Obama's Speech: Not Nearly Enough
by Universal, Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:58:54 AM EDT
I'm going to keep this short for now.
It was an excellent speech, and for his supporters, it will be seen as historic, as concluding the Wright issue, etc.
Ultimately, however, it's not enough.
Besides my not liking his taking cheap shots at Hillary Clinton ('race card') and Geraldine Ferraro, the problems for Barack Obama after this speech are many. And he knows them.
This is why he denounced those who will play the Wright tapes 'on a loop,' and he took shots at pundits of both sides, and radio commentators.
Translation: The continued examination of the Wright tapes, and the fodder exposed by his opponents (esp. those on the right) is going to continue, and he cannot control that.
It was a wise move for Obama to introduce his white relatives in this speech. That was shrewd. And it will certainly lessen the concern among some voters.
But it's not enough.
Video of impassioned emotion, especially anger directed to your group is more powerful than a calm, contained speech, no matter how effective. And this speech was very effective.
Barack Obama's presentation will be played on a loop, and the spin has already begun. Both this spin and the reaction to Barack's words will be strong. The speech will resonate. He will get a bump in the polls, I imagine.
But discussions, as the senator said, will continue about white males going to John McCain, about the racial splits in TX, OH and MS.
Politics is a cynical business. JFK had a great agenda, but one of the things that won him the White House was how he looked on TV versus how Nixon looked. There is a bottom line here, so to speak.
And the bottom line for Barack Obama is that with those Wright tapes out there -- and with more likely to come -- there exists 'reasonable doubt' in many voters' minds, as Obama acknowledged. And that doubt is but one 30 second spot away.
And that is why Obama's address is not enough, nor could it hope to be enough.
Democratic leaders may well nominate Obama, but he cannot win the presidency post-Wright (not mentioning other figures he's tied to like Rezko and Ayers). The demographics of this nation, combined with Wright's words and Obama's close association with the minister, are too much.
You heard Obama pander to both Jewish and Latino voters today, as well as to whites, blacks and Reagan Coalition voters.
It is not sufficient, as we have seen from the returns so far this primary season.
I know many of you don't want to believe this, particularly in the afterglow of Obama's great speech, but this is what I firmly believe, as someone who has followed innumerable contests over many years and seen these things play out over and over again.
Negative campaigning works, that is a demonstrated fact.
Obama will be overrun by his associations in a general contest, if not before then.