Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Obama's "coalition of power"--UPDATED

. . .as applied to the economics argument of the 2008 election.

You may recognize the quoted words in the title as being part of a 2001 interview given by Obama (more info here). While that interview is worth reading, it honestly has little to do with this article other than to provide the foundation.

What I found striking about the interview was not his adherence to socialist economic dogma (WHICH IS NOT THE SAME AS BEING A SOCIALIST!!!)--but rather how intelligent he was in understanding how he could bring that change about to the country.

Fast forward to 2008. We on the right are so THRILLED when he "lets slip" his true economic beliefs in a random encounter with the now-famous Joe the Plumber.

But here's the problem: I don't think it's a "slip" at all. In fact, the way that Obama's team has pivoted on the remark makes me think that they set this up all along. And, in fact, by making this a key theme of his message for the last few weeks, McCain is absolutely playing into Obama's hands on this topic. Here's how:

If Obama wins the nomination, he will do so on the backs of the 40% of Americans who don't pay Uncle Sam income taxes.

But even a perception-challenged man like me understands that 40% isn't enough ALONE.

Well, they're not alone. He's also going to get an additional 15% of the rest of the country that subscribes to his liberal ideology.

And that, my friends, is a coalition.

Think about it: he will garner greater voter turnout in the lower income brackets than has any other candidate in a long time because THEY are the target of his economic policies to a degree that no other candidate has ever been able to sell. There may well be a degree of racial component there, too--but at this stage of the game it's IMPOSSIBLE to say that race is the ONLY reason ANYBODY is going to vote for Obama. Specifically with this group of low-income earners, Obama has made an appeal to them economically and even through his actions (community organizer and the like). He is literally a man who has walked their streets and who understands--AND WHO IS STRAIGHT-FORWARD ABOUT HIS PLANS TO FIX--their pain. He relates to them as nobody has before. The bottom line is this: this block of voters is going to vote, and they are overwhemlingly going to vote for Obama.

But again, that's not enough votes to get to power. So how to seal the deal? Simple: be an unapologetic lefty. I GUARANTEE that there are enough liberals in the middle-class, upper-middle class and even the upper-class of this country to provide him with the votes necessary to win this election, and they love the fact that he speaks to their ideals without shame and without pause. The only reason these people had NOT to vote for Obama--questions about his economic policies--went out the window with the recent and current troubles in the financial sector. In short, there's NO reason for this group of people not to vote for Obama. And again, it has NOTHING to do with race!

So is this thing done? Of course not. First of all, Obama will likely not win 55% of the popular vote. The above numbers are just loose approximations--my guess is he wins about 51% of the popular vote. But as we know, that does NOT win him the election in and of itself, and the electoral college is a tricky thing. Will there be enough pockets of supporters for him in the right places to swing the White House his direction?

Only time will tell, but I do have hope, for one reason: I don't think Obama's coalition will have "grown" much since the primaries. In other words, while I fully expect a LARGE majority of Clinton backers to vote for Obama because they also hail from Obama's coalition, I think the votes in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and other battlegrounds fall back on political "moderates". And honestly, I don't know how Obama's message resonates with them, and it is from this block that McCain must attack in the next couple days.

UPDATE: I moved my proposed attack strategy to a whole new post.


Post a Comment

<< Home