Congrats to Obama. So Now What?

Obama wins

Quick hits:

  • Clinton might not have won, but she certainly gets to play kingmaker. She set the pattern for the fall: black people and people under 40 for the O-man, and everybody else for her. Once you add in the masses of lily-white crotchety Republicans and extrapolate that same pattern, it looks like Obama loses by a lot. But if Hillary decides to swing her weight behind him, then that could change things.
  • Does Hillary really want the vice-president slot? I don’t know that she does. From a purely self-interested perspective, things might work out better for her if she sits this year out and then makes a comeback in 2012. By then we’ll either have a McCain presidency and she can argue that the Democrats should have picked her in 2008 and certainly should in 2012, or she can find enough Obama mistakes from four years in office to drop in like Reagan in 1976 or Ted Kennedy in 1980.
  • Unfortunately for her in that latter scenario, the Republicans lost the general election in 1976 and the Democrats lost it in 1980. Whoops.
  • Back to the first point, your man McCain is no political slouch: he sees what I just pointed out and is trying to win over Team Hillary. Under what other circumstances would a Republican ever dare to say something nice about Hillary Clinton? His best option is for her to sit on the sidelines and be pissed, because if she does, that’s just what her supporters will do too.
  • It is weird how the fact that a black man is the major-party nominee for President of the United States isn’t being played up a lot more. But then that tends to happen with all significant moments: no matter how big something seems in your own life, the world won’t bother stopping to congratulate you. There’s always more to be done, so the sooner you get down to brass tacks and do it, the better.
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4 Responses to “Congrats to Obama. So Now What?”

  1. Your commentary is usually more astute. The Hillary folks keep acting like Obama is a fringe candidate with minimal support. It isn’t true. And as long as Hillary does not decide to undermine Obama, they are essentially ideological clones. Thus, it should be reasonably easy for the Clinton folks to come to Obama. Far from being a king maker, Hillary runs the risk of becoming known as the selfish jackass who made McCain president. Ralph Nadar for a new generation.

    As for Hillary the Vice President, not after (a) she has been musing about RFK, and (b) when Caroline Kennedy is on the committee to pick the new vice president.

    Finally, McCain has gotten a free pass for the last few months. Let’s see what happens when he is in the spotlight again, and has half of Obama’s money to spread his position with.

    Posted by David | June 4th, 2008 at 8:04 pm
  2. Don’t ignore the Hillary love, though, or more accurately, the Obama dislike. Living among the yuppie elite it’s easy for me to overestimate Obama’s support, but then you go back home or talk to your relatives and people think a lot differently outside the big city centers. Sure, the pair are ideologically similar, but this primary was about character a while ago–Hillary made it so and McCain is going to do so again. And let’s face it: a lot of people voted against Obama because he’s not a white male and they’re afraid of something new and different.

    I will say though, in line with your points, that I think most of Clinton’s late wins were because the Obama people stayed home anticipating a sure victory, while the protest voters came out in droves.

    Ultimately I too don’t know what will happen, but I’m not as optimistic about Obama’s chances as most people I know.

    Posted by Pat | June 4th, 2008 at 8:57 pm
  3. Obama is a feel-good candidate but I am not at all convinced that he is a good candidate. I hope he lives up to the hype…

  4. I think three main things will give Obama the nod:

    1) Most moderates and independants are so fed up with Bush, it would take a LOT to get them to vote Republican.

    2) I don’t think the anti-black sentiment will be anywhere near as influencing as the anti-gay sentiment Repub’s used last time (state constitution marriage amendments and such).

    3) McCain will slip up at some point and come off as a cranky geezer that is out of touch (even to the aging Boomers). The best thing for him would be to have it happen soon and have time to fix it.

    Posted by Jerry | June 6th, 2008 at 11:16 am

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