Long term implications of Election 2008?

Which general postulates do you think will emerge from this election cycle? I’m asking this in IMHO, not GD or the Pit, because I would like to avoid partisan arguments as far as possible. It’s more of a gut-check kind of thing I’m looking for, pure speculation that can’t be proven true until a few more election cycles pass.

I think, for example, that this is the last time the Republican Party will nominate a woman for national office for the remainder of my lifetime (assuming that McCain-Palin loses and that Palin catches some of the blame for that.) I think they’re going to learn the wrong lesson–not that a qualified woman would have attracted votes but that a woman will only attract Republican votes if she’s to the right of the Party in general. I think they’ll say, “Hell, we coulda nominated a hard-right provincial male boob and done at least as well” and never nominate another woman for decades.

I also think Obama (if he wins or loses) is the last black Presidential candidate I’ll see running for a while. If he wins, it’s like, “Okay, we gave you a black president, now shut up about how racist this country is for a while.” If he loses, it’s going to be “This country isn’t ready for a good black candidate running against a weak white man, no matter what the polls and the democratic primaries might say.”

I think there’s not much point to asking this question before the election. The long term implications will be a LOT different depending on who wins.

Should we just go ahead and answer this question on the assumption that Obama will win?

I think whoever wins whether D or R, will lose seats in 2010 and the Presidential elections on 2012. I honestly feel bad for whoever inherits the problems, I think Americans have a bad habit of pushing the problems on whoever is in control at the moment. They do not look into the past to find the root cause, they just want to blame someone in power right now.

So unless by some miracle the economy gets chugging along, it will be a bad time to actually win this election. IMHO of course.

One thing that I don’t think gets enough coverage in elections is what will happen in the court system. The next president could get to nominate anywhere from one to four Supreme Court Justices. I’m basing that off the age of the four oldest justices, with the possibility of retirement, or death. Of course, maybe none go, or more go. Even naming one justice, depending on who is replaced, will have a big impact on the long-term future of our country.

A lot depends on voter turnout on election day–if we see huge numbers of first-time voters, I think that will emphasize that a party needs to play to win–run a candidate people actually are excited about–not just play to not lose, running a candidate that won’t piss off your people and might entice a few of theirs.

If, on the other hand, all the same people show up to vote and all the people that usually stay home, stay home, I think we won’t see charismatic candidates again for a long time. People will go back to playing it safe.

Either way it turns out, any hindrances to other blacks and women running for high office in the future will be so heavily weakened as to no longer be major factors.

There’s just no saying what the effects of the next presidency, as distinct from the election, will be.

One conclusion we can safely draw from this election no matter who wins is that, with the proliferation of user-generated content on the internet, image control is a completely different game from what it was even in 2004. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out as a younger, more internet-savvy generation of politicians starts rising through the ranks.

I think this election cycle has been very interesting as it has pulled back some of the curtains on weaknesses inherent in the US American political system. Of course, I don’t think for a micro-second those weaknesses will get fixed, but I think many people who weren’t aware of them have become grudgingly, uncomfortably aware that something isn’t working right.

Such as?

One of the many things I’m afraid of with a McCain victory is that the slime and negativity and lying will never stop.

One of the many reasons I’m rooting for Obama is that he seems to be trying to keep the campaign clean and focused on issues, and the 527 groups who support him are following his lead.

If Obama wins, and he may, Democrats will have to come up with some new excuses when they fuck up.


I think getting a black candidate this close, getting a female candidate so close to nomination for the presidency, and getting a female candidate this close to the vice-presidency will have knocked down huge barriers, no matter our opinions of any of the above candidates.

That isn’t to say that the problems are over and it’s all sunshine and roses from here on out.

No matter the outcome in the general, the Democratic race showed the importance of the ground game. I think that’s very important for the future. The general might show the same importance, but I think it might be harder to tease out just where the ground game made the most difference.

No matter the outcome of the general, I think websites like www.fivethirtyeight.com are showing interesting and important statistical analysis of various polls, methods, and predictions. For example, they nailed the exact trajectory of the vp and convention bounces despite the unprecedented clustering of those events within a two week window.

The super-saturated nature of the coverage makes me think this is the last time an unknown like Palin (or Quayle) will be chosen as VP. I also think the extremely late vp announcements have been shown not to be effective for either party.

That’s all I can think of that I think has general applicability.

Basically what Shodan said. Also, your system is set up to have the foxes in charge of the henhouse, to the point where you have hardly any hens left now.

If McCain wins, Hillary will be the Democratic Party Nominee in 2012 and will likely win (with an “I told you I was the better choice in '08” campaign). I don’t think McCain would run for re-election because he’ll be old in '12, so it would be a Hillary-Palin matchup in November 2012, unless Palin implodes in the next 48 months.

If Obama wins, he would run for re-election in '12 and probably lose (I don’t think either Presidential choice will survive into a second term, politically). The Republican race could be Romney, Huckabee, and maybe someone new like Mark Sanford from SC. Hillary would probably be washed up by the 2016 election campaigns, which would be her next shot.

McCain has swung right the last six months or so to pander to the Republican Machinery, but if he is elected I don’t think it will be as Right Wing a Presidency as we’ve been suffering through the last eight years.

Well if McCain wins, and he may, we’ll know that we fucked up…and the last 8 years let alone the ten days I have been one kinda long fuckup.

I disagree with pseudotriton’s dual postulates from the OP.
a) I honestly think the Republican Party would get behind any solid Republican candidate who did well in the early primaries (even polling well in the months before Iowa caucuses), if she’s a team player, if she isn’t already branded a RINO or otherwise unpopular within the GOP for nongendered reasons. Kay Bailey Hutchinson perhaps. The folks most likely to squeeze up their faces and say “ewww, a female in office?!” sure aren’t doing so w/regards to Sarah Palin. Would someone like Hutchinson have some extra barriers to hurdle due to Palin’s performance in '08? Possibly. But not to the point of ruling out a successful candidacy.
b) The Dems will get behind any candidate who lights their fires. Or looks highly capable of stomping Republican ass in the election, or both. If Harold Ford Jr., currently not even 40 yet, puts his hat in the ring in 2016 and looks good to Iowa voters, early season bloggers, and the like, I don’t see the Dem mainstream OR the Dem leadership going “Eww, we already had our black fella, we so do not wanna be the Kullered Party”. It would be more like “Obama already proved it doesn’t matter”. Now he might get creamed in the primary season, sure, but it would be more likely due to him being too conservative for the party faithful.

I’m going to take this from the potential losers’ view.

If McCain loses:
I also disagree that if McCain loses, the GOP won’t see a female on their ticket for years to come. What I think will happen is that the RNCC will insist on more say over the vice-presidential candidate. When even commentators for the National Review are starting to question the VP pick, there’s a problem. I think that if McCain loses, the RNCC will blame Palin for dragging the ticket down, and McCain for selecting her. Never mind that it’s likely that completely left to his own devices McCain probably would have picked Romney or Huckabee, both of whom would have at least done better on CBS News. The RNCC will not let a presidential candidate have a choice like that again.

And, honestly, I think that’s all the GOP will take from the election if McCain loses. They’ll chalk his loss up to the bad economy, high gas prices, and Palin. There won’t nearly be the soul-searching that accompanied previous GOP losses. Long-term, though, if the GOP loses the presidential campaign they’re in a heap of trouble. They’ve all but conceded control of the House, and their Senate campaign chair understands that his goal is to ensure that there are at least 40 Republicans in the next Senate. Before the 2006 election the Dems had 45 Senators; now they have an outside chance at 58. The GOP has to put all its chips on the presidential race–losing it is going to hurt.

In a nutshell the GOP is going to have to figure out how to regain its majority base. The Dems now have a wide lead in party registrations, and new registered voters favor them by a wide margin. The GOP hoped that regional demographic changes would help them (their traditional power bases in the Mountains, Plains, and the South are gaining population while the mainly Democratic Northeast is losing population), but it hasn’t worked that way, mainly because migrants are taking their politics with them and tilting some Western states blue. Furthermore, the single-party voters the GOP have counted on in previous elections don’t seem to be making an impact in a campaign where the economy is looming so large.

If McCain loses this year, the 2012 GOP candidate is going to have to present a substantially different platform to attract former Obama voters. That, or the GOP could hope for economic situations simliar to this year’s.

If Obama loses:
It seems certain to me that if Obama loses on Election Tuesday, Hillary’s campaign is going to start Wednesday. I think Hillary will immediately position herself as an unofficial Leader of the Opposition: every real or imagined misstep by McCain/Palin will be attacked, every policy questioned. That doesn’t mean Hillary would be a dead cert for 2012. We’ve already seen that she’s vulnerable to overconfidence. Four years of being the mouthpiece of opposition could be a bad thing…but it also could help Hillary define her position. Headstrong as Hillary is, I think even she could learn from her mistakes this time, especially on campaign infrastructure. The odds would favor a McCain/Clinton race in 2012.

I think if Obama loses, he stays in the Senate and starts to rebuild his political career. I can even see him making another presidential run some years down the road. He’ll quietly build foreign policy credentials in his safe Illinois seat.

The biggest consequence for the Dems if Obama loses I think will be psychological. An outside observer (if one could exist) would look at the last four presidential elections–two near-landslides for the Dems followed by two extremely close wins for the GOP–and wonder why the Dems have been saddled with the “loser” tag. I think some of it is a bit of paranoia (“We would have won but Diebold/the MSM/wedge issues stole it from us”) and a bit is historical (only two Dem presidents since Kennedy). I think another loss would cause the DCCC to make policy changes they don’t need to make. There’s a lot of fear on the Dem side and the consequence of fear is to make bad decisions.

So…since three years ago I predicted McCain to be the GOP candidate and Obama to be the Dem candidate (OK, the VP candidate, but close): here’s a cut-out-and-keep prediction sheet for 2012.

If GOP wins: McCain/Palin vs. Clinton/Richardson

In Dem wins: Obama/Biden vs. Romney/Sanford

I disagree with that. Left to his own devices, McCain would have chosen Lieberman. I think he and Romney despise each other.

Yeah, I suppose you’re right. I still think McCain will still be blamed for picking Palin, rather than the RNCC being blamed for not letting McCain get his initial pick.

Honestly, though, I think Lieberman would have been a disastrous pick as well, without that initial bump in enthusiasm from the conservative side.