Why it’s Obama’s time

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Let’s hope I can finally change the subject and get back to some of my more (or less) interesting digressions. Unfortunately, I have reacted very personally for some reason to these elections. At the same time that I have felt an almost innocent excitement for Obama’s messages, I have also felt incredible revulsion for Billary. I have tried to reflect some of these feelings in a short article for Safe Democracy, entitled “Barack vs. Billary: Why it is Obama’s Time” (and the Spanish version) that summarizes much of what I have said here before.

I have also done two things that I had never even fathomed doing in the past: (i) endorse a candidate, and (ii) give a campaign donation. I suppose that if you don’t commit just a little bit, then you lose your right to be complain about the outcome later.

From now on, it’s a pretty uphill battle. Hillary is very dug into the establishment trenches in each state, and she has also just given her sham Florida victory gala in a state race which she, together with the other candidates, had pledged not to compete in. Not only has she so openly broken that promise, she is now also saying she’ll fight to get those votes (and those of Michigan) to also be counted at the national convention. What is so suprising to me, is that it still suprises me that masses and masses of people don’t vomit in a nationwide nausea pandemic every time she opens her mouth.

Now it is difficult with such limited time for Obama to make large gains in 20 states at once on Super Tuesday. Nevertheless, there is still hope for Obama’s hope. As David Broder describes in today’s Washington Post,

. . . On the Democratic side, the battle is closer, but the advantage has shifted back to Barack Obama — thanks to a growing but largely unremarked-upon tendency among Democratic leaders to reject Hillary Clinton and her husband, the former president . . .

. . . The Democratic race remains harder to handicap, in part because Clinton has already demonstrated her resilience by fighting uphill battles to prevail in New Hampshire and Nevada and because she retains formidable alliances and organizational strengths.

But in the past two weeks, there has been a remarkable shift of establishment opinion against her and against the prospect of placing the party’s 2008 chances in the hands of her husband, Bill Clinton.

The prominence of his role in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and the mean-spiritedness of his attacks on Obama, stunned many Democrats. Clinton’s behavior underlined the warning raised in this column before Iowa, by a prominent veteran of the Clinton administration, that the prospect of two presidents both named Clinton sharing a single White House would be a huge problem for the Democrats in November if Hillary Clinton is the nominee.

The Clintons’ negatives have brought much support to Obama, most notably that of Ted Kennedy, the most prestigious figure in the Democratic establishment in Washington. But it is also Obama’s own appeal that is being talked about across the country, from Massachusetts to Arizona, by the younger generation of governors, senators and representatives who share with him an eagerness to “turn the page” on the battles of the past.

Obama is not inevitable, but the longer the race continues, the greater that hunger will be. And the growing recognition of McCain’s appeal to independents also works in Obama’s favor.

So maybe it is a question of time. With more time and the ever increasing presence of McCain, Democrats would start rejecting Hillary as their party elite is now doing, and independents would get to see more of Obama and the more people see of him, the more they like. Who knows?

And I do have a non-political post coming up that will be called something like “The Year of Living Superficially” about how I would like to turn 2008 into one of my most superficial years yet.

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Filed under Essays, Obama 08

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