I’ve been irritated about Obama’s latest slipped-out Harvardism, that small-town folks turn to guns and religions because the state of this country has left them bitter, not because it’s not true (it’s 100% true), but because this is the sort of honesty I’d like to see from Barack after the election (the last one was his lament to Iowa farmers about the price of organic arugula at the local Whole Foods).
This is a country of religious evangelicals. The religious prefer not to see things the way they are, but rather how they’d like them to be. They’ll bitch for hours about how life is unfair, China and illegal immigrants giving them a raw deal, that corporate fat-cats are reducing their quality of life…but then they want to say that “the power of Christ” gives them happiness that transcends all the misery around them (it doesn’t, but that’s beside the point).
The whole reason Obama has been such a powerful figure in this election is that he presents a strong message of hope. Why the hell is he going off-message at this point of the campaign?
Stick to your message. Repeat it until people get bored – and when they get bored, get into some of the specifics of your platform. Don’t drift onto philosophical musings like John Kerry, who was quickly caricatured out winning an election by the GOP.
So this brings me to another point – that McCain is benefiting from the infighting between Clinton and Obama. He looks confident and secure, while Obama and Clinton are seen sniping at each other whenever the news covers them.
I say: Big. Fucking. Deal. It’s temporary. When the Democrats do settle on a nominee, that nominee will trounce McCain. Even if that nominee is Hillary (although that seems very, very unlikely at this point).
McCain is Bob Dole all over again. When the GOP is weak, they choose an older war hero, playing to their most solid base of cranky old white men. But the GOP is weak, it has a terrible record and everyone knows it, and McCain is not an inspirational figure whatsoever.
Yes, he showed bravery during Vietnam. And he has stood up for his beliefs on campaign finance reform since. But he has also been involved in more than one scandal during his senatorial tenure (the Keating Five and the Vicky Iselman lobbyist ones come to mind), and the fact that he had an affair, and dumped his wife in favor of a much younger woman is not going to play well with the millions of women who have had the same thing done to them.
Besides, he doesn’t project strength. He looks and sounds feeble. He confuses important things, like the Shia and Sunni in Iraq, and gets confused by other things like the economy (and then senilely forgets he admitted as much…twice). He looks like a congenial grandpa, but that’s about it. He does not inspire the cool confidence of Obama, and I know who I’d put my money on in an arm wrestle between him and Hillary.
So while it’s a rough time right now with Obama & Hillary attacking each other, and McCain seemingly enjoying a rise in popularity, it’s not going to last. We Democrats like to wring our hands and bemoan missed opportunities, but we have a short memory like the rest of this country. The nomination will happen, people will forget about the internal divisiveness and rancor within a couple of weeks, and the media will focus on the Democrat vs Republican battle through November. And there will be plenty of time to do that.