The Right Wing Gets Obama
Simply put, Obama could start a movement. Hillary could not. Repubs get this. So why don’t Dems?
Watching the crowd of more than 3,000 fill up the convention center, watching the people send up waves of energy to Obama, and watching him play off that energy in a speech that was one of the best political performances anyone has seen this year, my Republican friend said, simply, â€œOh, sâ€”t.â€ He recalled the scene from Jaws, in which the small seaside townâ€™s sheriff realizes how big the shark heâ€™s tracking truly is, and says, â€œWeâ€™re gonna need a bigger boat.â€ What my friend didnâ€™t have to say was that he was deeply worried that Republicans just donâ€™t have a bigger boat.
From the left comes Kevin Drum, who doesn’t seem to get it…
So: overt appeals to the public to support a progressive agenda, or a stealth appeal to rebrand progressivism? Personal charm and empathy in small meetings, or a willingness to play old style politics? Which would be more effective?
I’m not sure. I lean toward the Hillary approach because I think the Obama approach only works when there’s already a real groundswell of support for significant change (as in the 30s, 60s, and 80s, for example) â€” and as much as I hate to say it, I just don’t see that at the moment.
How can he not see that America is yearning for change after the past 8 years of nonsense? And Drum is a smart guy too, so either this is his liberal bloggerness blinding him against the possibility of a post-partisan presidency or he truly doesn’t understand that Obama has the potential to do for progressivism what Reagan did for conservatism.
End game: Obama has to come up with a more compelling reason why his candidacy is vital. And he has to show it, not just say it. I have no idea how he’ll do it, but in order to really shut down the Clinton machine once and for all, it needs to happen…and quickly. Super Tuesday looms and he could really be crippled by big wins from Clinton in those massive primary states.