Saturday, September 29, 2007

What do Americans really want from their new president in 2008?

Whether Hillary or Rudy gets elected next year, the real question is what are Americans really after? Is it all about Iraq and how to get out? Will it be all about healthcare? Does the so-called Global War On Terror matter any more? Will it be all about Iran and who can be tougher about pressing them on their "nuclear ambitions"? Is it all about being more supportive of business as an engine for creating jobs? Is it all about squeezing business to "help" workers? Is it about taxes being too high? Is it about people wanting more and better services from their government? Is it all about personality? Does global warming and the environment really matter?

Sure, there are plenty of right and left-wing issues and causes to "divide" activists, but the real question is what the center 60% of Americans really want.

Really, what do these people really want in their new president?

My suspicion is that people want some kind of "change", and dumping the Republicans in favor of a Democratic president fits that bill. I also suspect that people do not want radical change either. They want "safe" change. They want out of Iraq, but they want it done with care and not precipitously. Obama and Edwards rant that they are much better agents of change than Mrs. Clinton, and that may be what left-wing liberals and activists really do want, but overall Americans appear to want to dial down on "adventure" and anything that smacks of being "radical" and shift a little more towards sanity and something that resembles "calm." Hillary seems more eager to re-focus on domestic issues, while Rudy offers the risk that he is likely to keep the geo-political alarm meter dialed up a bit too high.

In short, the American people want a president who will give them a break, a little bit of old-fashioned peace and quiet.

Hillary seems poised to give Americans the break that they seek and need. Sure other candidates could change their stripes and out-centrist her, but it seems rather unlikely.

Yes, Hillary can be stopped, but none of the candidates seems to have the "right stuff" to do it.

-- Jack Krupansky


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