Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wednesday Morning Irritation

I can’t use my clever little logo this morning, at least not without being wistful. This irritates me. The bitch simply won’t expire. The analysis in this piece expresses my worry. The only thing the piece doesn't really mention is if the negative campaigning combined with the economic message is what is doing it. I have to imagine that's what's brought about the change. I wasn't shocked that she took Ohio. But I thought that Obama could take Texas. The fact that he didn't get an edge among whites there is quite disturbing.

I have a feeling that Obama’s tendency to play clean is costing him. He wants to arrive at the national campaign looking noble. Indeed, I don't blame him. It fits better with his whole narrative to soar above the fray. His youth and a message of hope will play quite well against McCain’s decrepit image and warmongering. But to get there, Obama needs to flush Clinton. That requires some sort of strategic innovation on Obama’s part. But Hillary will do and say anything to get to the next level, even if the cost is phyrric. I think Clinton’s viciousness over the past week will cost her in the national race, if she makes it that far. This is especially likely as she will need more nastiness to keep her campaign going. Clearly she can't beat Obama with her smile.

As I’ve said before, I don’t think she can win the presidency. I think her campaign proves this. So far, Clinton’s adaptations have looked fairly crude and have had the essential “flip-flop” characteristic of just saying what people need to hear, searching for a winning message. I think she’s stumbled into a formula that’s working against Obama, but not without incurring a significant cost for the future of her campaign in terms of both negativity and inconsistency. Bottom line: she’ll clearly say anything to win, which is detrimental to her position. Moreover, her essential arrogance is already emerging, with her painting Obama as a possible vice-presidential candidate despite her being behind him by nearly a hundred delegates.

Despite my belief that Obama’s suave, graceful (if admittedly airy) style is stronger against McCain than Clinton’s “do and say anything to win” approach, Obama’s smooth campaign style faces a serious political task in dispatching Clinton. Bottom line: he needs to find a way to kill the bitch off quickly. The question is, “Can he find a way of flushing her and still stay smooth?” This is going to be a critical interval for Obama that will tell us something about his adaptability, as his personality doesn’t lend itself neatly to flushing a tenacious opponent with a pyrrhic sense of tactics. He needs to be rid of her quite desperately. Whether or not he manages it, we will learn something substantial about his acumen as a politician. God willing he does, because if he can’t, Senator McCain is likely to be the next president of the United States.

Well, I gotta go hit the gym. It's end of term and I have a shitload of work to do. Plus, Dinur will be here on Friday! Lots going on.

No comments: