Thursday, January 31, 2008

Obama v. McCain?

Well my political hopes for Mike Huckabee have been dashed, Mitt "Mitty" Romney sounds depressed and is pulling adds after his loss in FL, Giuliani realized that no one likes him once they get to know him and quit, I think Fred Thompson fell asleep and was disqualified, and Ron Paul will never get above 3%. So that leaves the once improbable John McCain as the clear leader for the republican race. He has problems though. For one, the far right hates him. Rush Limbaugh is dead set against him, Michelle Malken wouldn't vote for him even if it is v. Hillary! (Yet...) There is even a new phrase for it, McCain Derangement Syndrome. Here is the video version:

So for the Democrats? Since John Edwards surprise exit yesterday it is all Obama v Hillary, Obama v Hillary. Now my last prediction fell flat on its face so I am going to go only a few inches onto a limb this time.

My view of it is that Obama does have the edge, but not by much. I think Hillary made a mistake by bringing Bill out so hard this late in the race. No mater what she says, he is not just her husband. Bill Clinton is the defacto head of the party and its elder statesman and by having him campaign so hard it has the effect of shrinking Hillary to a sort of co-president when the entire campaign has been built on her and her experience. Second - I am personally very annoyed at her decision to go back on her word not to campaign in MI and FL whos delegates have been stripped and where every one agreed not to campaign. Well she did campaign, and she won, and now she is looking to get those delegates back after the fact! It is political Calvin Ball and would be an awfully backdoor way to get the nomination. I am hoping she backs off on both fronts.

Also, Obama is coming to the Target center this Saturday at 1:30 and I will be attending with my friend and co-political junkie David. It should be fun!

I am very distrustful of the cult of personality that has been built up around Obama. Any comparison to JFK makes me cringe. No politician can ever be a savior, and I worry that like other populist leaders riding a wave of change he could hit a wall in about six months and crash and burn. But, I do see that he clearly has the power to motivate people and then use that power to further his politics. People focus all the time on the former, but enough value has been been placed on the latter.

I feel with Hillary, like John Kerry, we are doomed to keep fighting the Vietnam war politically (Especially if John McCain is in it). Hillary has been fighting that fight all her life and she is good at it, and passionate about it as well. But I believe we really need a new start, especially after the past eight years that has left the country broken on all fronts. We need a fixer more than an operator, and I think that is the choice between Obama and Hillary. Obama supporters see him as a motivator for change in a broken country, Hillary supporters see her as a skillful political operator in messy world. And I think they are both right. But we need change above all else. That is why I am supporting Barack Obama for president.

But looking ahead, say it is Obama v. McCain. Lets just take their fundrasing as one metric of how strong they are at this moment. In the month of January alone, Obama raised $32 Million. McCain has raised $29 Million - total. Thats since the start of the campaign. Ouch. Hillary has raised $90 Million total, Obama $80 Million. Ouch.

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