Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Real Hurdles That Obama Faces

Original Link:

By SusanUnPC

The latest Gallup poll shows the race in a deadlock: “Gallup Daily: Obama 45%, McCain 44%.” That means that Obama not only received no bounce from his whirlwind trip, but that McCain’s attacks are probably working, along with Obama’s own “issues” with arrogance and presumptuousness. I found two particularly fascinating featured items in LisaB’s article:

(1) People are turned off by the “race-baiting” and Obama’s playing the “race card”; and

(2) The Iraqis were unhappy by Obama’s lack of focus during his meetings with them. LisaB quoted an L.A. Times piece using a “source close to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki” who said that Obama “was not interested in what we had to say.”

Then there are these important historic facts from a thought-provoking article, “It ain’t over yet,” written by The Phoenix’s Steven Stark in Boston:

… Obama’s head winds are just as strong. To win, he will literally have to rewrite history. Some of the hurdles he’ll have to overcome, as I’ve observed previously, include:

• No Democrat who hails from north of the Mason-Dixon line has been elected since 1960.

• No candidate in the modern primary era has ever been elected in November after failing to win more than one of the nation’s seven largest states in either its pre-convention primary or, if the state didn’t hold a primary, its caucuses.

• No candidate in modern times has ever been elected president with a voting record that could be identified as his party’s most liberal or conservative, yet in 2007 Obama was designated as the former (by the National Journal).

• No candidate arguably since Abraham Lincoln has been elected president with as little political experience as Obama.

None of this is to say that Obama can’t overcome these historical obstacles, and he has exceeded expectations before. But as any lawyer knows, try to defy too many precedents and the odds begin to run against you.

Moreover, McCain has some cards to play, even if he has not played them yet. The press seems to be under the assumption that, because it knows so much about McCain, the electorate does too. The hunch here is that, while the outlines may be familiar to voters, the details are not. Few voters are intimately familiar with the specifics of McCain’s war heroism; or the fact that he and his wife adopted a little girl from one of Mother Teresa’s orphanages, in Bangladesh; or the personal kindness he has displayed to colleagues like Democrat Morris Udall, who McCain visited regularly while Udall was dying. By November, they will. …

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