It’s no secret that Americans want to turn the page on the George W. Bush era. Turnouts have been extraordinary, even record-breaking, in the Democratic contests thus far.
In Florida, where no candidates actively campaigned in the Democratic primary, more than 1.7 million voters went to the polls. They knew their state’s delegates might not be seated at the party’s national convention, but they were going to vote, no matter what.
At the same time, Democrats are far outpacing Republicans in fund-raising. Senator Obama raised an astonishing $32 million in the month of January alone.
There is a surge of excitement running through Democratic voters and public officials in this election cycle that has seldom been seen in recent decades.
This is the stuff of which overconfidence is made.
Anyone who thinks the Democrats are a lock to win in November has somehow forgotten about Karl Rove, the right-wing radio network, the hanging chads of 2000, the Swift boat debacle, the intimidation of black voters in Florida, the long lines of Democratic voters standing forlornly in the rain in Ohio, and on and on.
Those who may think that a woman named Clinton or a black man named Obama will have an easy time winning the White House this year should switch to something less disorienting than whatever it is they’re smoking.
It’s tempting to want things wrapped up tomorrow, as they likely will be for the Republicans, so we can start reminding people that instead of behaving like a grownup John McCain spent the last four years humping Bush’s leg like an overwound spaniel and sucked up to people who called his daughter illegitimate and his wife a crazy drug addict. It’s tempting to want to get to that part, but I for one want to bask a little while longer in the glow of having candidates this good, plural, about whom people are this excited. I’d like this good part to last a bit.