Friday, August 22, 2008

‘Yes we can'? Make that: ‘Oops, we may not'

Gerard Baker at the Times is right: “Barack Obama suddenly looks vulnerable. And the more the focus is on him, the less likely he is to become president.”

Baker writes:

“There's trouble in paradise. Cancel the coronation. Send back the commemorative medals. Put those “Yes We Can” T-shirts up on eBay. Keep the Change.

“Barack Obama's historic procession to the American presidency has been rudely interrupted. The global healing he promised is in jeopardy. If you're prone to emotional breakdown, you might want to take a seat before I say this. He might not win.

“How can it be, you ask? Didn't we see him just last month speaking to 200,000 adoring Germans in Berlin? Didn't he get the red carpet treatment in France - France of all places? Doesn't every British politician want to be seen clutching the hem of his garment?

“All true. But as cruel geography and the selfish designs of the American Founding Fathers would have it, Europeans don't get to choose the US president. Somewhere along the way to the Obama presidency, somebody forgot to ask the American people.”

Baker points out:

So we arrive this weekend at the true starting line of the US presidential race and the rituals that begin the real election campaign: the selection of the vice-presidential running-mates, and the back-to-back party nominating conventions. A year and a half after the warm-ups began, the two remaining candidates are more or less tied. Senator Obama's summer lead in the opinion polls has evaporated. John McCain, that grumpy, grisly, gnarled old Republican, that Gollum to Senator Obama's Bilbo Baggins, might, just might, actually win this thing.

“What happened?”

Baker concludes:

“The key to understanding the presidential campaign as it enters its phase of maximum intensity is this. The more the campaign is about the concerns of the American voter, especially the state of the economy but also the general anxiety about the direction of the country, the more likely they are to throw the Republicans out.

“But the uncomfortable truth for the many devoted fans of Senator Obama is that the more the race is about him, the less likely he is to win it.”

To read Baker’s thought-provoking analysis of the general election race in its entirety, go here.

1 comment:

  1. Obama needs to be less like Muhammad Ali and more like Joe Frazier. Step in, punch hard. The Republicans have given us an illegal war. Mass murder. Catastrophe. He has all the material he needs. So what's he doing?

    He also needs to read a little book called "Animal Farm" and ponder the words "Some are more equal than others."