Hope and Fear

The Economist cover story puts it aptly - Up in the air! After the first rounds, the party nominations for the presidential election in the United States is indeed up in the air.

Mitt Romney can make it, so can Rudi Giuliani. John McCain has won New Hampshire. Mike Huckabee is reminding everyone of another upset candidate - Jimmy Carter - and the 'vocal' majority in the Republican party may still put him up.

On the other side, Hilary Clinton's talk of experience - possibly electoral than administrative - has won New Hampshire. Barak Hussein Obama and his message of hope is still strong, and may carry the day. John Edwards is down, but not out yet.

TIME magazine opines that the nomination can go two different ways - it can either become Clinton vs. Giuliani, which will be in the tradition of post-McCarthy american election, one dominated by the message of fear; Or, it can be a McCain vs. Obama, which will be true Post-Nixon election, one determined by hope, and reconciliation of the deep divide that marked American politics for last thirty years.

This will be the ideal scenario. But reality may be more convoluted. It may be Obama vs. Guliani, putting up hope against fear in the format we have seen so far. Or, it may be Clinton vs. McCain, which will pit a different fear [of a conservative take over] against a different hope [of reconciliation and bi-partisanship].

So, these formats are about the citizens feeling threatened by the world or by themselves. Which makes the primaries mini-statements by themselves. Keep watching.


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