Tuesday evening, infatuation had been winning over pragmatism.

But all love affairs must end, and with the candidacy of Barack Obama, the question is whether America breaks up with him before popping the question in November and meeting at the altar on January 20, 2009.

Obamamanics got a taste of what the break-up with Barack could feel like this week, when we learned of secret meetings between the Senator’s advisors and a foreign government.

When reports first trickled out of Canada a week ago saying that Barack Obama’s economic advisor had met with a representative of the Canadian Consulate and said that the Senator was really not a protectionist despite his rhetoric on NAFTA, the campaign denied that such a meeting took place. But when internal memos proved otherwise, the Obama campaign started backtracking. The lies, and the duplicity left many voters feeling scorned and made what should have been a coronation in Texas and Ohio into just another leg in this marathon primary. Kind of like Obama was cheating on his “wife” – the American public.

A marriage is a lifetime commitment, and one not to be taken lightly. Still, in politics and, more importantly governing, four years can seem like a lifetime. The wedding date is set for America’s next love affair. But who will be at the altar? And will we still have butterflies in our stomachs?

Share  Posted by Scott Olin Schmidt at 9:26 AM | Permalink

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