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September 29, 2008

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Obama is blowing his chance to redefine the debate.

It's the economy, stupid.

Duh.

Of course, the Democratic party is complicit in 30 years of deregulation, and Obama is bought and paid for by Wall Street.

Still, does he want to lose?

Here's how it should go:

McCain: Terrorists are threatening America!

Obama: The current end-game of market fundamentalism is the biggest threat the American experiment has ever faced.

McCain: Victory in Iraq!

Obama: How do you win an occupation? We could have used that trillion dollars to solve our health care crisis, fix our roads and bridges, and re-invest in our schools.

But instead we get the same old meek me-tooism we've seen from the last two Democratic "contenders."

Obama could own McCain if his campaign would take the initiative. It's seriously as if they want to lose the way they let McCain -- John Freakin' McCain, for cyring out loud -- define the debate.

I too was initially disappointed by Obama's soft sell during the debate.

However, Obama seems to have played it right as far as the independent voters and previously undecideds go. I now believe he finessed McCain by not attacking him outright but by looking him in the eye and stating his positions.

Let's face it. There are many folks in the country, especially in those battleground states, that fear electing an "angry black man". I am now sure that more than few people who had that fear now think something like "well for a black man, he sure does come across as presidential".

Immediately following the debate, the pundits called it either a draw or a slight McCain advantage. This is probably true when examining substance only. But image also counts in politics, especially in presidential politics. Either Obama is a brilliant strategist or just plain lucky. Since he prevailed over Hillary Clinton, I am inclined to think he is brilliant. Look at the polls today!

A debate including Nader would be interesting and I think would play to Obama's advantage in that Nader could be the pit bull. Undoubtedly he would attack both McCain and Obama, but Mccain would probably be the worse for wear. However, Nader doesn't have a ghost of a chance.

Rich, you've got a really valid point. My mom, who works at a rec center/senior center in suburban Denver, has encountered a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle sentiment re. Obama's race. Many otherwise liberal white folks, especially of a certain age, just aren't ready to vote for a black man for president, angry or not.

My point is not so much that he should go on attack, but that he should lead on defining the debate. McCain says "terror," Obama says "economy." McCain says "victory," Obama says "health care."

These are the issues people are really concerned with, and on which Obama has a clear lead. Bill Clinton was the last Democratic presidential candidate who had the political skills to pull this off.

Unfortunately, it's looking like Obama is following the lead of Gore and Kerry, who both got sucked into trying to portray themselves as Republican-lite.

Health care and the economy are populist issues that need to be at the fore of this election. McCain isn't going to bring them up, because he and his party are weak on them.

If Obama and his party don't bring them up, they might as well start practicing their golf swings, because they're going to have a lot of time on their hands after Nov. 4.

C'mon guys cheer up. Have you looked at the polls lately--Obama is kicking McCain's butt! Its working fine. Go Obama!!!!

Yep, my opinion is to elect Obama as POTUS and then check any of his "wrong-mindedness" with a strong, progressive Congress.

Well, given that Obama's lead is moving beyond the margin of error in some polls, and McCain is folding up shop in Michigan, we may have cause for optimism.

Still, I can't help but think if Obama ran as more of a populist on the issues he has incredible margins on, he'd be far better off.

Ten point leads in opinion polls with a 3-5% margins of error doesn't give much cushion when you consider the potential Bradley effect Nov. 4 or an October surprise (haven't heard from the Republican's main man bin Laden lately).

A couple of points.

First I'm less interested in the politics of the Presidential race than in the issues. Obama has clearly leaned rightward in the general election campaign, especially on Iraq and on Middle East policy generally. I think that it's dangerous to assume once elected Obama will suddenly turn progressive, or that his constituency will be able to influence him in any substantial way.

I'm extremely dubious about Rich's notion that a "strong progressive Congress" will counterbalance any of Obama's centrist tendencies. What's the likelihood a Democratic Congress, even with a huge majority, will embrace progressive positions? I'd say such an outcome is highly improbable. There are lots of Blue Dogs out there, including our own fiscal conservative Kurt Schrader.

The Dems typically are more concerned with party than with principle.

I think that Obama's lead in the polls has more to do with McCain's imploding than with smart, cautious politics. I tend to believe that his lead would be even larger if he had campaigned on a more populist progressive platform.

After eight years of Bush, any Democrat should be able to win handily. That Obama's lead isn't triple digits should be some cause for alarm.

"After eight years of Bush, any Democrat should be able to win handily. That Obama's lead isn't triple digits should be some cause for alarm."

I would modify "any Democrat" that to say "any white democrat with governing experience". Two things work against an Obama landslide. One is a perceived lack of experience. The second, of course, is his race. In fact, I also believe that the first reason is used by many to cover the real reason - the second.

I believe that Obama's recent rise in the pols are due to many undecided voters finally getting comfortable with Obama - he cme off a presidential in the debate, whether the substance really proved it or not. Plus McCains erratic behaviour caused a lack of confidence in him among the centrist voters.

I, for one, will celebrate an Obama victory whether with 270 EVs or 340. (my own guess is that it will be around 310 EVs - which would be close to a landslide)

In 1992, when we actually had to vote in a polling place, I remember quick-stepping seven blocks to vote for Clinton. I was ready to vote with a vengeance, even though I wasn't sold totally on Clinton. I feel even more enthused about voting this time, even though I'll probably do it at my home desk in my underwear. (Now wasn't that TMI?)

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