Decisions, Decisions

Not ashamed to admit that I am having a great deal of trouble deciding between Hillary and Obama. Hillary’s bonuses in my mind are that she comes pre-attacked by the Right Wing Howler Monkey Media Chorus (what else could they accuse her of? Eating babies?) and she knows exactly how brutal, vicious and unscupulous they can be. Her negatives are that she is basically Bill without the charm or the politicul acumen. There might even be something to the suggestion that she is so loathed by the Right Wing that their turnout will increase in Pavlovian response (something like a Four Minute Hate). Obama’s main positive is that he inspires people. A lot. In a battle for turnout (which John Kerry spectacularly lost in 2004), a dynamic candidate can make all the difference. And he seems well plugged-in to both money and people. He even has an office, with a staffer, here in Cleburne, of all places in the universe. On the downside, he strikes me as naive, both about the brutal realities of governing and about the buzzsaw he’ll be wading into. His only campaigns so far have been in comfortably Blue Illinois, where he faced such electoral juggernauts as Alan Keyes. Already, the Howler Monkeys have gone from claiming he is a Muslim Manchurian Candidate to speculating that his parents must have been commies, because that’s where all mixed-race couples met back then. Seriously. The McCain campaign, fortunately, is being advised to attack Obama essentially by screaming “liberal!” and running away. That, plus the fact that McCain is about as far off beam in terms of the public mood (both for foreign and domestic policy) as possible can only help whoever gets the nod. I just wish I could be more assured that Obama can both take it and dish it out. This campaign is going to be the nastiest (and most expensive) in recent memory; I want the leader of my party ready for it.


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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think Obama may have a much more difficult time in the general election than the pollsters are saying he would. At some point all of this fuzzy talk about “hope” and “change” and “yesterday vs. tomorrow” needs to be replaced by some serious substance, and the sooner the better. His lack of experience is going to be a serious issue in this campaign, moreso than it was in the primaries, and he needs to offer more than platitudes to address it. On the other hand, I think the opportunity of voting for the first black president may well lure a lot of voters who are sitting on the fence come November, regardless of his experience. Good looks and speaking ability can get you a long way in politics.

  2. ‘ At some point all of this fuzzy talk about “hope” and “change” and “yesterday vs. tomorrow” needs to be replaced by some serious substance’

    As opposed to what? The detailed policy positions Dubya put out in 2000 and 2004? I think you’re confusing what political wonks like us would like to see in a candidate with what the general public has come to expect from candidates.

  3. The notion that obama can’t face the Republican heat in the election ignores that patent fact that Clinton has been running a Republican-style negative campaign for the past two months, and Obama is still standing, and still getting stronger. They’ve made veiled comments about his race, about his middle name and background, they’ve lied about his voting record, they’ve accused him of plagiarism, they’ve salted stories that his staff includes communists – really, Hillary is the dirtiest politician since Richard Nixon.
    And Obama keeps standing tall for what we believe and gets stronger.

  4. If the Obama campaign thinks that Hillary’s mild, inept and frankly pathetic attacks are on a par with Nixon, that pretty much proves my point about his naivete. What Hillary has done, or tried to do since all her attacks have either failed or back-fired, is NOTHING compared to what the Republicans will unleash after the convention. Just no comparision whatsoever.

  5. Eric: The idea that Obama lacks substance is some sort of smokescrean. It’s easy to find lots of detail on his web site.

    Hillary has a lot of criminal/scandal baggage, and one of her main campaign tactics is to lie about and insult her opponents. Obama has none of the former, and is no worse than the average candidate on the latter.

    Great comment, Emmanuel.

  6. I think Obama is as substantive as any other presidential candidate, which is to say not very. His platform is actually fairly generic Democratic stuff, virtually indistinguishable from Hillary’s, in contrast to his soaring rhetoric about “radical bipartisan change” and “transformational politics.” And again, Hillary’s clumsy attacks are love notes compated to what the GOP will throw at him.

  7. I remember the “Muslim Manchurian Candidate” thing coming from a Hillary staffer’s email campaign a few months ago.

  8. Nah, it started in the Right Wing-o-Sphere, but it is a sad commentary that Hillary is reduced to trolling the backwater swamps of teh interwebs for attack memes. Like I said, it smacks of desperation, kind of like the obviously committe-formed “change you can xerox” line that utterly bombed at the debate in Austin.

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