Barack Obama’s Outside Shot

Obama HardcoreEveryone loves an underdog. The love is particularly strong among Americans. It has been theorized that every nation’s ideal is hewn from the rock of its origins. While I’m unsure what sucking wolf tits had to do with Rome, that wisdom certainly holds true for Americans. An unruly near-mob of cider drunk hemp farmers will MAKE a national ideal like that after they defeat the greatest war machine on the planet.

And so we turn our attention (and this blog) to one Senator Barack Hussein Obama, American underdog. This candidate has two immediately distinguishable features. First, he’s the sexiest motherfucking candidate the trail has seen, though it could be argued Hillary after a twelve pack of Miller Lite is a close second. Secondly, he’s the guy that every white-bread political pundit in the country has to check themselves on to avoid referring to as a “dark horse”. I feel quite certain that would lead to uncomfortable silence on the set of Hardball.

70’s ObamaBut underneath such idle and tasteless observation lies what could very well turn into the dramatic high note of this years-long Wagnerian epic we call an election. You see, Barack Obama could well win this thing, which makes him a marked departure from the people I’ve been reviewing so far. But he IS an underdog. It’s a long shot, and it’s dependent on many factors between now and November. Consider, to begin with, how he reads.

The comparisons to Kennedy have been and will continue to be inevitable. A young politician, Ivy League educated, leftward-leaning, idealistic, etc etc. Seems to me you could spin this cat a little more originally sometimes, but whatever. He does manage a sort of everyman quality while at the same time preserving the presence of his intellect. Obama manages to look smart without looking like a snooty academic, which isn’t an easy thing to do in the modern political arena. Al Gore could likely tell any candidate stories on how too much intelligence can be a hindrance, if presented the wrong way.

But Obama doesn’t seem to habitually HAVE the same problems that modern politicians repeatedly do. So far, the man’s Teflon. He’s adopted a policy of full disclosure, brutal honesty about his past, and an unwavering purpose of conviction. Whether he IS Camelot come again for real or just a political protege like Mozart was to music, the effect is the same. Obama comes off like the golden boy. A figure so recognizably formidable, the best the Republicans have had to offer on him so far is that he has very little experience. Temporally, that might be true, but he’s running for President at a younger age than any of them ever did, so what does that tell you? Aside from that, the man just got Oprah. Fucking Oprah. Any middle class housewives who hadn’t heard of Obama at the beginning of last week has heard of him now, I promise.

So basically, there’s nothing the guy has done wrong, at all. Every move he’s made has been pretty good to brilliant, he’s giving the highly competitive Team Clinton a run for their money, and he photographs well. But for all he does right, there are two major disadvantages he’s facing to being victorious in the general election.

Man Of The People
The first, sadly, is his ethnicity. We’d all be foolish if we thought that a black candidate wasn’t going to lose votes to the color of his skin, even today. And yes, they’ll likely be in numbers large enough to sway election results, conceivably. It doesn’t do our country a service any more than the overwhelming feeling toward a female candidate would, nor a gay candidate, nor a Mormon candidate, nor a Muslim, Scientologist, or atheist candidate. None of these knee-jerk reactions against minorities of any sort do us any good, but they DO exist. And Barack Obama will MOST LIKELY be fighting an uphill battle in a general election due to them.

The other major disadvantage he has are his avowed politics. His posture leans further to the left even than Clinton (Bill, not Hillary). And Bush The Younger notwithstanding, the moderate swing voters in this country haven’t forgotten their wild libertarian strain. Then again, maybe it IS the hour for America to take a well intentioned stab toward universal health care and international diplomacy. Hell, we might be willing to try anything at this point.

Strangely, the question of Obama winning a general election finds it’s answer largely with the Republicans. It’s still way too early to tell which nomination card they’re going to play, be it Giuliani or the recently emergent Huckabee, or someone else entirely. If they field someone with a major weakness such as, I don’t know, belonging to a religious minority, then it’s definitely anyone’s ball game. Obama would have a struggle with a Giuliani or maybe even a Huckabee, but he could for damn sure beat a Romney.

OMG!Camelot Revertus? Could actually happen, especially if Oprah has anything to say about it. Did I mention he got Oprah? Possibly you saw something on the news about it. Crack all the jokes you like out there, but don’t underestimate the power of Oprah. Biggest problem the Obama campaign has with an Oprah endorsement is that so far, she’s more famous than he is.

Conclusion: Agree or disagree with Barack Obama, no one can deny it would be fun to watch him win.

Out for now…

– Paris “Rev” Battle

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1 Comment

  1. Obama is unquestionably smart, likeable and articulate. He is one of the very few Democrats who clearly oppossed the iraq war in oct 2002 when he said .

    I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

    Hillary ‘s tauted “vast” experience did not result in her displaying that degree of superb judgement.

    Obama had “enough experience” and understading of international affairs to get it right.

    However many years Hillary spent in the White House, and however many world leaders she has met, Hillary got it wrong.

    Forget about Edwards he has demonstrated neither experience nor judgement.


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