In the already delicate presidential election, race has truly worn many masks from the start. Bloggers and the media alike have thrown out suggestions of the race card, and the issue has now become the latest talking point among the press. 

But truly what amount of votes will actually swing because of a candidate’s race?

I think the reason that this question is so debated is because there is truly no answer. In an election that I still stress is different from every other, many issues will not truly be answered with previous election trends, but to correctly answer the race question would be essentially impossible. 

Why? After a comfortable dinner at home, a somewhat race affected voter leaning Obama most likely will answer his phone to a pollster and tell him that he will be voting Obama come November 4th. 

But in a sense this means less than what it its importance is perceived. After a half-hour drive to the polls, that same man will stand in front of the ballot and thousands of questions will be screaming at him, one being race.

Am I saying that this man won’t vote Obama because he is African American?

No, I am essentially saying that not a single pundit predicting race’s affect in this election will be looking over the voting booth at that man’s vote, nor will that pundit know what that man was originally going to vote if race was not the problem.

But what we can debate is the volume of people who may be swung because of race, which the answer being completely not enough. In my opinion, the amount of people who will vote McCain because Obama is African-American will be close to the amount of people who vote Obama because he is African-American. 

So again I’ll open this up to the commenters with the obvious question: What importance does race truly hold?

Senator Barack Obama’s pick for Vice Presidency has been a rare case — swaying everyone’s opinion from your teenage daughter to the head of the New York times. And in a presidential race that is one for the history books from the candidates to the voters, what better time to keep the suspense high? So I guess the questions are who and why — but now its “when?”

Obama has left the country guessing left and right, but this time — the press has nowhere to go. Obama has been in a dark room with six top advisers, which means two things: a well thought out final decision — and no leaks. Although many news segments and articles have been written about possible choices, they have no possible leads and no one to get information to. So in the end, even with their top politics men analyzing anything everything and anything that could be going on in that room, they really don’t have a clue about who Obama will actually pick. It could be anyone from Vladimir Putin to Rihanna, as Paris Hilton put it. 

So with that said, who Obama does pick is not only a very important decision for his long term campaign, but will make a huge point to the public and sadly, race will be a factor. Obama’s best reception publicly as far as race, however, will probably a white male. As Hillary Clinton best put it during one of the primary debates: “there’s me {in other words a woman}, there’s Obama {in other words a black man} and then there’s John.” Referring here to John Edwards, her point was that with Obama and her breaking racial and gender barriers, John Edwards just looked like a stereotypical politician – a rich white male. And at this time in America, that’s what it can come down to — what race or sex you are as opposed to your actual political policies. 

His pick also shows to the more educated Americans what kind of policies he likes and what kind of politician he enjoys working with. He/she pick will show people who he thinks is a true leader and what he thinks his Vice President (lets call him/her “x”) has strengths and weaknesses. And that’s one of the reasons that picking Hilary Clinton would be complete suicide. In the rare case that Obama does pick Clinton as his running mate, he will get pounded by the press and the public. Why? Although Clinton shares many of the same opinions as Obama, she has not only fiercely attacked Obama throughout her campaign and decided to not completely disable her campaign after losing, she has attempted (and mostly failed) to cut Obama down in any possible way, and that mostly doesn’t involve politics. 

So who does this leave as the perfect running mate. In my case, John Edwards — but it would take more than just a flawless PR stunt to get his personal problems out of the way. And although what he did was horrible, I think he would be the perfect “x” for Obama — a publicly nice, white male that doubles as a great politician. Plus, he hasn’t gotten on anyone’s nerves yet. But since he is most definitely done (in the rare occasion he comes back it will be years), Obama is digging deep into his list of possible running mates, and the world will keep guessing.

So with no clues, the last thing to guess would be from a tactical point of view. During John F. Kennedy’s campaign, he chose (under great controversy) Lyndon Johnson, who wasn’t exactly his biggest fan or vice versa. One of the bigger reasons of choosing him was because JFK was not very popular in the South — and in the end — Johnson was. Obama could use this tactic for his advantage in his long struggle to steal some (bright) red states. Although it probably wouldn’t be in Obama’s best interest to shoot for Mike Gravel as VP, it would be almost monumental for the general elections to find someone with good connections to the midwest, preferably Ohio, who as we know literately picks the eventual president. So who has connections there? Well, there’s Ted Strickland…and not much else. As far as Ohio their aren’t many people over in the first door on the left, and Ted Strickland as governor is the best bet for Obama there.

But no news of anything in that category has popped up, we really have no leads in any direction. And with the democratic convention coming up, all we can guess all we want but — unless some sort of leak or lead surfaces — we’ll just have to wait and see. 

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In politics, anything can happen, but it relies on the press to take it as far as they want it. John Edwards has certainly caused a national stir after admitting an affair to filmmaker Rielle Hunter, 42, but is it really in our hands to decide his political fate?  The press was certainly responsible for other downfalls of presidential hopefuls, including presidents themselves, and this is no exception. So what is going to happen?

In my opinion a blow like this could send him either to Kansas or Washington DC. If Barack Obama has any brains in his head, he’ll think long and hard about the possibility of giving Edwards a campaign spot. Not that he wouldn’t make good decisions, but it could be political suicide — especially during the aftermath of the Reverent Wright bonanza. The press could eat both of them up, and unless Obama has some sort of master escape route, then this could be a decision that won’t favor Edwards. So I say that his role in this presidential outing is looking pretty grim. 

But then again, things could make turn for the better. The press seems not to remember that John McCain, after spending years in captivity during the Vietnam War, blew off his old wife (who by the way was waiting the entire time for him) so he could run off with Cindy McCain, his current one. At that time he wasn’t campaigning, so it was the perfect time for him to do something like that. And now that “the first door on the right” media seems to adore McCain, they just regard it officially as old news. This was a dodged bullet for McCain and he hasn’t been pestered by it ever since. 

So could Edwards pull off a McCain and get by it? Sadly, I don’t think so. Although the left wing did like him, he still has this chip on his shoulder that no one can ignore. So there are two things he could do. First, he could wait it out, staying away from the media but when forced to comment on his affair, apologizing for it as he has done. This way he can get off the grid, and look at his chances furthermore. And anything can happen during that time. The luckiest he could get would be if the conservatives got some huge dirt on Obama and leaked. That way he could try to hitch a ride on Hillary’s back, where he has more chances. 

The best thing to do for him, in my opinion would be to try to pull a Bill Clinton. No, I’m not calling for him to deny the whole thing but to hold periodic press conferences and apologize profusely, doing everything from bringing in his wife to publicly slapping the girl he cheated on. The press would love it, and if everyone falls for it, he could bounce back. 

The one thing he shouldn’t do would be pointing out what McCain did back in Vietnam. It would first give the press an outlet to shove this whole thing back in his face, saying he’s desperate and doesn’t want to apologize like a third grader after stealing someone’s toys. Although what McCain did was worse, this would be like signing his will and walking the plank. So that’s what I think about this whole thing, hope you guys have some other ideas as well as opinions of you own.

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