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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Maybe It's Just Me, But...

I just don't understand this argument I'm hearing from Obama and his supporters.

How is Barack Obama going to get Independent and Republican votes that Hillary Clinton can't...in the general election?

Sure, there are people out there that hate Hillary Clinton with a passion, thanks to the 16 years of lies and smears she's had to endure from the media. But if they've got McCain to vote for - who is, as we know, the most McMavericky, most Independent and Straight-Shooterish and Moderate Candidate Evah, according to the MCM - won't Independent and Republic voters go for him instead of Obama?

Even Obama supporters should be able to admit that the Senator from Illinois has gotten nothing but a honeymoon from the traditional media. Unfortunately, there will be a quick divorce if/when he becomes the Democratic nominee. Are people seriously, truly thinking that after months of "Barack Hussein Osama" + the "Rezko scandal," not to mention the innate racism of most Americans, McCain won't peel off a lot of those votes?

Of course he will. That's why the Republicans nominated him, and that's why he's running almost even with both Obama and Clinton in the polls right now. If Obama were so incredibly strong with Independent and Republican voters, wouldn't he be crushing McCain easily in national polling?

It was one thing to be low in the polls when name recognition made Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani front-runners. Not many people had heard of Barack Obama. But that was before all the debates and the media love and Party endorsements. So how do those poll results support his argument, which is a central tenet of his "kumbaya" campaign?

It is quite obvious that they do not. The person who would have decimated McCain was John Edwards, as the polls reflected at the time. The reason? People who won't vote for a woman named Clinton or a man named Obama would vote for him. You know - white males, who are disproportionately...Republics and Independents.

Clearly, if we wanted to bring Republics and Independents to our side, we should have nominated the safe, handsome, white, Southern male. But we didn't; and it's a mistake, and one not supported by any evidence, to think that Obama will automatically get his supporters. I was one, and I'm voting for Hillary.

So what would the winning strategy be?

Well, for one, it would be nice if Obama and his supporters stopped believing in fairy tales, and opened their eyes to the reality that he and Hillary are deadlocked in delegates (and that's only because Michigan and Florida were shut out). This hardly translates into a giant wave of momentum for Obama. If Hillary loses Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, then she should drop out and let Obama take the frontrunner position, in my opinion. But so far, the polls are showing that as usual, Hillary is stronger in the larger states.

I just can't help thinking that the winning strategy for Democrats is still a combined ticket for Clinton and Obama. They have both proven their strength in various demographics, and they could each bring a great deal to the other's campaign. Moreover, the excitement and participation of Democratic voters this year is palpable, and the turnout is absolutely breathtaking in the primaries. I wouldn't want the Party to lose either of these candidates and the sense of empowerment they bring to their supporters.

I don't think the theoretical gain of a few Republics and Independents should outweigh the almost certain reality of 16 years of Democratic Dominance in the White House. But then...

maybe it's just me.

7 comments:

Timmy B said...

This sounds like a bluff. My guess is he's trying to do several things. Putting the Clinton camp back on its heels,to show he's more diplomatic,and to get undecided voters to think they'd best vote for the Democrats "best" shot.
I agree,a Clinton/Obama ticket would be pretty formidable.

madamab said...

timmy b - he is basing his entire strategy on this idea. it's not a bluff, but perhaps you could call it "spin."

Flying Junior said...

The new policy of the Democratic Party of allowing all registered voters to select a Democratc Party ballot in the primary elections has clearly worked to Obama's advantage. I think it was a little too easy for Republicans to vote in our primaries. Some may have been amused to cast their vote in a real contest. Others may have been motivated by sabotage. I don't see what was the point. I had to register Republican to vote against Reagan in the 1980 California primary.

I hope you are right. A Clinton-Obama ticket might generate enough excitement to transcend the existing trends. It's really an all-or-nothing bet. But it just might be the winning ticket. Landslides are created by great groundswells of support.

madamab said...

The new policy of the Democratic Party of allowing all registered voters to select a Democratc Party ballot in the primary elections has clearly worked to Obama's advantage. I think it was a little too easy for Republicans to vote in our primaries. Some may have been amused to cast their vote in a real contest. Others may have been motivated by sabotage.

Interesting point. I have been hearing a lot of anecdotes that suggest the same thing about Republic voters.

I just think that Republics and right-leaning Independents who don't like McMaverick will either stay home, or hold their noses and vote for him anyway. I don't see them going for just Obama.

However, if you add Clinton to Obama, I could see how some of those Independents and Republics would be convinced to vote for the two of them. The ones who hate her war vote could vote for him, and the ones who thought she did the right thing at the time (in my mind, there are a lot of those folks out there who were for it before they were against it), could vote for her. It's a win-win, IMHO.

And talk about a huge change - a woman and a person of color together on the same ticket? I think we're looking at a landslide here.

Timmy B said...

madamab,you are right, spin is better.
McCain is another one who has been given a honeymoon by the press. His pandering, his temper, his Keating mess and others seem to not register. Unfortunately he is "my" senator, and he has a reputation around here as a nasty piece of work. I work in a heavily Rebpublican office and I overheard a conversation the other day between two of them when it became clear McCain was far ahead. The opening sentence was "Oh my God! What are we going to do? McCain is a piece of shit!" I tell you it was an effort not to laugh oout loud.

madamab said...

OMG, Timmy B! That is amazing. I have heard that he has a real temper. He may have more than one "macaca" moment as the campaign wears on.

I fear the press honeymoon will last for McCain. We will need to be very, very smart to beat him, but I do believe it can be done.

Woody (Tokin' Lib'rul/Rogue Scholar & O'erall Helluvafella!) said...

Mid-Dull Murka--inert, indolent, obese--hasn't cast a single ballot yet.

I am just about positive, when it does vote, in Nov, Mid-Dull Murka will NOT 'elect' a black dude with a messiah complex and a funny name as ITS president...