02/08/08 — Primary drama: Miss an episode in these races and you might miss the vote

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Primary drama: Miss an episode in these races and you might miss the vote

Another day, another dropout.

After yet another disappointing primary finish, Republican hopeful Mitt Romney has pulled out of the 2008 race for the nomination.

As he left, he made a bid for 2012, though, saying he did not want his campaign to undo the GOP’s efforts to put a Republican in the White House.

John McCain would at least stand strong in Iraq, Romney told reporters as a patriotic tear rolled down his face.

OK, well maybe that last part was just a little Hollywood magic, but the continuing drama of the 2008 primary season really does play something like that — like an episode of your favorite soap opera, complete with overacting and a soundtrack.

At the rate the race is going, by the time North Carolinians cast their ballots, there won’t be anything left to decide but the color schemes for the conventions.

Don’t be fooled by the chivalrous tone of these withdrawals from the race. The truth is it is all about timing, money and positioning for the future. The speeches are, in many cases, a call to arms for 2012.

And don’t think the Republicans are the only ones having their scuffles and melodramas.

Just listen to Bill Clinton’s mea culpa interview. Does anyone out there really believe he did not know that as a former president he was not just another “candidate’s spouse”? Right.

But give him credit. It was a performance worthy of the best competitors on “Survivor.” Talk about manipulation.

This year’s primary season is really going to be more about who is left standing after the dust clears — just like it always is. But along the way, voters and observers have learned a few things — or been reminded.

Politics is as much gamesmanship and timing as it is knowing what is on the minds of the voters the candidates are courting. This year, watching their episodes has been more fun than work. They have spent most of the season eliminating themselves.

Pretty soon, however, it will time to get to work to determine who is best-suited to serve as the next president of the United States.

Let’s hope that by then, some of the drama has been replaced with real stances and honest talk.

We will just have to wait and see.

Published in Editorials on February 8, 2008 11:00 AM