Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Should Obama Go Negative?

hillary's pennsylvania win (she will net about 15 delegates) allows her to go on and we will have more of the same, only more. without a doubt, it's not just the earth that is in peril but the democratic party is in peril. first, john mccain is looking better, hitting up places that republicans don't typically tread. kudos to him on that.

the republicans are pleased that hillary's still in the race. by the end, both candidates will be less than what they were to start and easier to beat.

today clinton is gloating, using her rousing line that she didn't back down and that she's a fighter. her supporters love that. but i'd like to remind everyone that party leaders began calling for clinton to quit when the clintons started clawing, degrading the election and tearing apart democrats with the kitchen sink strategy of saying whatever it takes, even if it's not true.

the backstory is that clinton waited for john kerry to have his shot and it was supposed to be a given that this election was hillary's. but obama has put a damper on that and the clinton machine isn't happy.

expect the weather underground to pop back up, jeremiah wright, lapel pins, elitism and maybe even something new. turns out many pennsylvanians fell for the "bitter" exploitation. i don't know if obama can overcome working class objections without going negative.

the question is should he? in pennsylvania, obama won more men, younger voters and the new democrats and party switchers. can obama's base compensate for hillary's base of older people and "lunch box" workers, those not inclined to vote for a black person, in the general election?
nyt: The results of the exit poll, conducted at 40 precincts across Pennsylvania by Edison/Mitofsky for the television networks and The Associated Press, also found stark evidence that Mr. Obama’s race could be a problem in the general election. Sixteen percent of white voters said race mattered in deciding who they voted for, and just 54 percent of those voters said they would support Mr. Obama in a general election; 27 percent of them said they would vote for Mr. McCain if Mr. Obama was the Democratic nominee, and 16 percent said they would not vote at all.

that's really sad and despicable that people vote on race. good luck with that.
wash post: Unable once again to score a knockout, Sen. Barack Obama is likely to make his new negative tone even more negative -- with a sharp eye on trying to end the Democratic presidential nomination fight after the May 6 primaries in Indiana and North Carolina.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's victory yesterday in Pennsylvania has only accentuated the quandary that Obama faces: Stay negative and he risks undermining the premise of his candidacy. Stay aloof and he underscores Clinton's argument that he will not be able to beat a "Republican attack machine" sure to greet him this summer.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe indicated last night which of those options they would take. "We've done a lot of counterpunching. We've been swift and effective," he said. "For Democrats judging how we're going to perform as the nominee, we have been relentless."

Obama himself took up the cudgel after Clinton delivered a victory speech in Philadelphia devoid of attack lines. Without naming Clinton, he suggested in Evansville, Ind., that she is a captive to the oil, pharmaceutical and insurance lobbies, that she "says and does whatever it takes to win the next election," and that she exploits division for political gain.

"In the end, this election is still our best chance to solve the problems we've been talking about for decades -- as one nation, as one people," Obama said.