Arizona's First Political Blog
E-mail Anonymous Mike at zonitics4-at-yahoo.com
By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Calling the Ghost of Lee Atwater
Special Agent Johnny Utah had a good post on how Obama, damaged though he is from the past few months, is still competitive for the general election.
The problem with the damaging revelations about Obama was that they happened several months too early. The man who talks of the"essential decency of the American people" but then tries to explains that those who have been embittered in middle America tend to "cling to guns or religion..." forgetting that America has one of the highest rates of church attendance and gun ownership in the world. The man who offers himself as the vessel of racial redemption for America spends 20 years in the pews of Trinity. The man who promotes himself as the standard-bearer for “a new kind of politics” lives in a fabulous house thanks in part to the good works of Chicago fixer Tony Rezko.
Tell me, if John McCain was exposed to be as big of a hypocrite as Obama would he would still be the presumptive nominee for his party? The good news is that with all this shearing away of Obama's stance as a new politician that at least he can fall back on his experience and accomplishments.
Again, why this man is going to be the Democratic nominee?
The good news for Obama is that the next few months, the time between sewing up the nomination and the party's convention, has always been a time for a candidate to reinvent himself. After the long slog of appealing to the party base, the candidate can start running toward the political middle. Expect to see the policy positions to be fine-tuned for the wider electorate.
Okay then what to do about all of that past personal history and present gaffes that got in the way of his campaign themes? Not only is that stuff on tape, but Pfleger and Wright are still running around and Rezko is on trial, who knows what will pop up on the news over the next few months. Also Obama when is off the teleprompter, he has the tendency to say things like he had already campaigned in 57 states. Hmmmm...
The good news is that the country is on an anti-Republican binge not seen since Watergate, so just by his party affiliation Obama gets a nice boost. Second, the Democrats have an outside chance of capturing 60 seats in the Senate, given the squishiness of some Republican senators getting to 58 this November will probably get them a de facto 60; so if the whole Hillary Clinton rebellion can be quietened the Dems are going to be motivated.
Third, the man has been given cover from the media. Don't think so? The spin on Wright between the first revelations up until the moment of the Rev's remarks at the National Press Club was that the quotes were taken out of context from a few sermons. No one in the national media bothered to find that context either through digging up past Wright speeches or sermons, writings, or interviewing the thousands of present and past Trinity congregants. Coverage of the Rezko trial has been intermittent, but give the NY Times some credit because at least they send an actual reporter to file an occasional story and not just rely on wire service reports. No one has bothered to try and explain how someone who made his political bones in the South Side of Chicago can run a platform of "hope", "change", and a "new type of politics."
So despite the missteps, he has advantages. The trick is to use the next few months of hopefully political down time and do a shake-out; nuance his policy platforms especially on foreign policy, go to Iraq and embrace the success of the troops, get tighter control over his comments, and make the skeletons from his past (Ayers/Wright/Rezko) Obama cannot eliminate the past months of video tape but he can make them old news, make them irrelevant by cutting down on his mistakes and flooding a friendly media with updated campaign themes.
If he can do that, then he turns the past few months of weakness into a strength because he will force the Republicans to fight up hill. For the Republicans to gain traction, they will have to go negative; paint Obama as inexperienced, his policy stances extreme, and his past associates as radical. However if Obama doesn't provide any new fodder during the two months between the Convention and Election Day, then I think those attacks will fail because the Republicans will have to rely on what the media will term "old news."
I know that is asking alot in a day and age where even your private campaign fund raisers can be recorded on the sly and put on the Internet within the same day. However I fear that the dynamics of the race are such that there is no way for McCain to succeed, he can only get elected if Obama continues to fail