Superdelegates should look in their refrigerators to understand the disaster the Democratic Party faces if they go with the Hopium laced New Coke instead of the Classic.
Superdelegates: Look to your refrigerators for guidance.
Remember the New Coke fiasco?
… on April 23, New Coke was launched with fanfare, including prime-time TV ads. Company Chairman Roberto C. Goizueta proclaimed New Coke “smoother, rounder yet bolder,” speaking of it more like a fine wine than a carbonated treat.
But public reaction was overwhelmingly negative; some people likened the change in Coke to trampling the American flag.
Soon people were hoarding cases of the old stuff. In June 1985, Newsweek reported that savvy black marketeers sold old Coke for $30 a case. A Hollywood producer, giving an old vintage its proper respect, reportedly rented a wine cellar to hold 100 cases of the old Coke.
On July 11, Coca-Cola yanked New Coke from store shelves. “We did not understand the deep emotions of so many of our customers for Coca-Cola,” said company President Donald R. Keough. [snip]
On the 20th anniversary of the New Coke debacle, the original beverage is still going strong: The company’s fourth-quarter net profits in 2004 were $1.2 billion, up 30 percent from the same period the previous year. [snip]
Why do some products die despite the best intentions of their creators?
“In some instances, the product’s overchampioned,” Craig said. “Someone believed the Edsel or the eight-track tape or RCA’s videodisc was going to work, and they staked their careers and reputations on it, and kept pushing it in spite of misgivings.”
“Or maybe the research was beginning to suggest this wasn’t a good idea — or they didn’t do their research,” Craig said.
“When you’re convinced you’re right, you tend to … push on regardless,” he said. “If it’s a bad idea, it doesn’t take long for the verdict to be reached.”
Obama is a bitter beverage. He won’t sell.
The fact that Obama’s not contesting Democratic Arkansas shows his real weakness with a set of Democratic voters, and marks the different kind of coalition he’s trying to assemble, where high base turnout an independents make up for lost Dems.
Good luck with that strategy. The strategy appears to be dump tried and true Democrats for undependable independents.
The New York Times describes the scheme this way:
Arkansas has a Democratic governor, an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature, two Democratic United States senators and three Democratic Congressional representatives out of four.
The Democratic presidential primary here drew 80,000 more voters than the Republican one. And though the state voted for President Bush in 2000 and 2004, the two previous elections went handily to its native son, Bill Clinton.
But Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, does not yet have a campaign office here, and has not visited the state since 2006. One group of his volunteers meets in a donated space — the small waiting room of a medical spa — that they share with a prominent display of skin care products and a leaky air conditioner. The only Obama signs and stickers at the state party headquarters were paid for by the Pulaski County Democratic Committee.
Obama campaign officials have made much of their desire to expand the traditional Democratic playing field into states like Idaho, Indiana, Missouri and Montana and have promised they will run a 50-state campaign. But in the red-bloc South, the campaign has begun a push only in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. It has offices in several Republican-leaning states that have three electoral votes to Arkansas’s six, leaving his supporters in this state to wonder, why not here? [snip]
In Arkansas, unlike other Southern states, Democrats have maintained dominance by keeping white, conservative, rural voters — the ones that need the most convincing by Mr. Obama — in the fold. Arkansas’s population is whiter than the rest of the South; it is only 16 percent black, compared with 30 percent in Georgia and 21 percent in North Carolina. Its voters are older and less educated and include fewer transplants from outside the South. Virginia has elected a black governor; Arkansas has never elected a black candidate to statewide office. [snip]
Mrs. Clinton’s lock on Arkansas has certainly impeded Mr. Obama’s momentum there. Virtually all of the state’s major Democrats were Clinton supporters, and for many her defeat was a personal blow. [snip]
Some have suggested that even after Mrs. Clinton’s concession, the state party has been slow to embrace the Obama campaign, perhaps because its leaders fear alienating conservative Democrats.
“The Democratic Party has not had a candidate for statewide office to energize African-American voters since Bill Clinton left the state,” said Jay Barth, a political scientist at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark. “Whether they like it or not, they’re going to be tied to Obama. They might as well get the benefits out of it.”
Are there any benefits to wrapping a heavy anchor around your neck? It makes about as much sense as Americans in 1985 stocking up on New Coke and dumping the Classic.
Politico describes the current lunacy as Democratic “rising jitters”
As Senator Barack Obama prepares to accept the Democratic presidential nomination next week, party leaders in battleground states say the fight ahead against Senator John McCain looks tougher than they imagined, with Mr. Obama vulnerable on multiple fronts despite weeks of cross-country and overseas campaigning.
Obama, spent over a quarter billion dollars trying to get Americans to buy his New Coke candidacy, logo included. But Americans just are not buying. Dump the New Coke, go with the Classic.
These Democrats — 15 governors, members of Congress and state party leaders — say Mr. Obama has yet to convert his popularity among many Americans into solutions to crucial electoral challenges: showing ownership of an issue, like economic stewardship or national security; winning over supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; and minimizing his race and experience level as concerns for voters.
Hopium is not enough guys.
Mr. Obama has run for the last 18 months as the candidate of hope. Yet party leaders — while enthusiastic about Mr. Obama and his state-by-state campaign operations — say he must do more to convince the many undecided Democrats and independents that he would address their financial anxieties rather than run, by and large, as an agent of change — given that change, they note, is not an issue. [snip]
Or, in the blunter words of Gov. Phil Bredesen, Democrat of Tennessee: “Instead of giving big speeches at big stadiums, he needs to give straight-up 10-word answers to people at Wal-Mart about how he would improve their lives.”
Hillary supporters are not buying the Hopium laced New Coke. Obama is reduced to running negative advertisements against McCain in a stealthy way so that he does not have to acknowledge that in fact his campaign is only about negative campaigning.
Yet these advisers also acknowledge that the Obama phenomenon — the candidacy that helped inspire record voter registrations and turnout during the primaries — has come down to earth in a divided, economically stressed nation. Even though political analysts say that the economic conditions favor the Democrats in this election, and Mr. Bush’s unpopularity could hurt Republicans, Mr. Obama has not broken away from Mr. McCain in polling — a reflection, in part, of the huge numbers of undecided voters across party lines.
The New Coke – Obama – is as thirst quenching as vinegar.
Go with the Classic = Hillary, Hillary Clinton.