Obama has a problem: What do you do when you're a lightly accomplished one-term senator, a former state legislator from Illinois, a Harvard law graduate who has no substantive record of accomplishments, and you are running against a war hero whom polls show that Americans overwhelmingly view as far more fit to be commander in chief?
At this point, the Obama as globetrotter narrative has completely displaced the Obama as flip-flopper narrative.
Obama should be leading by like 20 points by now and although electoral map combinations that would produce a McCain victory are still far fewer than those which produce an Obama victory, McCain should be absolutely ecstatic about his current standing.
So far I have yet to hear any rationale for preferring Obama on the economy but McCain seems to be winning on energy.
Obama has been extremely lucky in terms of the extent of confusion currently surrounding the Iraq debate. (Is it possible some Democrats reached out to Maliki?) Also, his trip seems to be going well. Nonetheless, every single day spent discussing foreign policy is Obama -1, McCain +1. A steady drumbeat of popular economic proposals would be the nail in the coffin for the Republican party.
It does not get nearly enough mention that Barack won the Democratic primaries on a fluke. He lost all of the real contests in the primaries.
People don't vote rationally, they vote emotionally. As such, they do not examine the candidates logically, but intuitively. Nonetheless, the essential information which people need to make their choice is usually conveyed and evaluated appropriately. Even in the extreme case of misinformation, for example, the "Obama is a Muslim" myth (because he is actually an apostate) it's a perfect stand-in for a more nuanced debate about multi-culturalism.
Obama is smart and talented. He seems to be a competent manager and is obviously a gifted orator. Nonetheless, no amount of talent can fully account for his meteoric rise. Even Kennedy was a war hero and had a wealthy prominent family that paved the way for him. In Obama's case we can only fully account for his rise on the basis that he is black.
At first, this may seem too obvious to be worth mentioning. But I'm not sure that people are really examining the depth, breadth, significance, and consequences of this fact.
As for depth, how long has Obama been trading primarily on the color of his skin. Did it help him to obtain his college scholarship? Is it possible that it was the deciding factor for his selection as the Harvard Law Review president? (Of course it was!)Was it a factor in getting his later post at the University of Chicago?
I have read that the Jefferson Jackson dinner in Iowa was a significant launching point for Obama's campaign. Having been there, I thought Obama was flat. Edwards was clearly head and shoulders above every other candidate in terms of raw stump speech ability. ie. If you take away Obama's blackness, you possibly take away every outstanding aspect of his career.
In regards to its significance, it shows just how powerful the Liberal guilt complex is as a driver of race relations. In many ways blacks like Obama can be like a white person in Asia. (I meant for this to be a jumping off point for a deeper analysis of the Liberal psyche and what I find so disagreeable about it, but I'm not up for it right now.)
So now we're on the verge of the affirmative action nightmare, a less qualified person in a position where we cannot afford to have anything but the most competent.
Take away his blackness and Barack Obama has done nothing of significance in his career. Take away his blackness and you take away his entire candidacy.
I wouldn't vote against someone just because they are black. Likewise, I wouldn't vote for someone just because they are black.