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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Why Obama Can Win

I'm going to try something here... spend a few days trying to outline the case for an Obama win and then try to say why you shouldn't vote for him.

I was going to try and make the case for voting for Obama today and then make the case against him tomorrow, but I found I just couldn't do the former. So I thought I would make the case of why I think he can or will win. I want to be clear that I'm looking at this in the continuum of past elections, I'm not going to say people are going to vote for Obama because they cannot stand the religious wing-nuts in the Republican Party because I have been hearing that argument for several election cycles now. The same with the idea of jacking up tax rates in order to redistribute the dough to others; if that's what's attracting you now then please don't try and tell me you voted for Bush in 2004. The question is why the people who voted for the Bush the past few elections will vote for Obama this time around

1) Change. Let's face it times are tough. Not only is the economy sliding toward or in recession and the market tanking, but we have been bombarded with stories for the past 7 years on how our nation is on the wrong course. Guantanamo, the Iraq War, everyone loathes America, the response to Katrina.... all very depressing. Why not allow the other team a crack at it? Plus not only are the Republicans associated with those messes through Bush, but they look exhausted.

Give the other guys a shot and for all that McCain does to try and run away from Bush, he's still a Republican. In retrospect, perhaps Cheney should have run for president just so the eventual nominee could have beat him and put the anchor weight of the Bush Administration to bed.

2) Obama looks the part. I thought the debates were a potential make-or-break moment for Obama because the man was awful whenever he got off the teleprompter during the primaries. Instead the man looked and sounded like he knew what he was doing, he passed the plausibility test in a way that say.... Dukakis... never did.

3) The Republicans are tired and divided. Sort of leads back to #1, but the Republicans have the scent of death around them in a way I haven't seen since H.W. in 1992. I think it goes back in part to the base's hostility toward Bush with the Harriet Meiers pick in 2005 and the amnesty fiasco with the high spending boondoggles of the past 7 years. Then to compound it, McCain of all people was the one to get the nomination; I think quite a few GOPers talked themselves into liking McCain but saw him more as the anti-Obama than as a man they could rally around.

The recent spectacle of members of Palin's staff (who were picked for her by the McCain campaign) leaking how much they hate her to the press? Just indicative of the low morale and inability to concentrate. Btw... all those people who are leaking should be identified and black-balled from any future work in the Republican Party, more on that in another post.

4) People are tired and want to be united. The average American wants a government that works. We have had a good 11 years of solid partisan warfare and I think people want that to end and would be willing to give the keys to a Democratic Washington to see how it would work. You might think that odd given the approval rating of the Democratic Congress but there's no way they are giving Congress back to the Republicans.

The other advantage is that if you take the partisan blinders off and tee-up the top Obama speeches on the DVD, you do feel good about yourself and the country in a very non-specific sort of way. People do want hope and they do want change and Obama promises that, in a vague sort of way, in abundance.

5) Obama will make people feel good about picking him. Not only does he look and sound plausible (see Dukakis and Quayle), but people seem to read into him what they want. Not only hope and change, but for Christopher Buckley it was that Obama's favorite philosopher is Niebuhr. For David Brooks it was his post-partisan, ruthless predilection for throwing people under the bus. For Chris Matthews it was because it shot a tingle up his leg.

I also don't discount the fact that people want, desperately want, to vote for a black man for the nation's highest office. If Obama wins Tuesday it will be the most historic moment in an already historic election and believe me that counts for something

Note I didn't say much about specific policies. That's for tomorrow