Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Final "Jeopardy!"

So you’re doing well all during the game: you are walking all over the other two contestants, confidently ringing in ahead of them. You’re ahead of them, but they have also done reasonably well. Then Final Jeopardy comes along and all bets are off, so to speak. Up to this point, people have been ahead, been behind, even been into the negative figures, but right at the end of the program, given three circumstances (what you know, how fast you ring in, how much you wager), it can all change very unpredictably.

So, instead of three game-show contestants, we have three political candidates. One was running out of cash, not doing well in the polls and falling behind everyone except Mickey Mouse. Now he’s heading toward being his party’s candidate in the general election. Something sure happened to change a loser into what may well be a winner.

On the other side, we have two unlikely candidates, when you think about the first time for race and gender. Will either of them end up in the White House? It sure would be a first, and some intelligent people are saying the race/gender issue is still big.

But we can’t eliminate Final Jeopardy from this.

Three candidates who, just a few years ago, would have been in the negative column, are campaigning with much success for the Office of the Presidency. “Much success” meaning, for the Democrats, they are close; for the Republican, that he is still there at all. Alex Trebek is lucky: he is told which people have the right answer. We have to wait.