Obama--risky GE candidate?

What a week!  And it's only Wednesday.  We have Obama gaining in the early state polls.  Romney mouths off about Muslims, Huckabee is rising fast in Iowa and South Carolina, and the likely end of Giuliani's candidacy as we know it.

Barack Obama's Intrade number for the nomination is over 20 for the first time in about three months.  Suppose he gets the nomination.  Just how good a candidate would he be?  I think he would struggle.  Here's why:

1.  He's a poor debater--at least he's shown that.  Primary debates are one thing, but the fall election debates will be very important for someone like him.  The bar will be set lower, but he still may be unable to reach it.  

2.  The Republican attack machine hasn't begun to lay a glove
on him yet.  He is vulnerable on immigration, he has hazy stances on Social Security and health care, and he isn't all that clear on what he would do with Iraq.  

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SUSA poll: New Mexico tight, Clinton runs ahead of Obama

SUSA released a poll from New Mexico and its 5 electoral votes today. Clinton runs ahead of Obama, and only John McCain manages to win a match-up against her.

Read the full poll and analysis here at Campaign Diaries.

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New SUSA poll: Democrats competitive in Virginia's general election

The first poll that had Democrats leading in Virginia was deemed by all a probable outlier, until poll after poll showed Clinton and other Democrats competitive. And today's new SUSA poll is no exception.

Full roundup of this poll and all surveys released today here, at Campaign Diaries.

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Giuliani's Post-Machiavellian Moment

At last night's 25th anniversary of the odious Federalist Society of right-wing lawyers, Rudy Giuliani spoke of America's "mission" to save the world.
It was this nation that saved the world from the two great tyrannies of the 20th century, Nazism and Communism," he said. "It's this country that's going to save civilization from Islamic terrorism."
According to liberal blogger Glenn Greenwald, Giuliani's "messianic fervor" is an example of "the paranoid style" that Richard Hofstetter identified as a major flaw in American politics.  

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A Second Look at Giuliani's Strategy

As Iowa approaches, pundits are beginning to scrutinize the wisdom of Rudy Giuliani's Florida + February 5th strategy. It was summed up by Giuliani's campaign manager on a recent conference call as a strategy that rellies on a heavy surge of delegates vs. the momentum that comes from wins in the early states.

Marc Ambinder

The strategy has always been a risky one, which subordinates the early states and relies on Florida onward for a late surge in delegates. The conflict between his strategy and the tried and true early state strategy is one of playing the numbers game vs. the momentum game and was summed up in a conference call the Giuliani camp held

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