What Happens If Mr. Hope Meets Mr. Experience?
What happens when a change primary season meets the general election juggernaut season of
experience and keeping us safe? You know how this works, so I’m honestly asking. The Real McCain will come in handy.
This is the seaons of change, according to the Iowa caucuses and voters. But in one day, barely
24 hours, Mr. Obama has made it something else. Tonight on “The News Hour,”
they played a tape of Mr. Obama speaking today in New Hampshire. I heard at least five pundits, all across cable, talk about Mr. Obama sounding awfully “cocky” today. When I heard this speech it left me breathless, but not in a good way.
“… I had independents who say you make me believe that we
can get something done together. This time is different. We have Republicans
saying we have shifted parties; we reregistered as Democrats this time because
we think this time is different. … … (“News Hour”
broke away from speech) … If you believe in keeping the dream
alive for those who still hunger for opportunity and still thirst for justice,
then I am absolutely convinced that we will win the New Hampshire primary
in four days and then we will win the primaries in Nevada and South Carolina
and on February 5th we will win this nomination and we will go to Denver and
unify our party and then we will go out and gather up independents and Republicans
and form a new working majority and we will win in November and we will go
out and remake America and then we will change the world. That is the opportunity
that begins right here, right now, four days from now in New Hampshire. Stand
with me. Thank you.” – Barack Obama
Insert pause in the name of gravity here.
In abundance, unfortunately, and we’re just one day out from one caucus win.
Change is all the rage. Never mind there is no description of what that means
from Mr. Obama. I’m also not convinced by “trust me” as some others
are today. Because I’m a partisan? No, because “trust me” is predicated
on an emotional connection and judgment collapse. It’s fine when voters have
emotional connections, which is the only way people win elections, as I’ve been
saying for ten years, because candidates don’t win on issues. But people who
analyze this stuff need to stay cold hearted and clear eyed. Again, I may be
a partisan, but I’m not willing to wage it all on feelings.
So I’m imagining Obama, Mr. Hope, in the general election standing
next to McCain, Mr. Experience.
Or maybe a miracle happens and it’s Mr. 9/11. Or maybe Slick Mitt writes a
check and buys it all, because I do not believe Mr. Huckabee will be the nominee;
vice president, maybe. But fast forward and all of a sudden the whole country
is tuning in and world affairs are center stage.
Now imagine a bomb goes off somewhere in the world. Anywhere. Doesn’t matter
where. Remember when Osama bin Laden let loose a videotape just days before
the 2004 election? Now imagine something similar, only it’s Obama vs. McCain.
Am I simply playing the fear card? Or am I playing the political reality scenario? If it happened in 2004 against a war hero it can happen in 2008.
I have great respect for Obama’s talent. Why do you think I didn’t give him
a policy pass when everyone else was? I’ve seen him in action, both on the stump where
he is magnificent, but also on policy debates where he is quite simply awful.
Sure emotion rules in elections, and Obama’s
got the emotions, but in the general election once the opposition weighs in, inspiration
soon turns into obliteration when experience becomes the motivating factor and
the role of commander in chief comes into focus.
To add… Via a commenter from Dan Balz:
Obama has been a Senator for thee years, one of which he has been running for President. Major legislative accomplishments? Executive experience (he was also a state senator). I’m sorry, wait another four years and then let’s talk – he’s not qualified. If the Republicans are smart, they will play the card over and over again if he gets the Democratic nomination.
Posted by: saxa95 | January 4, 2008 02:40 PM
John McCain who is their toughest nominee is getting another look. Why? Because
Republicans want to win. Republicans think soberly about these things, putting
emotion aside. They leave that to voters and for candidates to inspire, because winning is all to them. It’s why Democrats are always playing catch up.
Think about the stakes. Maybe McCain will just look a little too old and too angry? Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran comes to mind. We can only hope so.