First things first: Happy New Year!
I love New Year’s Day. There’s nothing like a bright, shiny opportunity to try it all again–a new year, ready for us to make our mark on it. Course, its the same old us, bringing our same old stuff into it, but its still nice–its open and full of possibilities.
Now back to politics…
Can you believe that after two years of campaign this and campaign that, the Iowa caucuses are in two days? Finally, we will see some real action! And here’s what I expect to happen–not much. Honestly, the race is tight, but I don’t think there’s going to be some major upset. I think Hillary and Obama will both do well, as expected. I think the surprise to most people (not the pundits or those paying attention, but to most of America) will be how well John Edwards does. He is very close, within the margin of error in most polls, to Hillary and Obama, and is tops of the second vote polls. (In case you didn’t know, in Iowa, if your candidate doesn’t get 15% of the vote in your location, you get to vote again–and in poll after poll, Edwards is the top second choice.) The only surprise I halfway expect to see, is Bill Richardson might do better than predicted–but I’m not holding my breath.
But here’s what I’m here today to say: Who’s got the hope?
In the United States, we are desperate for a uniter, for someone to cast a common vision of our great land, someone who can sell us what America can be, and help us move towards that goal. We have leaders like that about every 20-30 years. They come into power during a tumultuous time, facing economic and political division, and generally a war of some sort–either ongoing or concluding. FDR, Kennedy, Reagan all come to mind. They may not have come into office in a landslide, but they certainly cast that vision while in office, and the nation rallied around it.
So who is it? We do have Hope candidates out there–Obama, Edwards, Huckabee, McCain, Richardson. They all have their new ideas and visions for America. Very different, each vision, but a Hope vision nonetheless. Do any of them stand a chance? And will they be able to spread the net far enough to bring America together again?