Snarky Behavior

Why Obama Can’t Win

July 25, 2007 · 2 Comments

As much as I hate admitting it, the writing looks to be on the wall.

I know what you’re thinking: who the hell am I to write off a candidate 10 months before the primaries? Especially one that is polling so well, and raising so much money?

Well, that’s easy — I’m an arm-chair blogger. Didn’t you read the disclaimer?

But even without any previous experience following campaigns, I can already tell you how this will play out, and why:

The Path Before Him (aka Snakebitten on a Plane)
Obama is already getting tagged with the “is he the next Howard Dean?” label. That is: rabid excitement on-line, led by non-traditional party affiliates (in both instances, youth), which translates to impressive fund-raising numbers and fervorous campaign activists… and an extinguished wild-fire.

The danger is that the media, having been burned before by misleading internet hype (ie Snakes on a Plane) is wary to assume that passion translates into numbers, and will be slow to fully acknowledge Obama as the presumptive front-runner, even if he were to win in Iowa or New Hampshire.

Categorizing the Candidates (aka the Star Wars trilogy)-
Hilary’s campaign strategy is simple: what you see is what you get. She’s the experience candidate. The in-step Democrat. Yesterday, I mentioned that Edwards is the populist, keeping the agenda elastic. Obama is clearly the “Change” candidate. The new-establishment. Put another way:

    • Edwards = The Return of the JediMinus Obi-Wan (John Kerry), Luke Guystalker (Edwards) must lead the small rebel army of the republic against the evil empire.
    • Hillary = The Empire Strikes Back – After licking its wounds and biding its time, the regrouped Empire (Clinton administration) regains control.
    • Obama = A New Hope - How audacious.

The Catch-22 of Being the “Change” candidate
It’s fine and good to be the “Change” candidate — the outsider who was against the war in Iraq from the beginning (even though nobody at the time gave two shits what he thought about Iraq, since he was a state senator at the time of invasion)– the young and fresh instrument of change with a vision for a more stronger union. To be honest, that message appeals to me more than any other. But to harness your image to freshness in a campaign cycle that will drag on for over 2 years seems extremely dangerous to me.

Look, the media has discovered that reporting on issues is not nearly as attention grabbing as reporting on the horse-race. And you just know, like the sun-rise, that the weekly magazines are going to over-expose all of the candidates involved by the end of the summer, including Obama. By the time we reach Super-Tuesday, Obama’s shtick of “something different” will be old-hat. People might resent him for being on the campaign trail, pressing the issue of withdrawal, instead of being in the halls of Congress, making sure that actually happened.

And by “people,” I mean Edwards. He’s the outsider now. He’s the one who can say “Congress holds the purse-strings, they need not approve a war-time budget unless it includes a timetable of withdrawal.”

Obama Will Jump the Shark. If he insists on tying his campaign to “change,” he’ll go down with the ship. The more he tries to paddle away from Washington, the more obvious it becomes that he is part of Washington. Eventually, the media will pick up on this. And by the time they do, it will be too late.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • AJS // July 25, 2007 at 11:53 pm | Reply

    Here’s my question: If/when Clinton clinches the nomination, does she offer Obama the VP slot? And does he take it?h

  • Jon // July 26, 2007 at 12:29 am | Reply

    I don’t know. The traditional theory is to balance the ticket with a Southern Democrat. I’ve heard some theories posited that instead of balancing the ticket, you should play to your strengths. I.e. bring in another super-experienced VP (maybe Al Gore?).

    But in the end it doesn’t really matter: Bill’s her running-mate, and nobody can compete with that.

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