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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Some Thoughts On Obama (Again)

If things continue this way, I expect that Obama and his campaign manager will be spoken of with the same sort of "magic maker" talk spent on Karl Rove after he did his work on Bush.

I like Obama a lot but I am under no illusions as far as how shrewd a tactician and master of diplomacy he is. The guy is probably the best pure politician on the scene in decades. Quite brilliant, the way he plays his hand. Always measured, always composed... (unless you're a stupid fucking wanker after him for a picture with no understanding that the guy might have a few more pressing things to do) ...the guy's probably holding back a little for the general election.

Dude's made of Teflon. He's a master of spin. Few politicians could pull out from under the Wright scandal. Suddenly it's uncouth to harp on the Wright thing because America has more important things to discuss. Holy fucking brilliant time to play the race-speech card, man. (Which I think was genius, important, and hopefully the spark to a fire.)

'Course, Mr. PoW uber-patriot McLean will play the anti-America and patriotism card like you won't believe should Obama sail through to the nomination thanks to the "20 years" of history in that relationship.

But there's no way McLean will be able to counter the "he's too old and too connected to Bush to know how to embrace the change we need" argument that Obama will no doubt force-feed the public-- a public that's really starting to drink the Kool-Aid, a public that is drawing a very unique segment of people out of the woodwork.

A story you're going to hear more and more about is the startling pace at which new registrations are magically appearing. Look at North Carolina: 89,000 new voters registered, but only 17% were Republicans. When you're talking about a post-Bush/Gore/Florida political world, those are potentially scary numbers.

It's a year that might well be decided by the margins... and marginalized. More jaded youth than ever before will vote this year, though, and they will vote for change. This will be the election won by people who always figured their vote didn't count. Except this is the year when it really, really does. There's no political machine that can predict that turnout.

If it wasn't for the people I can't stand running for office, I wouldn't vote. There's been one guy I embraced the chance to vote for, and he quit midterm. No one excites me. That's the thing about Obama. Instead of voting against someone, there's finally someone worth voting for.

And the whole Obama-political-mastermind thing, well. I think of it like this. I imagine meeting this incredibly powerful superhero-type zipping around, getting kitties out of trees, stopping cars about to hit kids, all a la Incredibles, right? Then one day you see them explode in fury, maybe because the TiVO somehow didn't get the Jimmy Kimmel Special or something, whatever. The first thing you say is, "Whew! Glad you choose to use your powers for good!"

Yeah, so, Obama should continue his shrewd, tactical schemings, keep kicking ass and taking names, because, hey, he's choosing to use his superpowers for good.

Which he repeatedly points out in his so-innovative-it's-not (like no one ever suggested not taking money from big biz?) fundraising campaign conducted largely on the web and via email (cheap and effective) using the newest of the new media.The guy's a fucking fundraising genius.

I mean, Obama's out there sucking up contributions at a pace never seen before. People are throwing money at him! They have a "$5 is great! We'll take $5!" mentality, while Clinton's running an old-style campaign, doing campaign fundraiser gigs ($500 a plate! for overcooked salmon!) at a 2-to-1 pace of Obama, and it shows! She looks exhausted! He took a vacation. Says a lot. $240 million taken in so far versus her $175 million? Coming from a life where finding a $20 bill makes me happy for three days, $65 million's gonna buy Obama a few more.

Yep. This is one of those phases I'm happy to be living the Chinese proverbial "interesting times". Things are fun to be watching, I tell ya.