Junkie convergence

Super Bowl and Super Tuesday -- what a great convergence!  It's a exciting few days for a football and politics junkie like me.

I was born and raised in New York and New Jersey, then lived in Boston for 10 years right out of college.  A Giants/Patriots Super Bowl is like an inconceivable dream, esp. given the frustrating way the Giants have played since Manning took over as starter.  There's a nice piece in this morning's New York Times about moral victories (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/sports/football/03moral.html). I certainly believe that the Giants' loss on the last day of the season to the Patriots was one.  You've got to love the way the Giants approached what others called a meaningless game.

Do I really think that Giants can beat the Patriots this evening?  I'll make a prediction: yes, they will.  And that end of season loss will be a big part of why.  The way the underdog Giants have rallied together to play at this level is one of the best stories in football in years, and it would be so cool to see it end happily with a win tonight.

Indiana doesn't vote 'til May, and this morning's Star confidently tells us that the primary races will be decided by then.  Since everything else that the "experts" have predicted about both parties has been wrong, I fully expect that our state will play a decisive role in determining the nominees of both parties. Super Tuesday was designed to "settle" things, but what I most hope will come out of this is the sense that all those states that advanced primaries in order to be important will find that they lost their opportunity to be relevant later -- when the accumulation of delegates will really matter. So, for example, Huckabee supporters (not that I am one) should be furious that the media are ignoring him, calling this a two-man race. Huckabee may not win, but he's perfectly positioned to be spoiler, kingmaker or vice president.  Or maybe he will find a way to win; I'm not ready to write him off.

Here's what I hope will happen, on Super Tuesday and in the weeks that follow:

  • No matter whom you support or where you live, that you'll go out and vote; this process only works if you do.
  • The process works even better when you vote for the candidate you believe in, rather than the candidate that someone else is telling you is going to win. Given what we've seen so far, why should we ever believe anyone's guess?
  • I expect the races to stay open on both sides. Super Tuesday will not give anyone enough delegates to win, and won't even give anyone enough "momentum" (whatever that is this election cycle) to persuade opponents to drop out right away.
  • Because I don't see Super Tuesday as determining anything, I expect to see the conversation continue, so that we'll keep hearing from the candidates. Rarely do we see such stark differences between candidates and parties -- both in substance and in style. It's good for all of us to have the time to mull this over.  (I don't count anything that happened before about Thanksgiving; the public part of the early process is all just media horse race babble that's invariably wrong, irrelevant and, even destructive to our democracy.)
  • Finally, I expect that when the race comes round to Indiana in May, that we'll still have a race.  Right now, I don't see see that outcomes will be settled anytime soon.  May may be wishful thinking, but I feel sure that we'll still see candidates battling in March in Ohio and maybe even in April in Pennsylvania.

Of course, these predications aren't worth anything.  (The one title I felt absolutely sure would be among the Dilys and Edgar nominees turned out to be missing from both lists -- scroll back through previous blog entries and you'll find it -- and I'm supposed to know something about mysteries! You can see how good I am at making predictions.)

The prediction with an outcome I can control?  I know I'll be watching the game tonight and the votes rolling in on Tuesday with eagerness and excitement.  Great fixes for a junkie like me.