Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Devil is in the details

Many conservative and liberal talking-heads (among them Rush Limbaugh and Howard Wolfson) have said that Barack Obama needs to get specific and come-down from the lofty hope and change politicking; I even have been engaged in anecdotal conversations purporting the same.

It is understandable that many have arrived at this given Obama's sliding poll numbers and the backfire of the high-minded Berlin speech, the absence of a VP bounce and to-date a mundane convention.

But there's one problem with this idea: when it comes to experience, there's no there there.

Let me explain this the way I have in ordinary conversation: I first qualify my question with "Whether you may agree with them or not, do you give credibility to Bill Clinton when he speaks on foreign policy, economics, or American politics?" Then I continue to ask the same about Newt Gingrich. The answer is inevitably "yes".

The answer is "yes", because , they have to their credit, first-hand experience...Clinton was a professor, state attorney general, Chair of the National Governor's Association, and a two-term governor; Gingrich a history professor, congressman, Speaker of the House, and author.

Barack has an unremarkable state representative record and just half a national senatorial term, which translates into a real deficit on credibility.

Should Obama begin to espouse specifics on his policy intentions, the door to questioning his credibility deficit swings wide open into his own face.

He can't get specific because of this fact and if he does and is questioned he can only revert to relating to his time as a community organizer (which will not stand the test of reality) or that he's relying on his advisers and veep (which begs the question, why then is Obama on the top of the ticket).

Moreover, conspicuous by it's absence is any political rung climbing. That is, the run for and holding of lesser offices -- as is the recognized standard. Barack seems to be reaching too far and when one considers how he arrived at his previous office, it looks all the more like a leap of faith (hence the hope and change identity).

So the senator is left to talk high ideals and chant hope and change, sloganeer overcome, but that too makes clear that the democratic nomination when to the wrong gender.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Hillary 2012 Strategy

The Internet is buzzing with the news that Phillip Berg, a Hillary Clinton supporter, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Illinois Senator Barack Obama, the DNC and the FEC claiming that the presumptive democrat nominee is not constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States.

(Berg is a former gubernatorial and senatorial candidate, ex-chair of the Democratic Party in Montgomery County, PA, past member of the Democratic State Committee, and previous Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania).

We also know that Hillary has not released her delegates and rumors fly that her supporters lobbied the super delegates, which assisted in placing her name in nomination for a roll-call vote at the Democratic Convention.

Likewise known is the lack of support from Obama’s campaign to aid in retiring her campaign debt and her tepid stumping for Obama, while getting prime billing at the convention for herself, Bill and Chelsea.

What is one to make of this?

The most convenient and simplest answer is trying to figuratively secure the nomination for herself. I use the adjective “figuratively” because she is attempting to place her viability before the DNC and the average democrat voter.

The more her supporters are able to undermine Obama’s run for election, the more she looks to be the obvious choice in 2012. One might then contend that her inevitability didn’t bring her nomination to fruition in this go-around.

That is because it’s now painfully obvious that Nancy Pelosi, the DNC and beltway dems tried to jettison her (and Bill) from the party leadership. Clinton fatigue has assuredly set in, and the time was right to rid themselves of the couple from Hope.

However, if her supporters (who are not by-and-large backing Barack) are successful at putting the kibosh on Obama to the extent it costs him the election, she becomes the natural choice in 2012.

And with Obama doing so poorly in the polls (he should be well ahead of McCain by at least 15 points among likely voters), it makes evident the fact he is not connecting with the American public – no matter what the mainstream media has reported.

There are of course other factors that have kept him from running further ahead: his guilt by association scandals, his inability to speak off-the-cuff and his lack of experience make it all-the-more-difficult.

But with all of the ancillary help he’s received (e.g. favorable media coverage, endorsements, the shutting-out of Bill and Hillary, et cetera) he’s still not been able to capitalize on it.

Hillary knows these facts full-well and won’t hesitate to use them in her favor. As we’ve learned about the Clinton’s, that which doesn’t kill them only makes them stronger.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

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