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Stop The Campaign Silliness

Although Senator Obama all but mathematically clinched a plurality of the elected Democratic delegates for the nomination weeks ago, I've resisted suggesting that the race is over and that Senator Clinton should gracefully exit. Generally speaking, I'm for meaningful state primaries and against media-driven pressure for candidates to quit races.

That, of course, is premised on the assumption that the campaigns are offering voters meaningful policy choices. Unfortunately, that's not what we are getting. The two candidates offer quite similar agendas. So, instead of this being a contest on which direction our nation should take, it's often descended into contest revolving around who does a better job apologizing for something or renouncing a supporter.

This brouhaha regarding Senator Obama's comment on "bitter" Americans is but the latest example. What has this episode reveled about who is best equipped to solve problems? Does anyone really think that Senator Clinton, whose family reported $100+ million in income since leaving the White House, is any more in touch with average Americans than Senator Obama is, simply because she fired a gun when she was a kid? Is this the kind of thing that makes her more qualified to be commander-in-chief?

We've got some serious issues for the next president. For example:

"Food Inflation, Riots Spark Worries for World Leaders"
Jesse Eisinger adds:
From the moment the next president takes office, one issue will overwhelm all others: the American financial crisis. The Federal Reserve has been taking extraordinary measures for more than half a year to contain the spreading misery, including recently brokering the bailout of Bear Stearns. But the damage continues to spread.

Is it that bad? Well, yes. The threat now is to the foundation of our economic structure. Faith in the financial system is crumbling. Because of the scope of the problem, dealing with its aftermath will dominate the next president's entire agenda.

I could add more, but you get the point. We've got serious storm clouds on the horizon. If we must carry on this Democratic nomination battle, the candidates should be focusing on those issues, not playing silly rhetorical games.