Needed: a well-executed two-minute drill, not a Hail Mary

The Republican Party has already garnered all the 54 million votes it needs to have its man elected.

After a very effective search in every nook and cranny of the American socio-economic and religious landscape, the GOP is confident to have enlisted enough “patriots” and religious zealots to coalesce with its true conservative core, the self-anointed sole producers of economic wealth. This solid coalition of flag-wavers, moralists and economically-blessed have joined in battle against the possibility of any intruder entering the White House. Bush’s legions have dug in their defenses… with their neo-con centurions keeping the troops focused, on red alert, barricading any vulnerable position that could be used to assail their White House.

The Democratic Party, however, appears to lack the required martial leadership to transform ragtime groups of freedom-fighters into a disciplined, populist army. The Party has received support, if grudgingly, from labor unions; also from the acknowledged leadership of most minorities in the nation; and, expectedly, the faithful E2 (educators and entertainers). Even notable progressive Americans have, softly and with some embarrassment, given their consent to the Kerry choice. But although this diverse voting block could match or even top the 54 million that Bush is cheer-leading on, it won’t likely translate into a majority when it comes to the numbers that count: the constitutionally-mandated electoral count.

On November 2, the score will be posted, but it is right now that the presidential Super Bowl is being played. We are already well into the fourth quarter, quickly approaching the two-minute mark, and Kerry’s team does not hold much hope for Democrats, even if Mr. Nader asks his followers to suit up with the Kerry team in late October.

Kerry may be well qualified to assume command, to take the helm of this directionless ship-of-state and set it on the right course, but a populist captain he is not. And for Americans, regardless where they stand politically, elections have always been won by candidates who appear to have unequivocal leadership, even if it is make-believe, concocted by way of public relations wizardry.

Not a populist, Kerry is also seen as a politician without a true cause, a messenger without a distinct message… simply, “a lesser Bush.” Chosen to complete the last leg of the Pony Express political run, this rider went to the stables and got himself a tired old donkey… when he had racing bluebloods waiting to be mounted, ready for the final stretch. But a recherché politician that he is, Kerry chose not to do so, and to come to terms with his call in this political race: of being the lesser of two evils.

For the Democrats to save the day, to show a margin of victory in that scoreboard come November 2, they must come up with a successful two-minute drill that will have the team march up the field and score, and not depend on a last second touchdown pass completion, a 90-plus yard Hail Mary. How can Kerry quarterback this team… and what plays must he call?

No, not surprise or secret plays… Kerry needs to call just that one play for which the GOP has no defense, an audible which can make the difference between winning and losing the game: new voters. While Republicans have just about exhausted their potential in registering new people partial to their cause, Democrats have barely tapped theirs… failing to enlist enough idealistic young people and those recently disenfranchised from living the American Dream by an administration without scruples or compassion.

There is still time to call that play. There is still time to register one million people in just four states: Florida , Ohio , Pennsylvania and Wisconsin . If these 78 electoral votes are assured, the rest will take care of itself.

There are no independents left to be convinced… by either candidate. It’s either bringing in about one million new Democratic voters in those four states , or simply wait for the whistle to blow and end to a colorless game where the Democrats are being convincingly outplayed.