Too Early for Politics; "The Ordinary Voter Does Not Object to Mediocrity." -- James Bryce

Article excerpt

Byline: HECTOR R.R. VILLANUEVA

WHEW! With the 2010 Presidential elections still 2 A1/2 years from now, it is too early and premature to talk about national politics when there are more urgent economic issues to be tackled in order to preserve and sustain the economic gains that the country is enjoying.

While there is method in their madness, and the operators deem it timely to test the waters and get an early reaction from the general public on the frontrunning personalities gearing up for 2010, the fact is that the names prominently bannered on the marquee may not survive the heat between now and 2010.

A lot of factors in 2008 may not be kind to most of them if not with all of them.

First, if Henry Adams, writing 200 years ago is correct, "modern politics is a struggle not of men but of forces."

Based on this criterion, former President Joseph Estrada, if legally allowed to run again with his fortune intact, appears to be the strongest contender as he continues to receive the adulation of the "masa."

Former President Fidel V. Ramos, if legally allowed also to run again, while superbly fit physically, lucid, active, and spritely, will be 80 years old in a few months, and had consistently announced that he was not, and will not, be interested in the presidency.

On the one hand, Sen. Mar Roxas of Cubao, and Sen. Manuel Villar of Las Pinas are the only contenders who are financially ready, and more to spare, are cellar dwellers in the popularity surveys, and whose personality profiles are being scrupulously scrutinized.

On the other hand, as one goes up the popularity ladder from Sen. Richard Gordon, to Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Sen. "Chiz" Escudero, Sen. Loren Legarda, and Vice President Noli de Castro, the criteria tend to change based on money, intellect, experience, character, media hype, and accessibility to party affiliations.

Several of them may be popular today, and are able to retain public recall, but that is no guarantee. …