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Head left, young man
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, July 01, 2008

None other than Arianna Huffington issues a warning to Obama about his attempted run to the middle:
As part of this process, I looked at the Obama campaign not through the prism of my own progressive views and beliefs but through the prism of a cold-eyed campaign strategist who has no principles except winning. From that point of view, and taking nothing else into consideration, I can unequivocally say: the Obama campaign is making a very serious mistake. Tacking to the center is a losing strategy. And don't let the latest head-to-head poll numbers lull you the way they lulled Hillary Clinton in December.

Running to the middle in an attempt to attract undecided swing voters didn't work for Al Gore in 2000. It didn't work for John Kerry in 2004. And it didn't work when Mark Penn (obsessed with his "microtrends" and missing the megatrend) convinced Hillary Clinton to do it in 2008.
She's correct. The reason it didn't work for Al Gore or John Kerry is both had the reputation and resume of a liberal - not middle of the road liberals, but liberals more on the extreme of the left than the center.

Obama "out-liberals" both Kerry and Gore and the public knows that - or will by the time the election rolls around. And we've seen how this "shift" has worked for him so far, haven't we?

He's in trouble with his liberal base over FISA, he's waffling on Iraq, he's reversed himself on the DC gun ban, NAFTA. Many other little troubling shifts have some Obama supporters taking a second look at the man and not necessarily liking what they see.

McCain isn't a whole heck of a lot better but at least he has a reputation of bucking his party at times in the past, whether you agree with him or not.

But Obama, during the primaries, ran to the left of Clinton. And that's pretty far left. Now he's trying to pull the old political magic trick of running to the center. It's not working well for him at all. Couple that with his dearth of experience and paltry resume and suddenly he isn't quite as appealing as he once was to either the left or the center.

Frankly I hope he takes Huffington's advice and heads back to the left. Should he do so, he'll get what he actually deserves in November - a chance find out what it is like to be a US Senator on a full-time basis.
 
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He’s in trouble with his liberal base over FISA, he’s waffling on Iraq, he’s reversed himself on the DC gun ban, NAFTA. Many other little troubling shifts have some Obama supporters taking a second look at the man and not necessarily liking what they see.
Obama is a man of the hard Left. He is out on the fringe of postmodern identity politics—the only explanation possible for 20 years in that church.

But as a postmodern radical, he can recite any narrative he needs to. The goal is power. He represents a political class that wants to come to power, and if they do they will ransack the United States, its economy, its culture, such that the corpse of it can’t be identified.

Obama is a racial*st, he is a hard social*st, a black nationalist, and that combination, in power, predicts state violence against its own citizens. It always has and always will.

Right now just under half the electorate is buying his denials about who he is and who he is with: Jeremiah Wright, vicious racist and anti-American black supremacist; Louis Farrakhan, racist lunatic; Fr. Pfleger, a Father Coughlin for our time; Bill Ayers, a Leftwing terrorist who is walking around only because of a police/prosecutor’s mistake; the Chicago Daley machine, a craven, corrupt, emasculated gang of criminals.

Why not just give the Statue of Liberty a gun and let her shoot herself in the head.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
I disagree that tacking to the center didn’t "work" for Gore. It won him The Popular Vote (TM), and very nearly scored him the electoral one, as well. Had he not tacked to the center, he’d have been lucky to pick up about half of Nader’s vote, which Bush would have made up in spades.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
" didn’t work for Al Gore in 2000"??

But I thought it did work; Bush et al. stole his legitimate victory, didn’t they?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The big difference is the Gore/Kerry campaigns versus the current Obama campaign is the length of the primary season and the attention give the primaries. Gore and Kerry basically came in as known operatives - their positions were virtually set in stone. Their own personal backgrounds may not have been completely fleshed out (Kerry’s VN record - before and after his combat tour). Both of them moving to the right was contrary to their own track record. Even though Obama is a blank sheet of paper as far as his own track record is concerned, he has had 18 months of campaigning. His stances on the issues have been articulated time and again in debate after debate. For him to now turn the sled of his campaign to the middle will force many of the democratic moderates to renew their scrutiny of the man they thought they knew. He has flip-flopped on virtually every issue. And for many a Clinton fan and Reagan Democrat, that is going to be hard to stomach.

IMHO, Obama is hurting himself in moving to the middle because it exposes him as the political opportunist he is. It exposes his "Change" mantra as nothing but a gimmick. From my perspective, that is all it has ever been, but now even those who have drunk deep of the Obama koolaide has to be aware of the discrepancies of his positions.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Running to the middle in an attempt to attract undecided swing voters didn’t work for Al Gore in 2000.
But I thought it did work; Bush et al. stole his legitimate victory, didn’t they?
This is big news ... Huffington is admitting that Bush legitimately beat Gore in 2000.
 
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
URL: http://
Frankly I hope he takes Huffington’s advice and heads back to the left. Should he do so, he’ll get what he actually deserves in November - a chance find out what it is like to be a US Senator on a full-time basis.
I tend to agree, here, but I wonder a bit with Martin;

Given his long known leftism, should we trust what he says as he tries to swing right? Does anyone really think he’s going to stay in the middle once elected?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Now he’s trying to pull the old political magic trick of running to the center. It’s not working well for him at all.
Not working well for him you say? For whom? The Left!? Where do you expect the Left to go if it isn’t working too well? McCain? Nader? Barr?
No, he’ll have the support of the Huffington crowd.

As you know, Obama’s just following the trade winds to the general election by tacking toward the center. And the Huffington crowd will huff and puff but will not force the Obama ship to bear away. Their cries from the hold will be heard but not heeded as they quietly quell their calls of mutiny.

I’ll just chalk this up as wishful thinking.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I hate to say it, but both Arianna and McQ are wrong on this one. Obama’s appeal to his sychophantic followers is that he is a calm and soothing voice who will unite us (they don’t know how and don’t care) and get us past partisan politics.

I don’t think many of his followers really care about any position he takes on the FISA law, etc. I know there are some people at DailyKos who care, but I don’t think they constitute a significant part of his support. Obama has the support of a lot of people who have never voted before and many of those people don’t know what FISA is and they don’t care. They just know that it will feel good to vote for him in November. Here in Los Angeles, I can’t get a single specific out of anyone I have talked to when I ask them what Obama will do as president that makes them want to vote for him. Just the same clap trap about change and unity. I am really afraid that we are in trouble. His support is like a penicillin resistant bacteria. Facts and logic cannot be used to cure Obamania.
 
Written By: jt007
URL: http://

 
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