It's still the economy

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Exit polls at the various primary locations are indicating that support for candidates is soft. People are making their choices without enthusiasm. More probing questions reveal that a general weakness throughout the field of candidates is the lack of confidence toward any candidate's ability to deal with the economy.

Surprisingly, the economy has not been central to most campaigns, nor to political commentary this political season.

In 1992, Bill Clinton's successful presidential campaign was largely defined by the slogan, "It's the economy, stupid."

An argument can be made that it's always the economy. No matter what compelling issues are publicly debated, when people get into the privacy of voting booths, they tend to make their decisions based on who they believe can best make the individual voter's life more prosperous.

George Bush, the elder, was a foreign policy hero, presiding over the Gulf War, which was a successful, reasonably short and popular war, and holding office during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

However, being a foreign policy hero faded into insignificance while the country experienced recession.

The election in November could be decided by the state of the economy at the time, that is if any candidate can adequately capitalize on whatever the state of the economy is then.