Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Fri, Feb. 21

Editorial: Candidates face an angry electorate

People now know who the presumptive presidential nominees are for both major parties.

Barack Obama will carry the Democrat Party standard into the November election, and John McCain will stand for the Republican Party.

But it's an ideal outlook for Yogi Berra. "It ain't over 'til it's over," and this contest is far from over.

Both parties still suffer unity issues that could have serious implications in November. The most conservative elements of the GOP still dislike and distrust McCain. If they make good on early threats to take a hike rather than vote for him, he loses for certain.

On the Democratic side, we see what chess players call a "knight's fork." No matter which way the party moves it loses something.

When the outcome of the Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton contest remained in doubt, African-Americans were threatening to stay home if Obama didn't get the nomination. Women threatened that if Hillary didn't get the nomination, they would take a hike on Election Day.

Besides that, some major issues are coming to a head that call for serious action.

Congress is averse to doing anything substantial all the time, and presidential candidates hate to take definitive stands on anything the people are angry about.

But people are angry, and they will vote their passions. Fuel prices head the list. Almost every expert thinks they will continue to increase - perhaps even to the European levels of $10 to $12 a gallon.

Illegal immigration continues to drain school districts, hospitals, social services and the criminal justice system of resources. Candidates will have to take a stand on this issue and whatever position either candidate takes will cost votes.

Those issues top a long list.

Candidates who meet the public this time around likely will empathize with traveling minstrels in the old West who had to do their tap dances while patrons peppered the floor at their feet with bullets.

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