Leaning Against Obama

6 Jan

Left Flank puts itself on the record – sort of.


In the same post, Matthew Yglesias makes probably .

As I side note, I think her team is possibly reading the lines of causation wrong — voters in Iowa knew that "change" was Obama’s message, and so people who showed up to vote for Obama also told pollsters they were primarily interested in change. Clinton voters, by contrast, are trained to talk about "experience." This kind of thing is, I think, a major failing of conventional polling methods which tends to fairly naively assume that respondents’ reported candidate preferences are built out of their reported character trait and issue preferences. It’s likely, however, to be the other way around — people who like Candidate X come to embrace key parts of Candidate X’s argument.

Taylor Marsh , too.

Clinton was relaxed and fearless from the start, which was no doubt part of Obama’s frustration. She also got the only applause line when she said the first woman president is the very definition of change. It was clear she indeed felt liberated after Iowa. It might have been the best thing that happened to her. Once you lose you can let go. So she went straight at Mr. Obama on his record and he couldn’t or rather didn’t respond, offering non sequiturs instead. He didn’t answer the questions, so he segued to the results in Iowa.

Another problem for Mr. Obama was that he seemed a bit drained. Obama didn’t score points with Iraq either. Mr. Obama also kept talking about change, but throughout the debate the specifics just weren’t there. "Words" do help and make a difference seemed to be his focus. Words have the power. With words things happen. That’s why he won in Iowa. Again with Iowa.

Clinton offered the opposite, which is why I believe she soared, almost coming into her own. She had the words, but she translated them tonight into what she can accomplish through talking about her years of experience and what she’d already gotten done for the American people.

When it came to foreign policy in the debate Clinton stood apart on . The broad strokes all Democrats agree on, but the details were a different subject. She laid out a plan that was clearly thought out and anything but general.

The biggest difference tonight in Clinton was her relaxed presentation and her transparency. We also saw part of her personality, including a very feisty Clinton that responded strongly when Edwards and Obama ganged up on her, but it didn’t faze her. She turned it to gold, took them all on and kept on going.

Libby Spencer worries about .

Obama may well ride this wave of excitement into the White House and that will surely be an improvement over what we have right now but I just don’t see him as an agent of any real change. My fear is that he will fail to live up to his new found supporters’ high expectations and all we’ll end up with is a whole new class of disgruntled and cynical voters who will drop back out of the process rather than be fooled again.

Perhaps, Americans like their "change" with an old name!


4 Responses to “Leaning Against Obama”

  1. Elliott 6 January 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    Obama was flat and rather uninspired. Now that he’s the frontrunner he needs to defend himself a little better.

    Me, I’m tired of hearing about Clinton’s 35 years of experience. That’s a bold exaggeration and somebody needs to call her out on it. Just because you shake Boris Yeltsin’s hand as First Lady at a state dinner doesn’t count as real experience.

    Experience is overrated. Abe Lincoln only served one term in Congress before he got elected. Leadership, integrity, values and vision trump experience, as Abe proved.

  2. Bal(t)imoron 6 January 2008 at 5:06 pm #

    Yes, but Lincoln had strong allies, and he used all his experiences well. Skills honed as a lawyer were especially useful. He had a strong sense of his own self.

    I also favor Clinton’s version of healthcare – mandate included. That’s one mark against him, too.

    I also think she’s demonstrated more heart as a leader. That’s irrational, mind you. I’m not one to be inspired!

  3. Brendan 8 January 2008 at 12:21 am #

    Here’s a second try at posting a comment.

    I forget exactly what it was that I said the first time, but I did note that the Libby Spencer excerpt is classic concern troll behavior.

  4. Bal(t)imoron 8 January 2008 at 6:48 am #


    Well, let me just reiterate, that I’m not inspired easily, especially by the JFK comparisons.

Comments are closed.

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