Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: The Bad with the Good

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Bad with the Good

Only one taker for the discussion on race I suggested a couple of days ago, huh? Well, I'm not really that surprised. It's an extremely loaded subject, and it's not like talking about it on this blog is going to keep it from festering throughout the rest of the campaign. For more thoughts on the matter, though, I'd suggest taking a look at what Christy Hardin Smith had to say over at Firedoglake. She's a lawyer in West Virginia, so she's closer to the action where race may make a difference. Here's her opener:

Barack Obama doesn't have to win over most progressives -- a lot of them are already supporting him or will over McCain. What he has to win are folks like the people in our local Democratic group -- the people we rely on here in WV to make those GOTV calls, organize rides to the polls and strong-arm their buddies at the VFW and the union hall and the workplace and at church to vote for Obama over McCain.

They are comfortable with John McCain. They know him well from all his years of public service. They may not like all of his policies, but they at least think they know what they are getting with him. It was the same for them with Hillary Clinton -- who they knew quite well from all of her time as First Lady and in the public spotlight since then.

They don't feel comfortable with Obama just yet -- he has not closed the deal with them. Not just with women, but also with a lot of men here and in PA, OH, FL, MI, and any number of other states.

On the other hand, Sunday's New York Times outlines some of the Obama strategy that makes me optimistic.

Senator Barack Obama's general election plan calls for broadening the electoral map by challenging Senator John McCain in typically Republican states — from North Carolina to Missouri to Montana — as Mr. Obama seeks to take advantage of voter turnout operations built in nearly 50 states in the long Democratic nomination battle, aides said.

On Monday, Mr. Obama will travel to North Carolina — a state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in 32 years — to start a two-week tour of speeches, town hall forums and other appearances intended to highlight differences with Mr. McCain on the economy. From there, he heads to Missouri, which last voted for a Democrat in 1996. His first campaign swing after securing the Democratic presidential nomination last week was to Virginia, which last voted Democratic in 1964.

From what we've seen, Obama is a smart campaigner and an effective campaigner (not necessarily the same thing). I have to admit that I'm looking forward to see what he's got up his sleeve.


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