Clinton, Obama, and the Problem with Primaries

I have long suspected the primary system in this country leads to suboptimal candidates making it into the general election. As with any nominating system, the nomination goes to whoever does the best job of pandering to the base. That would not be as much of a problem, save for the fact that we have a two party system. So, in all likelihood, no more than 15-20 percent of each party is the most critical in selecting everyone else’s options to lead the country for 4-8 years.

The current Democratic primary race is a great example. Granted, it still could go to anyone, but let’s face it, it sure is looking like it’s going to be Hillary. This, despite the fact that recent polls show her trailing any of the likely Republican nominees, while Obama leads all of them. This is absurd.

Andrew Sullivan also noticed this poll and wrote about it, asking why anyone would vote for Hillary. One of his readers provided some pretty good insight. Money quote:

The Democratic Convention will ignore the moderates in their own party, and the independents anxiously awaiting Bush’s ride off into the sunset.  The Democrats will nominate Hilary, when Obama has shown in poll after poll that he is electable due to his broad appeal among moderates and independents.

I’m depressed.


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