The amnesia has only gotten deeper, with many people again wondering how this happened. This is a reminder.
In the Democratic nomination, the race was between Hillary Clinton vs. Barack Obama. John Edwards was a distant third, so most Democrats (including me) were going to choose between Hillary and Obama. Since Bush had done such a crappy job on the Iraq war and financial crisis, it was obvious early on that the Democratic candidate was likely to win. If anyone doubts this point, I'll write another installment to help you remember.
I'm not absolutely sure how we chose Obama over Hillary. Partly he was the more inspiring speaker. Partly we sensed that the country didn't want alternating dynastic rule: Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton. Partly Obama gave some false dog whistles to the progressive Nader/Kucinich wing and they bought it. Maybe we favored the underdog versus the Clinton machine.
In my case, I honestly hoped for greater bipartisan cooperation, and thought Obama had the better chance at creating it. After all, the Republicans had been so thoroughly investigating Bill and Hillary for 16 years and sharpening their knives, I thought there would no peace if Hillary was in the White House.
- We had to choose between Hillary and Obama.
- Hillary already had a huge target on her back.
- So Democrats picked Obama.