The Great Pretender

Ben Smith at Politico in reviewing a rare non-anonymous memo emanating from Chicago states that “Obama campaign manager David Plouffe lays out the case for, essentially, Obama as frontrunner.” As they say in Bug Tussle, Tennessee “Don’t that beat all?”

Audacity has crossed the line into hubris and delusion.

This souffle from Plouffe concedes Hillary’s popularity with the electorate. According to the memo Hillary “will and should lead just about every national poll from now until the Iowa caucuses.” And in a hilarity inducing finish Plouffe adds “Expect nothing different and attach no significance to it.” This should really encourage Obama supporters.

Politico’s Smith quickly punctures this conveyance of Chicago hot air:

“Then Plouffe cites early polling in the 1980, 1988, 1992, and 2004 cycles that had Carter, Dukakis, Clinton, and Kerry well behind their Democratic primary rivals.”

“The 1980 Carter-Kennedy race seems a bit special here — an unpopular president, and a Kennedy. But the other years were races without either an incumbent or a sitting or former vice president — a “quasi-incumbent.” Plouffe doesn’t cite Mondale in 1984, Clinton in 1996, or Gore in 2000 — incumbents or near-incumbents who dominated their primaries from start to finish. That’s the model Hillary wants to follow, and there’s an argument that this year is more like those, that the candidates are so well-known that the early polling does matter.”

Polling of course is always subject to change because the numbers reflect people and people can and do change. What ultimately matters is the quality of the candidate and the quality of the candidate’s policies and organization. Hillary of course has proven her mettle in the debates and in a lifetime of public service. The electorate rewards her with a consistent and significant lead in the polls. In contrast, the Obama campaign is the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. Typically, the Obama campaign counters the reality of Hillary’s consistently competent campaign with the promise of a future “robust” campaign .

The ludicrous memo from the Obama campaign, while decrying the validity of early polls, are you ready, cites “general election polling” to claim that Obama will be the strongest candidate in November 2008. So, polls 7 months from the primaries are to be ignored (because they show Obama as a loser), but, polls 15 months out are valid (because of the audacity of hope). Does someone review these memos before they are released? Is consistent logic too much to be expected?

Never have so few made so much from so little.

Several weeks ago we had some fun selecting Campaign Songs for opposing candidates. We might have to select an additional song for Obama. After all, anyone who pretends to be doing so well deserves something for his efforts.

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4 thoughts on “The Great Pretender

  1. I love the ending of the post. The pretender. Yep, I agree. Obama’s donations are coming from appearances across the country, where thousand of people show up and donate small amounts. Pretty clever, I’ll say. Hillary may want to adopt this strategy.

    Great Post.

  2. He’s repulsive. Right wing creep.

    However, the article has some very good analysis.

    He debunks souffle’s analysis of the Lieberman polls by citing that at most Lieberman was at 24% while Hillary is in the mid 30s or 40s. Here’s some other good stuff:

    “And here we have the problem for Obama: While many people are thrilled by the prospect of a revolutionary presidential candidate, it’s not most people – not even most liberals.

    In the end, except in rare circumstances, presidential candidates are the ones who seem like the safest choices. Voters are instinctively “conservative” even when they’re liberal. This is truer in the general election than it is in primaries, but time and again voters have followed this pattern in primaries as well.

    Hillary Clinton’s greatest problem as a candidate was precisely that she was a potentially revolutionary figure – the first female president, as well as a liberal icon who would shift things to the left.

    Now she’s the establishment candidate of the Democratic Party – a “semi-incumbent,” in Plouffe’s words. With Obama as the first serious black candidate, her standing as the first serious female candidate seems far less revolutionary. And with him running to her left, she is well-positioned as the more moderate choice.

    Obama and his partisans will need to tread carefully here. If they try to caricature Hillary as Bush in a dress, they’re going to suffer for it. It’s a ridiculous conceit, so divorced from reality that it will give her easy ammunition both to demonstrate her liberal credentials and to seem the victim of over-aggressive negative campaigning.

    No matter how much money Obama raises or how much enthusiasm he generates, Hillary is still going to have to stumble for him to catch up to her. That’s the advantage of being a front-runner. Many candidates stumble. But some don’t. And so far, Hillary doesn’t seem like a stumbler.”

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