You can't live with a political scientist very long without considering elections. Maureen Dowd today had a op-ed piece where she contended that the contest between Obama and Clinton was most useful in preparing Obama for his ultimate fight with McCain. Defeat Hillary and McCain is a piece of cake (pardon the cliche).
But I wonder if the general election will be about the same set of issues at all. In the primary season, it's been mostly about personality. Whom do you trust? Who has more experience?
I wonder if those old unsettling issues the Dems faced in 2000 and 2004 will rear their ugly heads.
In particular, when did the Republicans begin to own the issue of patriotism? My husband says, "Always," Is this true? Will Americans look at the candidates and say, "Well, I hate the war and the economy stinks, but damn it I'm a patriotic American and I'm voting Republican." Will their priests/ministers remind them about issues such as pro-life and gay marriage, those old bugga boo concerns? What do you think? Can a national candidate triumph over these issues? Can we elect a candidate who triumphs liberal concerns? If Obama is rated as the most liberal Senator in office, can he win?