July 8, 2008


Obama's Hot Air (NICHOLAS WAPSHOTT, July 9, 2008, NY Sun)

Mr. McCain's attractiveness to Democrats that Mr. Obama has failed to reach is making the party's traditional backers deeply anxious. At a New Jersey fundraiser a couple of weeks ago attended by Governor Corzine, the deep pocketed Democratic donors I spoke to split between those who accepted Mr. Obama's candidacy with a heavy heart and half expected him to lose and those who were in plain despair at his prospects.

One longtime giver, who had backed Mrs. Clinton to the end, was so certain Mr. Obama would be defeated he said the very thought of the general election "makes me nauseous."

Mr. Obama's response to Mr. McCain's remarkable popularity has been to reach out as fast as he can to the independent and blue collar voters the Arizona senator has thus far called his own. For Mr. Obama, this means junking positions that kept his devoted MoveOn.org fan base sending their $20 bills, putting in their place policies that until recently Mr. Obama openly derided.

Contrary to his previous announcements: Mr. Obama now favors capital punishment, if not for murderers, at least for child rapists; he now thinks maintaining a mother's mental health is no reason for an abortion; far from poking fun at those who "cling to guns," he now says he thinks the Washington D.C., handgun ban was illegal all along; far from sneering at those who "cling to religion," he has cosied up to evangelical Christians and encouraged "faith based initiatives"; he now believes public campaign financing is too flawed to accept; he now thinks it rash to take tea with the world's tyrants without "preparations."

Most important of all, at least to his battalions of young volunteers, he is now not sure he can order a couple of brigades home from Iraq safely every month. His previous position, that he would tell the top brass to proceed with a total withdrawal from Iraq with immediate effect, is to be "revised."

It may be undignified, but Mr. Obama is doing the right thing by throwing overboard policies not wanted on the next stage of his journey. Winning candidates traditionally accommodate the views of their primary supporters before jettisoning them ahead of the general election.

That's certainly the conventional wisdom, but the reality is that no candidate who's had to significantly revise his positions has ever gone on to win the general, at least not in the modern era. That's why the only Democrats to win in the past forty years have been Evangelical Southern governors--they could run as they'd been forced to govern by political reality in their states.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 8, 2008 9:45 PM

Was he lying then, or is he lying now? I'll bet you don't know, and neither does anybody else.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 8, 2008 11:10 PM

C'mon, only lesser beings lie, Obama is "flexible and pragmatic".

Posted by: ic at July 9, 2008 12:54 AM

"This is not the Barack Obama I have known for forty-seven years."

Posted by: AC at July 9, 2008 6:37 AM

Was he lying then, or is he lying now?


Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 9, 2008 7:28 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus