obama’s world of pain

12Feb08

I think Obama’s strategy throughout the primary has been to go nuclear in order to upset Hillary Clinton. That’s what I maintain will be the subject of analysis for years to come. He will possibly succeed in doing that. But he will be ill-equipped to win the general election and withstand what is going to follow, and, honestly, he will have, in the process of pulling out the stops needed to undermine Hillary, be sowing the seeds of his own defeat later on.

What do I mean by ill-equipped to win the general election?

He’s said to be an even more liberal senator than Hillary Clinton. Maybe not hard to do. Thrill pointed out his tougher stance on gun control. Uh… has the NRA anted up yet in this election? The answer to that is no. They’re saving it. When they push the button, every Republican on their dole out will make Obama a dirty word in many parts of this country. Questions about Rezko will be hung around Obama with the threats of years of investigations into his past in Chicago politics. The Obama campaign has, after South Carolina, succeeded in making going after their candidate the politically incorrect thing to do. The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy isn’t PC and they are going to Swift Boat this guy right into being the George McGovern of his generation.

What do I mean that he has sown the seeds of his own general election defeat in this primary?

By playing racial politics. Obama’s stump rhetoric is resplendent in the language, catch phrases, and slogans of the Civil Rights movement. (there were TWO big pieces, one in the LA Times the other in the NY Times, in just the last two days, that offer themselves as a look INTO the Obama campaign’s “delicate” tightrope walk on the issue of race. Neither article mentions AT ALL the Obama campaign’s heavy use of Civil Rights movement language.)

It has worked perfectly on African American voters which, of course, was the exact idea. As I predicted weeks ago, the margin of black voters going for Obama has rarely dipped below 75% in every state and often has been over 80%. Said to be close to 90% in today’s Virginia primary. That took away THE most important base constituency of the Clintons and it will probably cost her the nomination. Good strategy in the primary if that’s as far as you plan on going.

Is this country ready to elect a black man president? I think so. Is this country ready to elect a black man president who is on the stump hollering Yes We Can and Our Time Has Come? I don’t think so. But… he’ll have a check from me and my vote in November.

I think this general election is going to break a lot of people’s hearts. I think if McCain wins, the Democratic Party is going to be looking at this historically divisive and poisoned battle between Clinton and Obama and asking itself, what happened to our presidential hopes in ’08? How did this thing turn so ugly so fast? How was it that iconic leaders of our party came to be also-rans if not entirely tarnished figures in the eyes of their own base constituencies?

The answers I have to those questions number two.

1. A cynical Obama campaign that played race early and often to shore up the black vote.

2. An anti-Clinton bias, call it Clinton fatigue or out and out hating, in the punditocracy and walking the halls of some of the most important newspapers in the country.

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