Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Movement" Candidates...

Sen Obama is certainly an inspirational speaker -- although snubbing Sen. Clinton at the State of the Union was more Chaneyesque than Kennedyesque. There is no doubt Obama would be a far superior President than ANY Republican, but that is true of HRC, John Edwards and about forty Democratic Senators, a hundred members of the House and a dozen governors.

But it is not unreasonable to question his electibility, nor is such speculation to improperly inject race into the process. (No one thinks it is improper to question HRC's electibility, or consider it sexist to do so. It would be sexist to urge voting against HRC because she is a woman, but not to point out that a large percentage of the electorate may not vote for her for that dumb reason.)
Sen. Obama is a one-term senator largely unknown to the American electorate -- the majority of whom will begin paying attention to the Nov., 2008, election in Oct., 2008. It is neither unreasonable nor racist to be concerned about his ability to defeat a Sen. McCain, for example. That is particularly true given the inevitable cynical "swiftboating" that will occur.

American political history is rife with "movement candidates" that have excited the Party & press. Some -- like Wendell Wilkie or William Jennings Bryan -- have gotten nominated. I am hard-pressed to think of any who became President.

Obama could be the exception: His "movement" is less policy than image -- much as Wilkie was a break with dour, isolationist Republicans. But the future of the Republic may well depend on getting a Democrat into the Presidency in this election and keeping control of Congress. So those with a knowledge of history worry about a Party that may be taken with too much a "sense" of it.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am very much a democrat and if Obama is our nominee, he will have my strident support.
BUT I am concerned that we don't respond to a candidate that makes great speeches but has little real substance with which to defend his rhetoric.
So let me ask this: if Obama were applying to be school superintendant, after having been a teacher but not an administrator and with no past accomplishments to point too that illustrated his capacity to actualize his vision for the future; would he be hired?
I don't think so. And frankly, that worries me.

Anonymous said...

You know, that was a great anaolgy with the job interview. He is an "image" politician, not based upon any accomplishment. On a personal note, I don't like Phil C. much, but he is right on this issue. There is little more the Republican crew can do to Hillary, but they havn't even started on Obama. His use of crack-cocaine, muslim background, refusal to say the pledge or put his hand over his heart at official functions, and total lack of a record, all will be deadly fodder in a general. Note: When the conservative talking heads mention how they just "really like" a democratic candidate, it is a sure bet they want him for their opponent. That should concern us all.

Final note, is anyone else suffering from severe "Claire" fatigue? Am I the only one put-off by her? I knew her ego was big, but Jesus Christ, give it a rest sister!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I am not alone. Claire has seemed to me for some time to be taking all of us for granted. Did I just re-elect Jim Talent in a drag?

FOB (friend of Bough) said...

You all forget how badly HRC snubbed Obama on the senate floor the day after he said for the first time he was considering a run for President. And as for Claire she is doing what she thinks is best for Missouri dems, keeping some of the Hilary haters at home on election day. and the post about Obama's background, refusal to say the pledge, etc. is full of factual misstatements.

Anonymous said...

Oh BS. Claire is not "doing what she thinks is best for the Dems." This is/was a move by her to shore up her factional base/weakness in the black community state-wide. Claire has always been tepidly received by the black community when compared to other dems, and this is a move by her to reverse that trend.

Also, I agree with the above. Get ready, if Obama is our candidate then you better prepare the "Hey, that was untrue" line, because his vetting will finally begin. Fair or not, ne has NOT been vetted nationally, and the R's will simply destroy him with all of the Hussein-Mujslim-pledge-crack cocaine BS. You don't hve to like it, just know that it is coming. After they are done destroying his image, he has the potential to only draw 40% in the general.

Like or dislike Hillary, but there really is nothing more that can be done to her.

Phil Cardarella said...

Sen. Obama is as Christian as Sen. McClain, but the name allows him to be a target for the Repugnant Repubs Mud Machine. The Pledge of Allegience crap is just that. And his drug use was nowhere near the W. level -- since Bush had more money and better connections for the good stuff!

The problem will be when the rest of the country -- not us political junkies -- start paying attention next October. While candidate McCain says patriotic BS, looking experienced and fatherly, the Swiftboaters will make Obama look like an inexperienced, drug-crazed Taliban wannabe.

And don't count on the same media who allowed Kerry -- a real war hero -- to be libeled while they "covered the controversy". And who have let TWO presidential elections be stolen without as much protest as accompanies a Britanny Spears custody hearing.

FOB said...

Some good points but anyone who doesn't think the 'pubs have been easy on HRC so far, and have a bunch of stuff ready to go if she is the presumptive nominee, then they underestimate the enemy. I suspect McCaskill's quote about supporting Obama b/c he inspires a new generation of voters and b/c he won't draw the republican turnout that HRC will can be spun as cover for an appeal to black voters, the truth, or a combination of both. Sure, it's probably both. As for Obama and the muslim stuff, I think I've received that email from every republican I discuss politics with and they've all been skeptical of it. He'll be attacked on experience and he'll have to counter with talk of judgment. I'm not sure where the attacks on HRC will come from but they'll come and have probably already been gameplanned several levels. Either of them is fine with me, however one has more upside and I like upside.

Anonymous said...

The only way Democrats can lose in '08 is if Hillary is the nominee. She unites the Republicans, is too polarizing for independents, and has angered many Democrats (especially given the past few weeks). She cannot win the general election.

Fellow Democrats: Please don't blow this!

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