Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Oh, NO! 0-8: Obama's O-fficial...

The Democratic Presidential Nominee is Senator Barack Obama.

Yesterday, Obama earned enough delegates, between a surge in super delegate votes and victories in South Dakota and Montana, to clinch the Democratic nominee. Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign, which largely expected this result, especially after the super delegate turnover, has announced that the campaign will officially end Saturday culminating with Clinton's endorsement of Obama, according to NBC news.

The end of this campaign is a relief to many Democrats, which have seen this marathon campaign as detrimental given that this year's Presidential race is largely seen as theirs to loose. The cascade of super delegate endorsements is partly proof of this. Although this race has taken a long time, it is hard to believe that it actually hurt Obama. Had this race ended in February or even in March, when McCain sewed up the nomination, several of the controversies that engulfed Obama, had they gone unnoticed until the fall, would have been far worse coming from the mouths of Republicans.

Sen. Clinton's loss can be attributed to a number of things. First of all, she spent too much time running on a campaign of inevitability. Since Iowa, when her greatest weakness--caucuses-- became apparent, she has been in a state of constantly catching up. Voters were put off by her inevitability approach. Perhaps more crucially, her campaign had mostly raised money for the general, keeping key resources out of states that she could have won or least lost more narrowly, MD, VA, and WI just for example. Add onto that, insensitive remarks by her husband, an unnecessary lodestone named Mark Penn, and an unfair suspicion of the Clintons' motives, it proved impossible to right her campaign's ship. Thus the first women President of the United States shall not come in 2009.

Now Barack Obama has quite a challenge. Although crowned as the first African-American Presidential candidate, his challenges are more varied than that title implies. First of all, Obama is in fact very much an African-American as he is first generation. His father was from Kenya. However, at the same time, his experience does not mirror that of most other African-Americans. He grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia in the care of his mother, step-father and his grandparents. Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, in his unsuccessful 2002 run, was unfairly criticized for not having the same experience as most black Newarkers, having grown up in the suburbs. While Obama will not face this criticism, his success as a black candidate does not illustrate the same kind of rise like that of say Gov. Deval Patrick.

Obama's campaign will undoubtedly carry on the "Change We Can Believe In" mantra. How it will play against a Republican party in Damage Control mode is unknown. Until Clinton, Obama had yet to face a candidate at full strength and with a full-fledged smear/negative campaign. If he is successful, Sen. Obama must take great care not to repeat the same mistakes that have harmed Gov. Patrick. With a national political organization behind him and influencing him (while simultaneously limiting change--maybe), this is unlikely. We shall see...Next stop St. Paul and Denver.

*Photo obtained from Wikipedia.

1 comment:

springfieldmedia said...

Marathon or long preseason?
Some say "What does not kill you, makes you stronger." I mostly agree with you. Dealing with Hillary has better prepared Barack Obama for the McCain-Bush-Limbaugh-Rove offensive. Let us hope the primary battle has not done lasting damage or worn Obama out.