Obama 's Inadvertent Political Successes
By Big Tent Democrat
Speaking for Me Only
One of the ironic aspects of the the wild success of the Obama campaign thus far is that it is succeeding in some ways in spite of itself. If you have read me, you will remember one of the aspects of Obama's political style I found most objectionable was his "appeal" to "values voters" by trashing Democrats on "faith." This was one of the reasons I found Chris Bowers' Reagan Dems post so absurd. But the very astute Paul Rosenberg has turned Bowers' lemon of a post into lemonade in this excellent post highlighting Obama's very real map changing successes. Paul writes:
Obama's strength in the West is particularly embarrassing-not to mention debilitating-to McCain.
But it's also embarrassing to Obama, since it belies his earlier rationale in reaching out to religious conservatives, and his claims to be a mapchanger by drawing unprecedented numbers of blacks to the polls, and contesting Southern states Democrats otherwise would lose. It is not the religious conservatives dominating the South who have responded most to his calls, nor does he put more pressure on McCain there than Clinton does. His "unique" contribution is to do what Schaller mapped out as the natural thing for the Democratic Party to do, regardless of their nominee.
Great point from Paul. Read the whole post as it has a very interesting take on what I call the Mark Schmitt Theory of Change. It is somewhat persuasive as well. It makes me more optimistic that not only can Obama be a successful candidate in the fall but that he can be a more successful progressive President than I thought. It seems to be more a circumstance of accident than design but as Lefty Gomez said "it is better to be lucky than good." This probably holds true for Presidents as well as ballplayers.
And now for some red meat for Hillary supporters -- Obama's political style remains a roll of the dice, both electorally and as a question of governance. His inability to win key components of a winning Democratic coalition remain very worrisome. He remains a DLC style political triangulator if not a policy triangulator. The success of Obama remains to be seen and may never be seen tested this year on a general election stage. But I must admit that Paul's piece cheered me, for I remain, as I have been, a tepid Barack Obama supporter.
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