Barack Obama Set For A Strong Finish

Just two months ago, it looked as though all the wind had gone out of the sails of the Barack Obama campaign.  He trailed Hillary by double digits just about everywhere, Iowa standing as the one significant exception.  It was a done deal, Mrs. Clinton’s ascendancy to the White House was inevitable.

That’s not the case now. 

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey actually initially endorsed Obama much earlier this year, but aside from a spot on Larry King Live, and a fundraiser, the big O hadn’t been much of a presence in the campaign until now.  This past weekend showed the O show going on the road, and the results have been phenomenal, the event in South Carolina recording over 29,000 attendees.

It was what Obama needed, where he needed it, and by most accounts, it was a show stopper.  Virtually void of negativity, Oprah played her role perfectly, most notably marking the difference between her book club.  With books, Oprah’s seal of approval is essentially an annointment process on the way to the bestseller’s lists, but here Oprah ceded that her goal isn’t to get people to blindly do as she does, but instead to think.

And in a contest that has largely been driven by the name recognition and Clinton nostalgia, just getting Democratic primary voters to think outside the party box is a huge step (at least away from the front runner).

But let’s face it, Oprah has considerably little to do with the way the race has changed in the last few weeks.  In fact, if I were to point to any one thing that could be responsible for just how close the contest has gotten, it would be Hillary Clinton herself.  And strangely enough, these past three weeks would have been the best time to enlist Bob Shrum as a strategist.

Following the debate performance where Hillary flubbed a question on driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, the front runner had quickly gone negative in noticeable, sometimes laughable ways.  And these attempts, from the sideways gender card she played to the kindergarten flap, largely backfired.

This results in the remarkable new polling data that shows that Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina have all fallen into statistical dead heats.  What makes things even more ominous for the Clinton campaign is that there is definite momentum away from her and towards Obama.

If voting happened today, Hillary or Obama could win any of the big three, but not likely all of them, and Hillary would still stand to receive her party’s nomination.  But voting isn’t happening today which results in much more time for the current momentum to take its toll.  Without significant changes on both the Obama and the Clinton fronts, that momentum is not going to change, and when Iowans go to vote on the 3rd, and New Hampshire voters cast their ballots on the 8th, Obama should have a clear, outside the margin, advantage.

And as the polls referenced above point out, it’s all her fault.  As a backlash to the more aggressive side of Mrs. Clinton, one thing is that all three polls show that Hillary is widely seen as untrustworthy, or dishonest.  One has only to think that had Clinton now signed off on the Kerry plan of turning the other cheek, the inevitability campaign might still have a full head of steam.

The only problem is that the people who attacked Kerry were vicious and good at what they did.  Obama, on the other hand, simply sucks as an attack politician.  Hillary returning his attacks not only validates his own aggression towards her, but also has the effect of the bully trying to sucker punch a pencil neck for his milk money.

It’s still too early to tell; the three polls are statistical ties and therefore not something I would put money on.  There are still a couple of weeks during which we could hit with a campaign shocker that could upend either candidate’s aspirations.  But all of that aside, where it didn’t look like Obama had a chance just a couple months ago, this thing is shaping up to be a photo finish, and Obama’s poised to make the best of it.

7 Responses to “Barack Obama Set For A Strong Finish”

  1. Inaru says:

    Agreed throughout, except that it’s not only Hillary’s mistakes, it’s Obama’s hard work to get his message out, with his avid volunteers throughout the country. And Obama is not more a “pencil-neck” than any athletic former basketball player who’s stayed in shape. Bet you’d be hard-put to wrestle down that fine physique!

    Check Obama out against Rep. Alan Keyes in the Illinois Senate debates. His suave, statesman-like style made the attack dog Keyes look like a psycho, even to his own supporters. Think we’re not sick of blood-lust politics with no substance and no real plan to win and implement the changes we’ve longed for so long? Think again!

    My little team of volunteers helped sign up over 100 new black voter supporters, register black youth for their first election, and sign up volunteers, knocked on over 200 voters’ doors, and that was just this past weekend!

    Rep. Barbara Lee who Spoke for Me against the Iraq War endorsed Barack Obama today – what a perfect cap to a perfect weekend! Thank you Barbara Lee, of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus – I’ll work for you next time you run for anything just as hard as I’m working for Barack, Word!

  2. Katy says:

    Obama has never attacked Clinton. Clinton, however, has made derogatory attacks on his character, investigated his background and circulated false rumors about him. Obama has risen from little known competing against a well known candidate and has now surpassed everyone.

    Mr. Moore, I’m sorry but you just dont get it. This is a grass roots MOVEMENT. People are working across this country to elect the best candidate, Senator Barack Obama. Of course Oprah attracted voters that wouldnt normally participate, but Senator Obama always draws a large crowd wherever he goes. The organizational work from ordinary people who have volunteered for this candidate is unprecedented. And it was happening before Oprah. Once people participate in a town hall meeting, they join and spread the word. How about publishing the impressive endorsements Obama has recieved?

  3. This is rather strange considering that I am an Obama supporter, and yet here I am about to defend myself against my own kind (Mark should really see this, he’d laugh).

    First, okay, Inaru, it was never my intention to disqualify the hard work on Obama’s behalf and his volunteers. That’s very important. However, I also think is is important to point out that had Hillary never gone as negative as hard and as fast, she would have weathered the initial storm and kept this race out of Obama’s reach.

    Trust me on this, horse race is what I do. After that first debate where the kitchen sink got chucked at Clinton’s head, she could have mitigated the bulk of the damage by simply saying that the illegal immigrant issue was a complex and nuanced one that could not be alleviated by taking a yes or no stance on the topic at hand. She should have left it at that.

    Had she done that, and then went back to the campaign she had been running for most of the year, it is highly likely that a little of the varnish might have been stripped from her bid, but she could even survive Iowa and win New Hampshire and South Carolina, and from there take the rest of the party by storm. Don’t get me wrong, I would have dreaded such an action, but it was weeks of bad press as a result first of her triangulating on the Illegal Immigrant driver’s licenses issue and then on the ridiculous negative attacks on Obama that have put both New Hampshire and South Carolina in play with Obama riding a wave of positive momentum.

    As for the pencil neck reference, that was strictly meant in a political context, and as far as attack politics goes, yes Obama is a pencil neck compared to the Clinton machine’s no neck linebacker.

    Katy, I’m afraid to say that yes, in fact, Obama has attacked Clinton. This can’t be denied, but what is at issue here is if they were baseless attacks that reak of mud slinging, or if they were the good kind of attacks, the kind of attacks that are essentially, as the politically correct vernacular might have it, “emphasizing differences.” What has to be understood, apparently among Obama’s supporters as well, is that the politics of hope do not preclude attacks of any kind; they simply seek to establish a kind of politics that are specifically relevent to the campaign.

    Now for both of you. I ask of you, no I beg of you, please don’t turn into Ron Paul supporters. By this I don’t mean I’m hoping you won’t switch camps, but instead that I hope you don’t start acting like Ron Paul supporters; particularly that creepy cultish behavior that really irks.

    Before you go after me for not being supportive enough, or for not being fair enough in my reporting, I suggest you read the entire body of work I have written on Obama, and then make your decision as opposed to passing judgement on a single post. More importantly, this is a horse race post which means that I’m looking at the dynamics of the raw politics and not taking into account my own personal feelings towards the candidates.

    What you will find is that I have been an Obama supporter from the very beginning, but I have also been critical of him in the past, and have written more than a few posts regarding the politically tone deaf or naive aspects of his campaign.

    So, I’m sorry Katy, you need to be a little more careful before saying someone does or does not get it. I think I’ve put enough time in to know that I do get it.

  4. Danielle Clarke says:

    Maybe people are reading the truth, which is changing attitudes!!

    IS THIS CHANGE???

    Are The CLINTONS Too INVESTED In The PRISON INDUSTRY? “Supreme court rules yesterday on Crack Cocaine sentencing disparities”
    http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/danielleclarke/CBXf

    The following is a list of links that explain the truth of Bill and Hillary Clinton with regards to their continued support for keeping people who use Crack Cocaine in prisons.

    Bill never would reduce the crack cocaine that was asked for by many during his administration. Yesterday the supreme court gave permission to judges to have disgression in sentencing guidlines.

    Clinton Signs Bill To Disapprove of Equalizing Crack-Powder Cocaine Sentences

    “”at the npr black brown forum””
    With Her Eye On Nov. ’08, Polls Dictate Clinton Crime Policy

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/celeste-fremon/with-her-eye-on-nov-08_b_75207.html
    “”When asked about her own policy,

    “””Clinton said she agreed with the feds’ recommendation for equalizing the sentences,

    but she opposed making the sentencing changes retroactive””.

    “I have problems with retroactivity,” she said. “It’s something a lot of communities will be concerned about as well.”

    Obama, Edwards, Richarson, Dodd, Kucinich said they were in favor of the sentencing change being applied to those already serving time.

    IS THIS CHANGE???

  5. Hey Danielle.

    Thanks for the info, and I’m sorry it took so long for your comment to show up; we have automatic spam filters that block out comments if too many hyperlinks are added.

    This is a good point you make, though, and perhaps worthy of a post all by itself.

    Thanks again.

  6. Danielle Clarke says:

    Kyle please feel free to use my blog to write your own. I think i have covered it but i am sure you can find more.

    hugs Danielle

    PS: Lots more stuff here too = http://bushclintonhurtchildren.blogspot.com/

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