Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mister Softee

New Hampshire demonstrated that Obama's support is very soft indeed. His momentum lasted 4 days. Good news for Hillary Clinton, & maybe John Edwards, too. I think it's partly this: The middle age, middle class & senior folks who tell you in a diner at 7 am that they'll vote for you are more bankable votes than the girls screaming at you in a college cafeteria the day after the Iowa caucuses. Hillary's vulnerable teary moment yesterday might have helped. & the independent voters who see nothing peculiar about waiting until the last moment before choosing between a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. I don't know Hillary's ground operation in New Hampshire, but in New Jersey she's supported by the kind of Democratic party regulars who, year after year, odd & even, give voters rides to the local polls. Barack should not forget he's gonna need those Yellow Dog workers in November in thousands of polling districts, many where the presidency is the only seriously contested race. The Repugs won't help him out in a spirit of nonpartisan cooperation. They'll pick up their own likely voters, thank you very much. Both Barack & Hillary need to remember that Edwards' core support is comprised of some very angry & frustrated issue-oriented Democrats. So I'm hoping Hillary resists bringing a divisive superpartisan like James Carville on board her campaign. She did alright tonight without him.

Briefly tuned into Charlie Rose. The talking heads spinning off garbage like, "Hillary sent out direct mailing lying that Barack doesn't support choice." "Oh yeah, Barack had a campaign staffer denying he's a lobbyist for big pharma." Click! Misrepresenting an opponent's positions. Professional campaign staffers with questionable resumes. Golly, how scandalous.


I find myself wondering a bit about how only days before NH, Barack turned into a front runner who was going to crush Clinton. I wonder if any of that was deliberate manipulation of the expectations game or if it was just because NH followed so closely on the heels of his Iowa victory that it simply distorted polling results.
The fast media news cycle balloons everything out of proportion. It also reminded me of the Beatles hype, then hearing "Love Me Do" & thinking, "That's it?" Fortunately, it wasn't, but at the time I felt a big letdown.
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