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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Obama’s Wide Net Vexes Pundits

Just an amen addendum to the conclusion of Ed’s article below that “Obama’s “ghetto” may be bigger than the pundits realize.” If any presidential candidate can be said to be appealing to the broadest possible demographic cross-section, it has to be Senator Obama. Conversely, I can’t think of any constituency he has pandered to as aggresively as, say Senator Clinton’s outreach to women voters of a certain age, or Edwards’ targeting of unions and blue collar workers.
Obama’s grand strategy seems to be casting the widest possible net, while his opponents are focused on snagging key demographics they see as critical for their respective campaigns. Sure, Obama wants the highest possible percentage of the African American vote. But if memory serves, he has been criticized by Jesse Jackson and other Black leaders for not being focused enough on the Black demographic. And yes, Obama is no doubt grateful for his huge edge with younger voters. But it’s not like he’s out there spending a lot more time on college campuses at the expense of other groups. He doesn’t have to spend a lot of time working young voters. They just like him. The young, white voters in my family talk about him like he is the hope of their generation.
I had to chuckle at the title and subtitle of Mickey Kaus’s Slate article flagged in Ed’s post: “How Obama Can Win: He can escape his electoral ghetto by playing the race-blind card.” Well, that train left the station some time ago, regardless of what happens in SC. Also the thought of any pundit giving Obama advice beyond maybe some really good ads targeting California Hispanics and seniors may be a smidge presumptuous. This guy was a state senator less than four years ago, and he’s got a good shot at becoming the leader of the free world by this time next year. There’s not a lot any journalists can teach him about taking advantage of political opportunity. Like him or not, Obama is running one hell of a smart campaign.

3 comments on “Obama’s Wide Net Vexes Pundits

  1. hope on

    Stay on Point-
    I have to say up front I am an Obama supporter… and I keep coming on blog sites, not to root for my candidate, but to try and understand why others are not as inspired as I am. I want to understand the various reasons folks support Clinton… fear, as you outline seems to me the saddest motivation of all.
    The campaign you envision, is in fact the one the Clintons have been running. Race cards, unions, sex, changing the rules, etc… Wedge issue divisiveness as practiced in Politics today is backfiring, and hurting both of the Clintons – check the recent news cycles and polls.
    Worry not about the Republicans in the fall, but rather consider that the name Clinton is nearly as polarizing as the thought of a black man with the name Barrak Hussein Obama… One of the troubles with old school scorched earth politics as usual is that the loads of new voters that the recent primaries have brought in have been extremely consistent in saying what brought them out is “Change”
    Clinton, and what her campaign has come to represent in a Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton line-up is going to be a tough sell to keeping that turn out come November.
    The point of the analysis above is to point out in a subtle and statistical way is to demonstrate how the Obama campaign is rising above this out dated model to do what his campaign has promised to do from the start – and before if you remember his Key note speech – to paraphrase it, “no longer consider us a collection of red states and blue states, but the United States of America.”
    In closing, don’t listen to fear and a list of things that should have nothing to do with an election – but act as a truly informed voter and listen to the man speak and decide if he stands for the country you would most hope to live in. If not, please tell me why the candidate of your choice has inspired you to believe they are best to serve as leader of our country.

  2. jim on

    I wish and hope that Obama’s net actually catches enough to win. So far, it looks like the traditional divide and conquer is doing just that.
    I think McCain appeals to a lot of the same independents and disgruntled Republicans that Obama is angling for, and as long as McCain remains viable it will be hard for Obama to pull them into his net.

  3. Stayonpoint on

    Below are a few points for those of you who are considering voting for Obama as the Democratic candidate to pursue the Presidency. Please read and consider these points thoroughly before casting your vote:
    1. Obama is a Diversion;
    2. Over the last two years, the large powerful conservative new agencies owned by influential Republicans have purposely given Obama either neutral or positive news reporting in his run for presidency, amplifying his exposure and ratings amongst Democrats;
    3. The neutral/positive news reporting of Obama has split Democrats in choosing between Clinton or Obama as the Canidate to run for President;
    4. The conservative news agencies and powerful Republicans politicians are trying to manipulate the Democrats to choose Obama to run for President;
    5. When Obama is chosen to run for President, the conservative news agencies WILL turn on Obama by inciting (through negative reporting) the fears of Americans, and the Presidency will go to a Republican candidate;
    6. Please do not be manipulated and vote for Clinton (or urge them to unite). Democrats should unite together behind Clinton or else the Republicans will literally steal the presidency.
    Obama and Clinton should unite or Obama should step-down to ensure a Republican is not elected to the presidency.
    This is in no way anti-Obama.(Bless you Obama for running; however unfortunate the timing, considering the above).
    The point of the above is to make us Democrats aware. We dealt with very similar manipulation the last eight years (remember Karl Rove?) and need to wake up. There is much at stake to let the powerful Republican politicians manipulate our vote.
    This is no means an attack on Republican citizens or Obama supporters, and much respect to you. Please consider the above points.


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