Monday, January 21, 2008

Horse Analogies (Cont.)

Former Solicitor General Ted Olson, a Rudy Guiliani supporter, has recently "likened the nomination process to a horse race," reports MSNBC.com's Vick Zast -- an analogy that was already noted by this blogger last November. Zast continues:

Olson, of course, has suggested that the former mayor of New York City is mimetic of a talented 3-year-old colt that hasn’t yet competed in a race that suits his running style. Scarborough and many other political observers believe the race goes to the candidates fastest from the starting gate. Recent history, both in politics and horse racing, illustrates that they both can be right.

Zast also explains the similarities of the upcoming primaries to the Derby prep races:

For all practical purposes, the late March/early April stakes races for Kentucky Derby candidates are the same as Super Tuesday is for presidential aspirants. Win or do well in one of them and running in the Derby is a foregone conclusion. Flop at the end, without benefit of a fast start, and you’ll find yourself sitting on the sidelines.

This last set of preps, not the preps we are watching now, determines the Kentucky Derby field. It includes the Florida Derby (Gr.1) on March 29, the Santa Anita Derby (Gr.1) and Wood Memorial (Gr.1) on April 5, and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Gr.1) and Arkansas Derby (Gr.2) on April 12.

So, in other words, all we have seen thus far are caucuses and primaries that don't qualify as real races. What counts are the upcoming contests, such as the Florida Derby (where Giuliani will finally emerge from the starting gate), the California race (where John McCain, Mitt Romney and Giuliani will likely run neck-and-neck), the Arkansas Derby (which is Mike Huckabee's race to lose) . . . okay, the analogy breaks down eventually, but one gets the point.

Speaking of Huckabee (and also as predicted by this blogger last November), he remains well positioned to place at the Republican Convention -- that is, be named the Republican vice presidential nominee ("winning the silver", as Romney might say, but that would be mixing sports metaphors).

Doug Mead, writing at Newsmax.com, touts a potential Romney-Huckabee ticket as "a great team." Mead argues that "[t]here is no way either one will win in a general election without having the other one on the ticket. . . . Neither one can win without the other. They are joined at the hip. " Think of two horses that are both needed to pull the GOP wagon.

It might be worth placing an exacta bet on Romney-Huckabee, who may be ready to reconcile in order to win. But I'm not so confident in that prediction so as to rule out other exotic bets before the Republican nomination is decided.

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