Monday, December 10, 2007

Her singtime sung, her rill be run, unhemmed as it is uneven!

Here's a brief story on Democrats and their issues with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Clinton is still in the lead, although the stories about her lead are getting to be ridiculous. About a month ago, her lead was over twenty points, and we were told that it was "solid". It has dropped ever since. Last week I read a news source that said she had a "solid" six point lead that would be "hard to beat". The most recent poll I've seen put her lead over Obama at two points. I'm sure these are a solid two points.

Clinton is dropping like a stone, in other words, while Obama is slowly rising. The Democrats that I've met who support Hillary Clinton have always sounded to me like they saw it as a rather unpleasant duty: they don't exactly like her, but they don't think Obama can win the election. Obama supporters, on the other hand, actually seem excited about the possibility of him becoming President. They remind me of Ron Paul supporters. More importantly, independents and discontented Republicans are more interested in him than her. One gets the feeling that she's the candidate that people think they're supposed to vote for and he's the one that they actually want to vote for.

And liberals have to get over the idea that Americans are either liberal or racist. I've met a few closet racists in my time; but I've met many more whites who feel trapped in the perception that they are de facto closet racists and who hunger for an opportunity to express their belief in racial equality in some way that doesn't make them appear condescending, arrogant, or phony. I think the race issue will work to Obama's advantage.

Obama's negatives don't adhere to him in the same way either; they're things like whether or not whites will vote for him, or if he is experienced or electable. These will fade with time. By contrast, Clinton's negatives are character issues. People see her as fundamentally dishonest or mean-spirited. She has to prove that she's not really as bad as people think she is, while Obama has to basically convince voters that it's okay to vote for him.

People see Obama as "style over substance". I don't think they realize that such is the Presidency. One thing I realized during Reagan's Presidency was that the image a President projects is more important than anything else about them. Clinton comes across as responsible and intelligent, but also arrogant and entitled. Like a class monitor. As if she thinks people should vote for her because she's their better. Obama comes off as responsible and intelligent as well; but he seems more enamored with the electorate than she does. You get the sense that he wants their votes and she deserves their votes: I think that's the difference. Obama appears to be in love with America and the promise of America in a way that reminds one of Reagan. I see the appeal there: he would be good for the psychological health of the country.

No comments: