This week was the beginning of the season of Lent. No, not the white stuff you find in your belly button. That is lint. I'm talking Lent. Lent is the season of the church year where individuals examine themselves and prepare for remembering the events of the arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
At the beginning of Lent comes the Ash Wednesday. It is a day to remember the sins committed and the fact that individuals are far short of perfection. It is a day to be sorry for our shortcomings and pledge to do better by trying to become closer to God.
Most people know little about Lent but ask them about Mardi Gras and their eyes light up. Mardi Gras began as a "days upon days" party ending on the day before we confess that we party too much. The day before Ash Wednesday is known in some circles as Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday is really a day for many to go out and sow wild oats and then on Ash Wednesday pray for a crop failure.
But in 2008, there was two celebrations of Fat Tuesday. The major partying in New Orleans was the normal one. The other Fat Tuesday was the day when most people thought that the presidential nominations would be sewed up. The second Fat Tuesday was a day of over 20 primaries and caucuses. A day fat with delegates to be decided.
A fat prize for sure.
And what do we know now that we didn't know before Tuesday? Well, for one, we have one less candidate in the race and the Romney kids will still get some of their inheritance. Mitt Romney called it quits on what was to be a big stage for him to once again attack his chief rival, John McCain. The Conservative Pow-Wow in DC.
What else has changed? Not much.
On the Republican side, we have a retiree whose big claim to fame is that he spent time in a Vietnamese POW camp. I am not dissing Sen. McCain. I know that I wouldn't wish the type of torture that he received on my worst enemy. But had it not been for those 5+ years, most of America would never have heard of the guy. Then we have a former governor of Arkansas who is probably known by more people because he was on the TV reality show "The Biggest Loser" And third, we have a doctor who understands the foundation of this country better than anyone in the race who has been ignored by the main stream media, except to say his supporters don't count for much.
On the Democratic side, you have the wife of a former governor of Arkansas (no, another Sooey governor) who came to be known nationally because she rode to Washington as part of a two for one bargain for the presidency in 1992. Later, she ran on his name and was elected US Senator from New York as a great example of a carpetbagger. The other candidate was unknown for the most part outside of Chicago before the 2004 national convention. It was there that he gave us that famous line, "there are not red states and blue states, only the United States of America".
The Democratic Fat Tuesday prize package gave us … well, a closer race and delegate count. Now there is more riding on delegates that are not selected by conventions, primaries or caucuses but are the elected officials known as super delegates. Hillary won the left and right coasts of the country and Barack won fly over country. He added to that tally on Saturday by winning all three contested states. Fat Tuesday also brought back National Chairman, Governor and Dr. Howard "I Have a Scream" Dean. Dean has been talking like a man who wants the nomination to be concluded well before the national convention in Denver comes in sight in August. No brokered convention for the doctor.
Republicans seem to have given up on anyone capturing the top prize from the maverick McCain. The question is, what will a maverick do when he is the one leading his party? Will someone else take up the maverick mantle? And why is Huck staying in the race? Could it be that he is running for second place on the GOP ticket? And the millions raised by Dr. Paul? What will become of those supporters? Will they bolt the GOP that they never were at home in?
You know, there is one more thing about Lent I should mention.
Tradition has it that individuals would give up something during Lent to help them get a little closer to God. Maybe, the campaigns could take that to heart. Let's see … give up something. Could the candidates give up their attacks on each other long enough to tell us what they really want to do?
Right. And I bet you think I still have my New Years' Resolutions in tact, too.