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Obama: Can’t close the deal
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Politics is perception, and while it is true that the delegate math still favors Barack Obama, the perception developing is he can't, for whatever reason, close the nomination deal.

Going into Texas and Ohio, he had the momentum of 11 straight wins and he outspent Hillary Clinton 2 to 1, yet still lost those two critical races. At a minimum that freezes the Super Delegate endorsements, at least for a while. But it also raises questions about Obama's ability to win the big one and, whether or not he may have crested in terms of popularity as people begin looking closer at his resume - or lack thereof.

Exit polls in both Texas and Ohio show late deciders overwhelmingly went for Clinton. That means she hit on something which resonated with those who made up their mind in the last three days. Was it the "red phone" ad? Is the experience factor finally beginning to get traction? Was the bad week Obama had with the press (especially the NAFTA-gate flap) something which dampened his momentum?

One thing I think the Obama campaign can expect for the foreseeable future is much less "friendly" press coverage. Apparently all the complaining by the Clinton campaign about soft coverage of Obama has received hit home.

After next Tuesday's Mississippi primary, there isn't another primary for 6 weeks (PA). It will be interesting to watch how each campaign wages the political war and spins the results. But I think the press honeymoon for Obama is over and the questions from the press will get even more pointed. And you can expect the Clinton campaign to play up the the "comeback kid" angle of their wins in Ohio and Texas and assert that Obama has lost momentum and can't close the deal, leaving Hillary as the natural pick for Democrats.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Thank you to all the republicans that voted for Hillary instead of Obama.


I honestly dont think that Hillary is an easier candidate to beat than Obama.

In addition, if the democrat does win then I would rather have someone like Obama which will be kept in check by some of his more experienced colleagues than Hillary who well knows how to use the reigns of power to get her ends.

In addition, if Obama is the nominee than expect Hillary to do everything to ensure he doesnt get elected as she will still hold out for 2012.

I have said repeatedly that I believe Hillary will be the nominee no matter what. I am just not looking forward to being proven right.

Written By: retired military
URL: http://
This has gotten very interesting, to say the least.

His disappointment was written all over him last night. He was sagging.

She could snatch this thing back from him. But now I believe she has become the weaker candidate for the general election, whereas I always saw her before as harder to beat than Obama (Republicans have problems with the Clintons).

Obama’s position hasn’t changed in terms of the fall election. He’s George McGovern II. He’s slippery, but he has tacked so far to the Left to get underneath Hillary with the Party’s base that his positions are unredeemable.

Plus, he has already given the speech of his life 35 times. He’s become like Richard Burton reading from the telephone book. Lovely to the ear, but comical, and self-parodying.

But Hillary is weaker now because black voters have not just gone over to Obama, they’ve become one with him. "This is our time, and Obama is our man."

They also believed, like a lot of voters, that Obama had the nomination and that he only had to show up in November to become president. He was destiny.

If Hillary takes that away from black voters, they will not show up for her in the fall. And Obama, whom she would presumably need as a running mate to heal the wound, has transcended second-fiddle status. And why would he help her get elected?

Previously I thought that she could turn to Harold Ford Jr. as a running mate to make things up with black voters, but that was before Obama rose up into the clouds surrounded in light. He is the man now, and Harold Ford would be shamed as a lackey if he went over and helped Hillary now.

They are as a nest of vipers, the Democrats. This reminds me of 1968 and 1972 crossed together. I think that the big winner in this political season is George Bush, because when the dust settles, he looks head and shoulders above the rest of them.

McCain has just enough old shoe in him to pull together the GOP coalition and enough moderates to take the election, on the bet that he doesn’t run naked down the strip in Las Vegas, or something like that.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
But I think the press honeymoon for Obama is over and the questions from the press will get even more pointed
How can it get even more pointed? Obama was forced to answer "like, 8 questions" before he ran away for his life!
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Obama’s had one challenge from the press and he came off like an arrogant ass. This is largely a result of having skated through Chicago elections for his abbreviated career and getting the Democratic free ride it entails. Perhaps he can read off a teleprompter but I question what kind of leadership skills he has.
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
The press has deteriorated to the point that Saturday Night Live has to send them up for their fawning over Obama before they remember that they have a job to do.
Plus, he has already given the speech of his life 35 times
That’s very good! Maybe SNL should do a sketch of Obama at 72 giving The Speech.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Maybe SNL should do a sketch of Obama at 72 giving The Speech.
Spengler, who writes for the Asia Times, recommended the film Nightmare Alley (starring Tyrone Power) as a good way to gain an understanding of Obama, although I felt that it pretty much captured the essence of Bill Clinton as well.

They’re not that different, except in the sense that Obama does a little more hard sell than Bill.

Best line in Nightmare Alley: "It looks like the geek has got the heebie-jeebies."

If you watch it, note that the female psychologist is a good match for Hillary. Especially in her final encounter with Tyrone Power.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
Every new bit of information changes the direction of the primary 180 degrees. It’s like watching a wind vane during a tornado.

Hillary was The Inevitable One. Then Obama wins some primaries and Hillary’s political career is in the ash bin. Now Hillary wins a couple of primaries and Obama "can’t close the deal" or "has a glass jaw".

Some day this will become the inspiration for a comedy miniseries.
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Some day this will become the inspiration for a comedy miniseries.
When you have a political party that is so unhinged that its nominee will either be a former First Lady who actually managed to acquire 50% negatives or a first-term U.S. Senator who has never done anything, you’ve got comedy. If only they weren’t serious.

And what do they stand for? Surrender in a war in which they loath the very suggestion of success. Lip-licking at the prospect of an economic downturn to which they, naturally, have the usual liberal answers. A fixed desire to "do something" that will create "universal" health care which will so compromise market forces that it will never be able to be put right again and will cause health care to begin deteriorating almost immediately.

And half the country ready to vote for them.

On the other side you have the prickly John McCain with about half a dent in his head, but with some, small sense of how things actually work in the world. Not much, but some, maybe enough to get by on.

It’s comedy all right.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
I see your point, Martin. I just can’t escape the feeling that I’m watching the last few minutes of Clue, where all the characters are racing from room to room while Tim Curry is breathlessly summarizing the story.

Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
A random thought I just had in regards to Obama Isn’t there a reason that there’s never been a Chicago pol in the national spotlight since...well, ever? No politician has come out of Chicago without mud on their clothes, skeletons in the closet, and a trainload of baggage behind them to play on the national stage. It’s politics are too sleazy to translate to the national stage.

I wonder if we’re starting to see that now with Obamessiah...
Written By: Warrior Needs Food Badly
URL: http://
I wonder if we’re starting to see that now with Obamessiah...
Well, there was a reason we didn’t see candidates coming out of Arkasas, too. So perhaps the success of the Clintons has emboldened other thieves’ dens to hire PR firms and send their fair-haired sons onto the big stage.

It’s still not clear to most Americans that Bill Clinton was the scion of a Dixie Mafia crime family. I guess the intrepid American press instinctively understood that no one got back out of that swamp alive. (Bill Clinton’s uncle Raymond, who took young Billy under his wing and paved his way into politics, was the head racketeer in Hot Springs. Billy even got to see Uncle Raymond’s house get firebombed in a mob feud.)

Hillary is of course the legatee of all that.

I think that like Clinton, however, Obama’s problems only start with venality, which is just a rite of passage in Chicago, as it is in Arkansas. One also has to wonder how it is that Tony Rezko’s case coincided so nicely with yesterday’s primaries. Coincidences just abound in American politics these days.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
Just out of curiosity: is Michelle Obama still proud of America?
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Just out of curiosity: is Michelle Obama still proud of America?
Oy vey. Obama is lucky that she didn’t let one fly until he’d already put his legions under a hypnotic trance. She probably had an anger management Haz-Mat team on her by the next day.

Here’s a rather hard look at Obama through his late mother and his wife.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
Thank you to all the republicans that voted for Hillary instead of Obama.


I honestly dont think that Hillary is an easier candidate to beat than Obama.
Whichever candidate we face, the longer they fight, the better.
In addition, if the democrat does win then I would rather have someone like Obama which will be kept in check by some of his more experienced colleagues than Hillary who well knows how to use the reigns of power to get her ends.
I look at this differently; Clinton will do what it takes to retain power and high poll numbers, which means she will be somewhat moderated. Obama I’m not so sure . . .
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Obama I’m not so sure . . .
In similar ways to Bill Clinton, Obama, by my perception of him, seethes when there is even a hint of criticism directed at him. He doesn’t specialize in showing it, but it’s right there, mixed in with the smooth as butter demeanor.

Recall that Obama did not grow up "black," in the sense that he was not raised in a black family, but in a white family, by his mother and his maternal grandparents in Hawaii. Obama became "racialized" when he went to his ivy league university, Columbia. So, in a very real sense, Obama is an "academic black," someone who embraced his blackness in the atmosphere of identity politics when he went to college. That sort of environment is bad enough for black kids from black families and neighborhoods, but as a transformative environment for a black kid from a white family, the psychological contradictions have to go through the roof.

The effect of that is probably that Obama racializes everything that he internalizes, because he has to hold his blackness in place over his "whiteness." He has trained himself to keep himself from falling into the "false consciousness" of thinking his black skin can allow him the "whiteness" that he was raised with. Again, look at the Afro-centric church he very deliberately chose to join and has remained with in Chicago.

If Obama racializes any criticism leveled at him, and seethes with racial anger about it, he could wind up doing some extremely dangerous things with the power of the presidency. He knows how to talk over the heads of whites directly to blacks, and the situation could arise, I would even say that it is likely to arise, that criticism of Obama will be racialized by a lot of blacks, and that would turn into something ugly.

Suppose, for instance, Obama begins to be criticized at something approaching the level of criticism of Bush has reached? And Obama racializes that criticism and then transfers that sense of anger to blacks?

I’m not saying that Obama will do that, or that he is immature enough to react that way, but I’ve seen indications that he does have a problem like that. I don’t like that church he belongs to. I don’t like the connection between that church and the Nation of Islam. I have reservations about the sorts of things his wife has said. But most of all, the thing that truly disturbs me, is this situation where he is what I describe as an "academic black," someone who achieved his black identity at an American university, with all the baggage that sort of process involves.

Why should I give him the benefit of the doubt, especially when he’s been in the national spotlight for about five minutes? I simply do not know enough about the guy not to worry about this sort of background.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
That’s my sense of Obama too. All my red LEDs started to flash when I started reading about his background. I remember the student radicals I met in college and how nasty I thought they were even then, although I was pretty far to the left myself. Reading the Trinity Church Black Value System gave me chills.

I could care less that Obama is half-black, but the single-mindedness with which he has devoted most of his life to establishing himself as black, even though he was almost entirely raised by whites, indicates some deep strange internal conflicts in Obama. Given how politicized race is in America, I don’t think this recommends him for the job of POTUS.

Maybe I’ll calm down about Obama after seeing him on the national stage for another 8-12 years. But he hasn’t even finished his first term as senator and now we’re supposed to make him president?

Better yet, I would like to hear Obama address these concerns directly. However, there is little chance of that. I’m sure he’s changed since college, but how much? Even when Obama rejected Farrakhan, he bracketed it as closely as possible to Farrakhan’s anti-semitic views, not the whole bigoted structure of the Nation of Islam.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Even when Obama rejected Farrakhan, he bracketed it as closely as possible to Farrakhan’s anti-semitic views, not the whole bigoted structure of the Nation of Islam.
And when Russsert (I think he was the one at that Cleveland debate) asked the question about Farrakhan he was constitutionally incapable of following up to get to the heart of the matter. The point being that the NOI is, and has been for a really long time, off-limits to the intrepid American press in terms of what NOI really teaches. Farrakhan had been able to insinuate himself very close to the mainstream of black politics — though his illnesses have kept him on the sidelines in recent years.

Now, however, Obama is rising toward the very highest stature among black Americans, and soon enough no black leader will dare to criticize him, including Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or Farrakhan. Obama has the power now to cause Hillary to lose the general election if she wins the nomination. She cannot win without black voters. And I have to ask why Obama would do anything to help her to win.

He has transformed himself from a candidate running for the presidency who was black, to the black candidate for president. Previously, until he won black voters to his movement, he could not presume upon them. Now he cannot presume to unmake himself as the black candidate back into the candidate who happens to be black. I now believe that all along he has been talking over the heads of his white supporters to the black nation. This constitutes not only a redoubling of the balkanization of black voters as a block vote within the Democratic Party (voting 90% for Democrats and now 90% for a black candidate), it sounds the black nationalist siren: "This is our time, and Obama is our man."

From the perspective of blacks this must seem like the payoff on some sort of entitlement that they feel they are owed in American politics. Obama must be president. Regardless of his politics. And I think that this was what Obama was aiming for all along. If I’m right about that, then he’s been deceiving people all along. Again, actions speak louder than words. Look at his church. Look at the church’s association with the NOI. Look at the attitude of his wife. Look at the poses and postures he has adopted. Notice that the "Camelot" nonsense was dropped soon after the Camelot endorsement. He is not trying to be JFK.

This situation has developed so that blacks will now be furious if Obama doesn’t get the nomination. They will be something considerably beyond fury if he loses the general election. And their sense of "empowerment" if he wins will be a triumphalist expectation of immediate power under Obama. There is your mass movement, more like a mass, spontaneous freicorps that will maintain the public discipline for Obama. He will be off-limits for serious criticism, in many respects because real, serious public criticism of black politics has long been off-limits. Democrats won’t do it because they depend on black votes to hold power. Republicans won’t do it because they can’t sneeze without being accused of racism.

But criticism of a President Obama will be challenged in ways that will insinuate, first, that the criticism is racially motivated (remember how criticism of Hillary has often been criticized as sexism, well, the racism charge with respect to Obama will come at five times the strength — you’ll start to see it in the general election campaign). Then, where the racism charge doesn’t achieve the proper muting, various degrees of intimidation will come into play.

I hope that I’m wrong about all this, but I don’t think that I am.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
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