With the withdrawals of Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards yesterday, the American presidential primary of 2008 enters its most dramatic phase. There has literally never been one like this, with its accelerated schedule leading up to Super Tuesday and its four candidate, any one of whom could take his or her respective party's nomination.
Living in New Jersey, one of the Super Tuesday states, I am now watching campaign commercials. In the first I've seen (from the Obama and Hillary camps), Obama wins hands down--it's a powerful series of shots featuring clips from his impassioned speeches, focusing on the economy, whereas Hillary's shows rather uninspired shots of the candidate with superimposed quotes from the NY Times' endorsement of her, as if she need not speak for herself. Fairly boring stuff, although I hear there is a forthcoming spot which shows a skydiver in free fall (our poor economy) to be halted at the last moment by a parachute.
What can you say about our lost brethren, Rudy and John? Rudy, as far as I was concerned, was far more interesting to watch. His kids hated him, too many wives, really bad campaign strategy, that weird habit of biting his lips--there has never been a New York mayor as president (although Teddy Roosevelt was a former New York police commissioner) and I guess people weren't going to start now with Rudy. As for John Edwards? While he had his loyal supporters, Obama really stole any populist thunder he might have been able to unleash. I am sorry we will now not hear the end of the Edwards Love Child saga, but on the other hand, with Hillary and Obama, Mitt and John, the dirty tricks are sure to be flying fast and furious.