June 23, 2008


St. Barack Was a Mirage: The senator is losing what made him seem special and inspiring. (Peter Wehner, 6/23/08, National Review)

Obama announced on Thursday that he will opt out of public financing for his presidential run. Offering a breathtakingly jaded and calculating explanation (the Republicans made him do it), Obama betrayed what we were told was the closest thing the candidate had to a high and inviolate principle: political and campaign finance reform. When that principle collided with his political self-interest, Obama invoked the same method that he used, for instance, with Jeremiah “I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother” Wright: He disposed of that which is not politically expedient.

Obama has become what Jennifer Rubin at Contentions refers to as the “never mind” candidate. “Never mind” what he said about the Reverend Wright, flag pins, NAFTA, the importance of not losing in Iraq (in 2004-2005), the threat of Iran, meeting with Ahmadinejad, Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, and so on.

The problem for Obama is that his core appeal has been largely aesthetic; he positioned himself as St. Barack, flying high and high-mindedly above the “old” politics of distractions, divisions, and cynicism. He wouldn’t play the “Washington game.” Obama has been sold to us as post-everything (post-partisan, post-ideological, post-racial, and post-label). If that appeal is stripped away, then Obama will be seen as a deeply and reflexively liberal one-term senator — and as something of a fraud. That combination may be enough to defeat him in a year that should overwhelmingly favor Democrats.

...Northern liberal is enough to defeat him.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at June 23, 2008 8:04 AM

The "St. Barack" bit is instructive.

Obama's schtick is that he's a "Messiah" of sorts. That theme, left unchallenged will work for him unless and until McCain can show that he's a false profit.

McCain's "That's not change we believe in" speech was good along those lines. That said, the talking points against Obama should ALL include the "false Messiah' theme.

Everything else will be 'off message.'

Posted by: Bruno at June 23, 2008 11:08 AM

If that appeal is stripped away,...

Before or after the first Tuesday of November?

Posted by: ic at June 23, 2008 12:55 PM
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