Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thank You, Blog Bunker

Hey - thanks to Joe and Alex at Blog Bunker for another great time talking politics.

BTW, these guys have dropped their support for Obama. Reason? Obama has campaign has become too typical politician, less outsidery. He seems "messianic."

This points out a problem for Obama as he tacks to the middle: will his calculations alienate as many Libertarians attracted to an principaled, impassioned "outsider" politics as he wins over centrists looking for the middle of the road?

Or rather, it points out a subtle distinction in the "independent" voter: there's the independent who's looking for a centrist politics that blends the best policies of Democrats and Republicans (maybe that's more my style); and the independent looking to change "politics as usual" with a true believer in a radical overhaul of the system (i.e., those Ron Paul and Bob Barr voters, like Joe).

Suffice as to say, with the McCain team ready to pounce on the un-American meme, and "change" being derided as insufficient in and of itself, Obama is going to stay far away from any change that smells "radical." But I think he's gotten plenty of warning signs now that he needs to tamp down the superstardom and appear more down-to-earth. Maybe get out for a town hall style round-table or two with voters, some old-fashioned hand shaking and baby-kissing. That's how Hillary won over blue-collar dems in upstate New York when she first had to get that Senate seat - a lot of hard work pounding pavement and shaking hands. That may not be enough to win over Libertarians like Joe, but getting out into the diners in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana for coffee and handshakes will help a lot with average voters having doubts about Obama's sincerity.

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