Here’s the headline from WaPo today “Even Conservative Media Chorus Sings Obama’s Praises”. We now know the candidate the Republicans want nominated: Senator Barrack Obama.
Here’s a simple political reality that has held true for many, many years: If you want to knock down one opponent that you fear, bring in or back a surrogate you feel more certain that you can beat.
This has been done time and time again from state to federal races and today we see the right wing media effort to raise Obama to the standard bearer because they fear him less.
Why? Hillary Clinton, for whatever flaws she may have, is tougher than nails. She been attacked in every conceivable manner on every conceivable subject, from sexual orientation to murder, and she’s survived every attack. She’s the candidate with very personal body armor.
In 2008, which I assume after 40 years political experience, will be the most filthy on record, our nominee had better be able to withstand the attack and return fire with effectiveness. I haven’t seen that in Senator Obama.
While I have held off making a choice, being a person who was, for years, against a Clinton run, I now understand her power as a candidate. Part of her power as a candidate is the ability to withstand the attacks, overpower the opposition with content and passion. Recently, she’s also learned to let the public see her personal side.
Yesterday we saw diary after diary, and hundreds of comments, reflecting the pure hatred many have for Senator Clinton. We saw time and again reference to her ‘crying’ on the trail. I dare anyone to actually watch that clip (it’s only 111 seconds) and find a tear. Did we see a fatigued, frustrated person at a vulnerable moment? Sure. And that’s real. It’s what she’s needed for a long time.
I saw comment after comment about her fighting back at the NH debate at St. Anslem College. The upshot of the criticism was that she was out of control. Bullshit. She was attacked and she fought back with facts and reality.
Now we see the Right Wing Media and commentators praising Obama. Why? Stop and think of Why?
He’s mixed race and they don’t like that. He’s moderately left, although Obama supporters conveniently forget his outright support of Ol’ Joe Liebermann, and advocates many things, as do our other candidates, that the Right Wing find simply UnAmerican.
So WHY the late Right Wing Media support for Obama?
Simple. They believe he’s the easier candidate to beat in November.
Stop assuming this election is in the bag. It isn’t. If we nominate someone without substantial experience they’ll be attacked from all sides. They will not be able to work from a place of strength in the argument.
If we nominate someone who doesn’t know the intricacies of Federal Government they’ll be attacked for it.
If we nominate someone who is mixed race they will, using code language and outright racist appeals from independent organizations, be attacked for it. [I don’t discount Senator Obama because of his ethic makeup. I support the first black candidacy in American History that has a reasonable chance at the nomination. Whether I support the candidate, which I do not, I support the candidacy.]
For years I have preached in blogs, my own and others, Practical Politics. The Prime Directive, to borrow a Star Trek phrase, is to:
First, win the election.
Practical Politics means accumulating power then using it as a force for good. Feel-good politics usually loses against well organized, and funded opposition.
Remember, apparently even the youthful, inspirational JFK needed the help of some unsavory, but powerful, interests to beat Nixon in 1960. And he was a power for good.
While I have never been comfortable with Senator Obama as a candidate I now know for a fact which candidate the Republicans WANT to face: Senator Barrack Obama.
As a practical pol, that makes me terribly uncomfortable.