After all the back and forth of the primaries it now appears that Barack Obama will secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidency. His supporters and campaign staff surely think so as they have now begun the first stages of their active campaign against John McCain. To say the least this will be an election that offers some unusual candidates. Neither fits perfectly the standard party positions.

I think Obama is right to begin his campaign against McCain now. If he waits he loses precious time. Obama has been speaking about McCain far more than Hillary Clinton the past few days. I expect this to continue. Obama is even campaigning in states he has already carried in the primaries or in states he lost. He is working to sign up millions of potential Democrats to vote in November. All of this is important to his strategy.

Obama’s campaign manager said on Sunday that "By November, every voter will know that McCain is offering a third Bush term." This appears to be a major strategy in Obama’s campaign. If it works he likely will win. Bush’s approval rating is only 31%, an all-time low for an incumbent. McCain must demonstrate why he is not George W. Bush. I think he can do it but the challenge is there for him.

Obama’s inability to win primaries in large industrial states appears that it will be a problem for him. McCain has a strategy to go after places like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio.
Obama does not appeal to working class voters, older people or women voters. His lack of economic and foreign-policy experience also makes him vulnerable.

In some ways it comes down to how willing Americans are to go with a man that they do not know very well for a man who has served the nation for decades and has a long and impressive public record that is moderate. And McCain has demonstrated his ability to work with people who disagree with him again and again. Obama says he can deliver change but McCainMccain_3
has done it already. Obama has to defend a very liberal voting record while McCain can truly run to the middle on many issues.

Michael Gerson, former speech-writer for President Bush, refers to Obama’s problem  as "the Obama narrative." That narrative looked awesome a few months ago but a lot has happened to tarnish it recently. He now looks more like a man of the academic left than of the people. Obama’s campaign people will need to move people away from these questions if possible.

John McCain does exceptionally well with Hispanic voters, having won nearly 70% in Arizona once. Obama has had problems with these voters in the primaries. This could also be a huge issue in the end.

I am convinced of one thing. In a year when Republicans are in deep trouble, and could well loose many seats in the Congress, McCain gives them a chance to win. No other Republican gave them that chance. I also thought Obama was almost unbeatable in a general election a few months ago. That has changed as the primaries have unfolded. We are in for a long race to the finish line. As they say, "In politics a few days can be an eternity sometimes." This will be an interesting race. My prayer is that Christians will remain involved but not as they have been in the past when they virtually identified their (Republican) candidate with the Christian Church so closely. With McCain this is not likely to happen at all since he is not promoting this idea in the least. I, for one, am grateful for this fact.

The only campaign ad I have seen that references "Christian faith," so far, came from Obama last week. In telling his story the ad refers to his coming to embrace the "Christian faith." Who would have thought a year ago that the Democratic candidate would refer to his Christian faith in this way and the Republican would not? Stay tuned. This will get interesting, very interesting.

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  1. Adam S May 22, 2008 at 7:11 am

    I think it is too early to say whether he doesn’t appeal to women. He is running against a woman in the primaries. It is unclear whether women that voted for Clinton will not vote for Obama. In general most women vote Democratic.
    What does seem to be clear is that there is a significant group of Whites that will not vote for a Black man for president. So at least part of the question is whether his strong showing among African Americans will be enough to overcome his poor showing among Whites that will not vote for a Black man. Many of those that would not vote for a Black man probably would naturally vote for McCain anyway (based on Defense and pro-life issues).
    Women as a group are harder to judge because many of them will support Obama’s positions against the war and for pro-choice. So if there are a large group that votes against him (or just doesn’t show up at the polls) then it may make the difference.

  2. bobg May 25, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    To vote or not to vote ? Where’s the Truth ? It’s all about what the U.S. is doing in the rest of the world and how it affects us here at home !
    Ron paul was right its all about our foreign policies and how we police the world under the guise “of democracy for all”, and “humanitarian aid”.We have moved from “communism” to “terrorism”.
    SPIN DOCTORS AT WORK to build the war machine.usa 660 billion military spending, the rest the world combined 550 billion. THE American Economy is a War Economy. (we won’t go into the prison economy) from krispy kream $500,000 pentagon contract, tyson foods 335,239,095, dell COMPUTERS 636,343.593, kraft foods 500,799,104, pepsico 286,969,943, proctor/gamble 362,461,805 and G.E 3,327,705,161 and the list goes on and on ;LA times may 9 2008 “War’s shopping cart pepsi, apple, krispy kreme and other consumer firms profit form Iraq too; mark turse “THE COMPLEX: How the military invades our everyday lives 2008 .We as a country cannot be a beacon of light if our leaders have no torch {light} to hold.(lack of integrity, pride,abuse, dishonesty, only out for personal gain, infidelity in marriage, double talk, lack of humility, empathy for others/countries. Sorry to say but mccain will be another 4 years of bush, both are “Neocons”war,oil, corporate interest and corruption. the difference being, bush does the god talk thing and mccain not only had his dad to cover his behind, but also his granddad (both admirals in the navy).To think i voted for bush, boy was i deceived. Please read “war is a racket” General Smedley d. Butler and please listen to Rev. wright’s interview with bill moyer to get the whole context of the sermon….what eye openers. You can also read historian/sociologist James w. Loewn and see how our history books (10-18 high school/college) are cooked.Spin/lies/distortions. I am embarrassed and saddened by the violence/hardship and pain we/our government has inflicted on the rest the world.Mexico,Haiti,Nicaragua, Dominican republic Honduras , Chile, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos,India, Guatemala, Salvador, not forgetting what we did to the natives Americans.”O WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE WHEN WE FIRST PRACTICE TO DECEIVE” We Americans who call ourselves followers of Christ need to put down the Bible for a moment and get the facts/truth about our History, then maybe we could better understand our neighbors narrative, foreign that is, and how we all fit into the biblical narrative………..does any of this make sense or sound true? it’s late, grace to all…bobg

  3. Francis May 27, 2008 at 11:55 am

    I’m not so sure that McCain can represent change. After the hullabaloo of McCain-Feingold, he has hired on some of Washington’s biggest lobbyists to run his campaign. He has switched positions on overturning Roe V Wade, he has switched positions on the Bush tax cuts, and he is positively delusional about Iraq, if, as his public statements imply, he sees substantial similarities between the kind of lasting presence America has in Germany and Korea to the kind of lasting presence he supposes.
    And when I see that Obama does poorly in working-class states, maybe I’m cynical, but I’ll call it as I see it. A lot of working-class whites will not vote for Barack because he is black. Whether or not there is some insiduous racism, or it has something to do with simply not knowing enough national-level Black candidates and the ones that are prominent, like Al Sharpton, do little to allay their fears. Barack has work to do to show this group of people that he can work for them and will.
    Also, I don’t think that the assertion that Obama looks like the Academic Left is a serious one. Obama is nothing like a Chomsky, and he taught at one of the most conservative law schools in the country at the University of Chicago. Anyone who calls him a Marxist or a Communist (and you are not doing this, of course) is not engaging in serious debate, just as someone calling McCain and reactionary Bible-thumper would be out of line. One should look at the policies and solutions and positions each candidate puts forth, and not at what others might see as larger ideologicial commitments, unless such commitments are made clear. I may buy shampoo from Proctor and Gamble rather than Alberstons, but that does not mean I support P&G in any fundamental sense. Likewise, if Obama takes certain leftist positions, or McCain certain rightist ones, neither thing creates a leftist or a rightist necessarily.

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