I cannot say our nominating system has been successful when I see the two presidential front runners campaign nowadays. If the best we can do is John McCain and Barack Obama for this election cycle, we will just have to grin and bear it for the next four years of bad leadership.
Obama is the furthest left of any Democratic member of the Senate and John McCain has reached far enough across the aisle to be vetted as a Democratic VP Candidate. So, both candidates are so far from their base that many Democrats are considering McCain and our undereducated product of government schools believes Obama is the greatest thing since Meerkat Manor and will vote for him in droves.
McCain is still not convincing his base that he's the right one for President, and many disillusioned conservative voters will either hold their nose to vote for him (and have a stiff drink afterwards) or simply abstain from voting for president this year. (My dear husband, Mr. Radiant Times, who thinks McCain is Nixonian and may plunge us into more war than we can handle, is in this category.)
Their major difference is on the handling of the war in Iraq and the War on Terror. Obama does not have his act together on this one. His waverability of positions is painful and obvious enough that it provides McCain easy cannon fodder for attack ads. Obama makes his lack of historical knowledge clear in the many recorded gaffes in his speeches. It's to the point that people expect Obama to say something wrong and historically or geographically incorrect.
McCain says the right things, but has a history of doing that and then turning on his party. Some say he is treacherous, and still needs to win the trust of his base. He's lucky to to have the PUMA Democrats leaning toward him.
We still have no clear direction on VP candidates. The right candidate is VERY important for McCain, whose advanced age IS an issue. McCain will essentially be choosing the next president. Obama is still a young buck, so the VP role in his campaign is not as important.
Both bases are disenfranchise and we have the worst slate of candidates for president that I have seen in my lifetime. The latest JibJab flash video is painfully true. God have mercy on America!