Primary campaign analysis

/ 8 June 2008

I’m sure there will be many analyses of the primaries as we go forward from here into the general election, but here’s an analysis that I find very credible. And I have to admit to a bit of emotion at its conclusion:

This primary season featured, after all, a classic contest: the irresistible force of Barack Obama against the immovable object that was Hillary Clinton. By any stretch, that would have been a barnstormer of a primary, but coupled with the historic nature of the year, a year in which a black American and a woman not only competed for the presidency against the white men that have held exclusive keys to the office since the nation was first founded, but competed for the first time on essentially equal ground, the first in which race and gender, while remaining issues, were relegated to fringe issues as opposed to all-defining, unambiguously disqualifying characteristics -- now that is the stuff of history.

Looking back, we should remember that, because that will be what will end up in the history books. Obama could have lost. Clinton could have won. McCain may yet still win. But they were all judged, if not entirely on their merits, at least as much on their merits as any politicians are, in today's environment. Martin Luther King Jr. said he had a dream, and was killed for it, but in the end equality is an unstoppable force. All that is required is that people desire it, and the rest, though it may take generations, or be slowed, or momentarily dammed, will happen.