Senior Political Analyst
Someone said last week that people expect campaigns to be filled with straight runways but this one is all hairpin curves. That sure seems right.
I just spoke here in Florida to a group of heavy hitters who are supporting a program called Gentlemen Against Domestic Violence -- a very fine
effort. The session was in Naples, one of the most affluent parts of the state where Rudy Giuliani has reportedly raised lots of money.
To my surprise, when I asked for a show of hands, support for Rudy was tepid at best. The room was much more evenly divided between McCain and Romney supporters -- with the sentiment seemingly running toward McCain as the best candidate for the fall. (By the way, they also like their governor, Charlie Crist, as a potential running mate; and they asked about Lieberman and Bloomberg as potential veeps, too). Who would have thunk that after all this effort, Rudy would be starting to drop in a place like Naples? Or that McCain has once again recaptured imaginations?
Meanwhile, I am suprised as well that the Democrats are heading off into treacherous waters over issues of race. Whatever one thinks about the merits of the dispute -- and I do think that Hillary & Co. started it -- the Democrats can ill afford racial divisions.
A friend and top political thinker has argued to me for some years that in New York City politics, the Democrats have a recent pattern of having a strong black and a strong white in their primary fight, that the white candidate often wins but only after a bruising fight that alienates many blacks and then in the general election, lots of blacks sit on their hands -- and a Republican wins. (Or sometimes it can be a Latino vs. an Anglo with similar dangers.)
I am not in a position at the moment to verify every detail but the theory sounds to me exactly right -- and illustrates that the Clinton and Obama campaigns need to bring out a peace pipe soon!