Thursday, March 13, 2008

Barack Obama: The Carefulness of Discouragement

Chris Potter describes an Obama conference call:

But although Pennsylvania is the only game in town for the next several weeks, our state barely came up during the nearly half-hour long phone conversation. As he did last week, [campaign manager David] Plouffe downplayed expectations for the race.

Clinton was a "prohibitive favorite" in Pennsylvania, he said, and "should win by a healthy margin." While promising to campaign hard -- "we don't cherrypick states," he said, in one of several swipes at Clinton tactics -- Plouffe noted
a recent KDKA poll that showed Clinton up by 19 points.

Also, although we never heard of Al Giordano of The Field, he sounds like he knows what he's talking about:

Simply put: If Obama (and supporters) set expectations for a knockout punch in Pennsylvania, they will be giving oxygen to a gasping Clinton machine on its last breaths. But if they keep Pennsylvania in perspective (no single state has determined the nomination, although New Hampshire, Nevada, and Ohio were all frantically seen and spun as such in their moments), they’ll emerge from the coming Pennsylvania Clinton victory – a kind of Last Hurrah for the politics of the last century – to cross into the 21st century beginning in early May.

"Pennsylvania: The Last Hurrah for the Politics of the Last Century." Lovely -- and it juxtaposes so well with the emerging c/w on Geraldine Ferraro. (Attytood)

The Comet has been mulling over a rousing "Why Obama Will Win Pennsylvania!" blog entry -- simply to go against the grain, take cheap shots at Terry Madonna, and remind everybody of the fact that professional punditry has generally been for crap since Iowa.

However, the idea of "giving oxygen to a gasping Clinton machine" gives us great pause.

Maybe we should just write straightforward posts about why we personally plan on casting a vote for him. Besides, that would be the Barack Obama thing to do.


  1. i hope you kind folks in my home state do us proud.

  2. I think downplaying it is the right move for O. And while I hope you are correct about winning PA, I don't think he has a shot.

    As for the punditry: I disagree. It's been pretty easy to predict what's going to happen, and they've done so: Obama wins small states, Clinton wins most of the "Big Blues" -- which, disturbingly, are the states that really matter in November.

  3. Yes, but as to "disturbingly" -- I've been thinking this is nonsense, and now I'm reading here and there that people are agreeing.

    1) Why is it such a big deal to win blue states? Any Democrat can win blue states.

    2) We're looking at Democratic primary voters = highly motivated, highly partisan. These are folks that may have strong feelings about Clinton vs. Obama, but they will vote for either of them in November

    Right, people? Right?

    The truly impressive thing is to have drawn a bunch of new voters and independents, especially in the RED states.

  4. come november dems will vote for obama in all the big states (ny, ca, all of new england) so no worries.

    although i keep laughing at the joke the daily show made last month: "right now america is voting for the idea of a black president...come november i think a 73 year-old white man is about enough change they're ready for."

  5. Missouri, Colorado, Virginia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa are all swing states. Obama has won them all, sometimes by huge margins...

  6. 1) Why is it such a big deal to win blue states? Any Democrat can win blue states.

    Wrong. Yes, he'll still win NJ, NY, MA. But Obama-McCain puts Pennsylvania (and keeps Ohio) in play for the Republicans. And Florida swings GOP, in my view, since Obama's campaign -- by its own admission basically -- can't yet get anyone over the age of 70 to vote for him.

    On the other hand, O has many positives that Clinton wouldn't have. Vee shall see.

    Right now, my biggest concern is PreacherGate. It's not going to go away. If he doesn't renounce his association with Rev. Wright, PreacherGate is the new Swift Boat. You heard it here first.

  7. "But Obama-McCain puts Pennsylvania (and keeps Ohio) in play for the Republicans."

    Based on what? You don't think Rendell and every other Hillary-booster would energetically back Obama in the general?

    "Right now, my biggest concern is PreacherGate."

    I'm, um, actually ... what? If neither Maria nor Chad have delivered to me an Obama attack, I probably haven't heard about it.

  8. Based on what?

    Rendell's statement about PA not being ready for a black President may have been politically incorrect, but IMHO he was dead on. 'Nuff said.

    As for the preacher situation: It isn't an attack, it's a problem. Go here, read, and watch the Good Morning America piece that started this (in the mainstream media -- it's been in the blogosphere for a while) in the little box on the left:

    Dem websites contain no shortage of Obama supporters expressing serious concerns.