August 11, 2008


The story of O (Muhammad Cohen, 8/12/08, Asia Times)

Turning the spotlight on Obama shouldn't be successful only for the Republicans. Rather than complain as Obama has about the glare shining brightly on him, the Democratic contender and his party should welcome the nourishing light of public exposure and convert it into energy and voters. They should embrace the focus on Obama as a chance to put out their messages about why the Democrats are different from a president with approval ratings in the 20% range and the Republican candidates bearing Bush's stain.

It's odd for Obama to be griping that the vote has become a referendum on him; that's one vote that any politician ought welcome and be confident about winning. Moreover, Obama gets a free shot to tell voters who he is, highlight his unique version of the American dream, and lay out his policies to reverse and repair the damage of the past eight years.

If Obama can't or won't do, there's another Democrat available who is quite comfortable when things are all about her. In fact, she rarely encounters any situation that's not all about her and her illustrious family. Hillary Clinton would relish the chance to face McCain, or anyone else, in a referendum about her. While Obama lounges on the beach in Hawaii this week, perhaps Hillary Clinton diehards are reminding Democratic super delegates that she's tanned, rested and ready, if still supremely unrealistic about her chances.

Gordon Brown has pretty nearly rendered Labour obsolete by explaining how they're different from the Thatcherism of Tony Blair. Obama would do the same thing for the Democrats if he differentiated them from W, which is why he's silent about his voting record and previously expressed views. The mystery is why he doesn't (and Gore and Kerry didn't) run as a Clintonite and why it took Hillary so long to do so. Once she did she staged the comeback that extended the primary season a month or two longer than anyone thought it was lasting.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 11, 2008 9:44 AM

I'm really surprised that more people haven't picked up on the fact that the McCain campaign has clearly decided that it's to their advantage to show Obama and use his own words in their ads. They could be wrong, but why aren't more people asking what their reasoning is?

Posted by: Ibid at August 11, 2008 10:09 AM

Oh, I think they know the reasoning, and hence why the Democrats are crying foul so mightily. The Messiah has no clothes!

Posted by: Dreadnought at August 11, 2008 11:30 AM

Muhammed Cohen?

Now, you don't see that every day.

Posted by: Mikey at August 11, 2008 12:16 PM

I thought the same thing, Mikey. "Mohammed of the Jewish Priestly Caste"? Gotta be a nom de plume.

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at August 11, 2008 2:35 PM


To the samepoint, in refusing the townhall concept the Obama camp acknowledge they can't afford to expose their guy. You'd think the press might notice that.

Posted by: oj at August 11, 2008 3:33 PM

What choice did he have? If Obama had taken McCain's townhall bait he'd have been well and truly exposed. Even a 7 year old girl's simple question made him look bad. Watching him sort through possible answers before coming up with the one he thinks will do the least damage is uncomfortable to watch and his phoniness becomes obvious.

Posted by: Patrick H at August 11, 2008 4:52 PM
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