Sunday, February 24, 2008

One thing fueling Obama's amazing run

The Democratic primary campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been moving along at warp speed. Obama, of course, has produced an unexpected and most impressive run of decisive wins, and now has Clinton desperate to win both Texas and Ohio a week from Tuesday. In addition, Clinton's once expected dominance of the superdelegates is in question, as many have recently claimed suport for Obama; he has picked up 25 and Clinton has lost 2 just in the past two weeks. How could this be the case? Clinton, back in the fall, was the absolute favorite to win the nomination, as President Clinton is still seen by most Democrats to be the leader of the party. With his network, his command of the establishment, and the many Democrats who owe him their careers and favors, along with his pack of wealthy liberals who can raise great amounts of money, her nomination was inevitable.

To date, I would have to say that Obama has yet to stray off his campaign theme. He has been the most consistent major candidate among Democrats, to be sure. The experienced Clinton, on the other hand, has changed themes and personalities so frequently in the past two months, it seems difficult to anticipate what will be the theme of her latest stump speech. She has been forced to this state because she needs to find something that can break Obama's nearly overwhelming momentum. One of the latest tactics arose in Wisconsin. The Clinton campaign unleashed the "plagiarism" label on Obama, for using lines a national co-chair had given him to use. This came up in a big way in the recent Texas debate, where Clinton labeled Obama as a "xerox" candidate. But these negative attacks have not worked. I suspect this will once again back-fire on Clinton. In fact, just minutes after Clinton attacked Obama at the debate, she used two sets of lines, one from Bill Clinton and one from John Edwards, which were nearly word for word identical! Watch the video, as shown on Meet the Press this morning. Virtually all politicians use and borrow lines from each other, from friends and spouses, so using that to attack an opponent only hints at hypocrisy. This is something many Americans are very tired of, and what I feel is one more reason many have jumped behind Obama.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Texas and Ohio, as well as the smaller primaries in Rhode Island and Vermont. If Obama were to win even one of those states, it will be nearing the point where the delegate mathematics must be considered to see if Clinton even has a chance at the nomination. Even if Clinton wins both states, but only by small percentages, that is a virtual win for Obama, as the delegates will be more evenly split and he would maintain the lead in delegates. Keep in mind Clinton had strong double-digit leads in both states just a couple weeks ago, and now some polls have them even in Texas and almost halved in Ohio.

Now we just need to weed out the Right's attempts to spread complete false statements about Obama being a 'radical Muslim' and 'unpatriotic insurgent.' I can't imagine why so many qualified people stay out of politics, where blatant lies can be the norm. I do hope this year, unlike the many Rovian smear campaigns of 2000 and 2004, the electorate does not fall for the attempts at smearing candidates. This goes for the Left, as well.

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