What Would Jesus Do?
Obama 2008 is in trouble. Hillary is pulling ahead. She is leading in all the early states right now. And this is no fluke. If she wins the first four states, the rest will not even have to wait until February 5. This election will be over in January.
Her victory is not inevitable. Four months are a long time in politics. But Obama 2008 is going to have to change gears.
Obama is not using Iraq like he should. That is his number one strength going into the primary season. But he has been giving Hillary a pass on this one. Hillary did not only vote for the war in 2002, she was also one of the most enthusiastic Senator to do so. And now we learn she did not even read the National Intelligence Estimate report she was supposed to that would have told her what she said she did not know at the time.
Obama is not a pacifist. He was simply opposed to taking the eyes off Bin Laden. Iraq has been a wrong war on the wrong battlefield. George W and Hillary did what Bin Laden wanted them to do. Bin Laden is on record telling his subordinates it was urgent the US got busy in Iraq and took its eyes off Afghanistan.
Hillary's image of Ms. Security has to be busted, because it does not hold water.
Obama does not have to go negative. Hillary is not going negative either. But she has been hammering Obama relentlessly. And Obama has not been responding. When you don't hit back, you lose. Hillary's campaign has been attacking Obama's youth, dynamism, freshness, innovation, integrity, and newness on a daily basis for months now. Where is the hitting back? Remember what happened to John Kerry when he did not hit back at the Swift Boat Veterans in 2004: he swiftly was shown the door, facts be damned.
I am all for a new kind of politics, I am all for the politics of hope. But getting hit and taking it lying down is simply bad politics, and the numbers show that to be true. Obama started climbing up in the early states when he engaged Hillary in a duel for a week. Then he let it lapse, and Hillary gained again. You got to engage in an ongoing duel. You got to show some strength.
If Hillary can compete with Obama for black voters, Obama can compete with Hillary for the women voters. It is about identifying the key issues.
This is a big one. Hillary leads among the low income and the elderly Democrats, and there is no logic behind that. With Obama you get universal health in four years, with Hillary eight years. Those two groups need some Obama 2008 help to get enlightened on this fundamental issue.
It is not like Obama lacks substance. But his opponents, starting with the Hillary campaign, have made it look like all Obama is is a pretty face. Obama has to put out his policy wonk side a little.
How about videoblogging the sessions he holds with his brain trusts so as to show the world he is really into the nitty gritty details on all the issues?
Hillary is such a status quo person when it comes to lobbyists and all that.
Between Iraq, health care and ethics reform, the differences between the two are so stark, Obama should have had the nomination sewed up by now, but he is not, because he is doing the John Kerry thing. He is not responding to the attacks. He is not hitting back. He is not engaging his opponent.
Shaking Off The Fear
There is this line in Obama's autobiography. He learned early on as an up and coming black young man that as long he did not make sudden physical moves, and talked polite, the white world was fine with him. Sometimes I wonder if he has not learned that lesson a little too well. He needs to shake that off. He needs to make sudden moves if he might feel so moved. And being too polite is not good.
Obama has to visibly show some strength. If he can't take on Hillary, he can't take on Bin Laden. That is what this is about. That is what the American people are looking for.
Engaging Hillary in political combat moves you up in the polls. It is as simple as that.
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Obama Outlines His Troop Pullout Plan The Associated Press "Let me be clear: There is no military solution in Iraq and there never was," Obama said ........ Obama was trying to further sharpen that distinction ..... Petraeus recommended that a 2,000-member Marine unit come home this month and not be replaced. That would be followed in mid-December by the departure of an Army brigade of 3,500 to 4,000 soldiers. An additional four combat brigades would be withdrawn by July 2008. .... Obama said the U.S. and the Iraqi government should discuss how to go about withdrawing troops. ...... By arguing that only combat brigades should be withdrawn — there are 20 in Iraq, including five President Bush sent January — Obama appeared to suggest that other U.S. troops could remain. ...... "The president would have us believe there are two choices: keep all of our troops in Iraq or abandon these Iraqis," Obama said. "I reject this choice." ..... Instead, he argued for creating an international working group of countries in the region and in Asia and Europe that would work to stabilize Iraq.