Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Battle Ready versus The Battle Axe

Off the bat, let us dispatch the remarks being made in the current issue of Newsweek Magazine that Barack Obama is "pulling away in the polls," and that he will not be "Swift Boated." 

Them's fighting words.  More importantly, they are the words of an angry MSM who do not want to see their candidate lose momentum, though he is.  But I do not see him winning the Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday, and though the polls show him within single digits, I'll stick my neck out and say he will lose by double digits.  He's losing support among gun owners and church attendees.

NBC's Meet the Press, today, somewhat put this into perspective with the actual polling data.  It doesn't look to me that Obama is "pulling away."  But Hillary Clinton didn't impress anyone either.  In last Thursday's ABC debate in Philadelphia, they both got clobbered.  They could not handle the excellent questions from ABC. 

NY Times columnist David Brooks has a keen eye for strategy, and he says in his recent column and repeated again today on NBC, that Barack lost the veneer of being "one of us," when the issues began and now continue to pile on, and they clearly demonstrate that Obama is not one of us, rather he is as conventional a liberal as they come:

RUSSERT: David Brooks, back in January you said Barack Obama “may be changing the face of American politics.” This week you said something much different, that he’s been ground down and probably would have a difficult time being elected.”

DAVID BROOKS: Well, he’ll have challenges. And, and I don’t know if it’s the tragedy of Barack Obama, but, but the challenge of Barack Obama. The man has extraordinary gifts. The man is extraordinarily thoughtful for a politician, enormously deep in the way he thinks about the world. And I think he really does want to have a discussion, really change American politics. But it’s been 15 months since he’s been running, and the last three months have been different. And the conversation we just heard on this show, the tone of that conversation, believe me, is very different from the tone of Barack Obama’s speech in Des Moines three months ago. And the campaign has changed him. And I think it’s changed him in two ways, which has made him less inspiring for a lot of us who are not orthodox liberals. It’s changed him because he seems like a more conventional politician, trading jibes about who’s throwing which negative ad at each other, which is not particularly hopeful. And then he’s had to chase Democratic primary votes, he’s become much more orthodox liberal. He, he seems very traditionally liberal on trade, on the war, in the debate. He made an ironclad promise to bring American troops home in 16 months after he’s elected. We don’t know what Iraq is going to be like two years from now. Why is he making ironclad promises for a policy that won’t be enacted for two years? So it’s become a much rougher season, and it’s really taken him away from the most inspiring parts about him.

Brooks also said that nonetheless, Obama's nomination is all but official, and that though she will likely fight on into June and beyond, Hillary's goose is essentially cooked, but Obama will have crossed a line into the conventional, which will make the job for the battle hardened and battle ready John McCain, all that much easier.


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