Sifting through the 2008 presidential election, one lesson should be that its historical nature, in all probability, goes beyond the election of an African American to the presidency.
My guess is that 2004 will turn out to be the last year that all four GOP and Democratic candidates for the presidency and vice presidency were white males. It just doesn’t make sense that both major political parties can afford to forsake having a woman or minority group member on future tickets — particularly in fear of likelihood that the opposition will.
Ron Fournier in an AP analysis noted: “Exit polls indicated that Obama’s triumph was built on his overwhelming success with blacks, Hispanics, 18-34-year-olds and new voters. This is the future of the U.S. electorate.”
That’s consistent with a report from the Pew Research Center in 2008, summarized in Wikipedia, saying that by 2050, non-Hispanic whites will make up almost half of the population (47 percent).
Further, regardless of one’s view of what Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska did to Sen. John McCain’s candidacy, the fact is that Congress and state houses will be filled with potential female and minority group candidates.
When the new Congress meets, we will have 17 woman senators; the House of Representatives will have upwards of 70 women, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Toss in a dozen or so women and minority group governors and the black male members of Congress, and you easily top 100 people with credentials to serve in national office.
Comedian Chris Rock has a line to the effect that the presidency of George W. Bush was so bad he made it impossible for a white man to be elected President. That’s a bit much, of course. But it is not hyperbole to suggest that in 2008 we said goodbye to all white-male tickets for the GOP and Democratic Parties.