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The Countdown to the Presidency

Like being at a carnival where there is a row of ducks moving along a line and you’re supposed to hit them to win a prize, they all look the same, See how as the Primaries draw closer, everyone starts acting more and more alike.

So I just saw another Democratic debate in September (and oddly enough, Gravel was still there), and even though Hillary Clinton has been pulling a more marked with the more time that passes (thank the Clinton Machine and the charisma and money-pulling power of Bill), no one was willing to start a conflict with her (because it would make anyone else look like they were trying to be petty and take shots at her, so everyone stayed quiet during the debates), and no one showed real differences between anyone else. (Okay, Gravel showed real differences, but for some reason, no one takes him seriously.)
Hillary Clinton has surged ahead among the Democrat candidates, probably with a great deal of help from her charismatic husband, President Bill Clinton. But recent reports have led people to believe that with the power of the Clintons, Hillary has been able to talk extensively to media outlets to alter what is written about her, and even in some cases to not print some articles about her campaign.
Well, she hasn’t talked to anyone from cc&d magazine, so if you want to hear any unaltered truths about Hillary Clinton or the Clinton campaign, let me know.

We haven’t had the Primaries yet (I think as I write this they are 13 weeks away), and as the date draws closer, the candidates are actually seeming more and more similar. For example, although every Democrat says we should not have troops in Iraq at all because Bush sent us to an unwarranted war, the top three Democrats vying for the chance to run for President all agreed (they vocally agreed in the debate, starting with Hillary Clinton, then Barrack Obama, then John Edwards that they could not guarantee if they were elected President to pull all troops out by 2013 (the end of their first term). No Democrat candidate) will mention that although Bush got them into an unwarranted war (that Congress wouldn’t even declare as a war), Bush and the current government racket has actually increased pockets where terrorists can sprout, and America (whether we like sending troops to the other side of the world or not) might have to keep people there to help quell the problems the Bush regime started.
Then again, they mentioned during the debates that Guiliani actually knows nothing about foreign policy at all. . . and then we have to consider that there was just a recent Republican debate, and the 4 major contenders (yes, including Guiliani and Romney) couldn’t even show up for (they said they had prior engagements). Newscasters and commentators on the cable television networks couldn’t help but mention that these same Republican candidates often neglect debates with more African-American or Latino audiences, possibly because they would be forced to talk about points some groups in the country would harangue them on (so avoiding the appearance all together will help them save grace).
Granted, candidates usually say extreme things in vying for the candidacy because they need to get the supports of certain groups that want to hear more extreme stances (like “we need to get out of Iraq,” or “we should increase our prison centers so we can detain all of the terrorists”), but as Primaries draw closer, candidates start to go more to the center, and start sounding more and more alike.
I heard clips with comments from Ron Paul at the Republican debate, and if you ask a lot of Democrats, they appreciate Ron Paul and prefer him as a candidate (and when you hear him in debates, he says a lot of things that bring rousing rounds of applause from the audience. And since Ron Paul used to be a Libertarian candidate (and found that he doesn’t get the attention of the money to seriously run for President, so he decided to run under the Republican ticket), people on both sides appreciate a lot of what he says. At one point he won 5 straw polls and was 2nd in 2 (which isn’t bad). The only thing that really holds him away from the Republican ticket is his stance (whether it is correct or not) is that he feels that the war wasn’t right to get into, and he feels that we should pull all troops out of Iraq (even the Democrats won’t admit to doing that, because pulling everyone out immediately might cause more problems than leaving some troops there).
So I hear the Democrats candidates ripping on certain Republican candidates, and I head Republican pundits ripping on Democrat √ at every turn, but as the countdown to the Primaries draws nearer, the candidates are suddenly starting to sound more mainstream. I think the stances candidates espouse in the beginning of the debates is to partially win over certain groups of people who donate considerably to their potential fundraising efforts. As time wears on, potential candidates realize that the people often understand politics better than they do, and the the easiest answer is usually not the most extreme one.

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Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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