I was wondering why Barack Obama was ESPN, but was at a restaurant and couldn’t hear what he was saying. However, apparently Obama’s performance got quite a stellar reaction. Right now Obama is being touted as the anti-Hillary, the candidate that the Democrats think can win over the electorate in a way that Senator Clinton cannot. That’s almost undeniable – even without the sound, Obama looked comfortable and seemed like he was having a good time. The guy’s charismatic, for sure.
Obama’s problem, as John Podhoretz points out is that Obama’s appeal comes from his personality, not his politics. Politically, Obama’s as liberal as they come on nearly every issue. Right now he gets to ride high on the anti-Hillary bandwagon, but Podhoretz also points out that getting into a bruising battle with the Clinton smear machine isn’t in his best interests. Why bother when he can knock out Hillary in 2008 and set himself up as the leader of the Democratic Party in the next Presidential cycle?
I agree with Podhoretz. Obama’s not a dumb man. He could beat Hillary, to be sure, but he’s suffer a hell of a lot of scars in the process which would tarnish his superstar image. He has a long and very successful political career ahead of him — why waste that when he can keep his powder dry and wait until his nomination becomes the sort of coronation that Hillary expected?
Barack Obama will almost certainly be one of the superstars of the Democratic Party, and his oratorical skills are some of the best the Democrats could hope to have for a leader. However, he’s also an adept politician, which is why I don’t think we’ll see a serious Obama run in 2008. He’ll fan the flames, but when he has the opportunity to see 2012 fall right in his lap, he’s smart enough not to let that get out of his grasp.
Whenever Obama runs, the Republicans better have one hell of a candidate ready to run against him, because Obama’s going to be a difficult person to beat, even with his liberal policy record. He’s one of the people who has the style necessary to connect with the American people, and that’s golden in politics. Even if he bows out of 2008, it won’t be because he can’t win, but because he knows he can, and he doesn’t need to rush to take the Oval Office if he so chooses.