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The Obama Surprise

Reader comment on item: Predicting the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election

Submitted by john w mcginley (United States), May 5, 2008 at 20:58

I write this the night before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries. I mentiion this because I believe that the odds are now better than fifty percent that Senator Clinton will wrest the nomination away from Barack Obama. However if Senator Obama goes on to get the nomination I am quite confident that he will handily -- but not by a landslide -- beat Senator McCain for the Presidency. In contrast I suspect that John McCain would probably beat Senator Clinton albeit by a slim margin.

Yes. The Reverend Wright affair has been an unhappy mess for the Obama campaign. Obama is an unusally intelligent presidential candidate. I suspect his emotional connection to Reverent Wright blinded him to the liabiality which Wright always was. Nonetheless Obama's speech in Philadelphia in March and also his more recent news conference probably kept the overall damage on this matter from being fatal.

Obama's main liabilities right now are these: he looks and talks like a man who is exhausted. His speech hesitancy has become very much more pronounced. Also he seems unwilling or emotionally unable to take Senator Clinton to task for a public record of tawdriness, public scandal, and, arguably felonius crimes although this last has not been tested in a court of law. If he doesn't snap out of it soon he surely will not wn the nomination.

But should he get the nomination I think you underestimate his strengths in a general election and you also seem to ignore McCain's liabilities. Age, just by itself, is a great liability for McCain. Combined with the serious cancer background it becomes an overwhelming liability. Also, in a genral election -- which will not drag on to the length that the Democratic struggle has dragged on -- some of the features which rocketed Obama to the top in the first half of the primary season will re-appear. Also the Democratic Party will in fact rally around the eventual nominee. The numbers and the country's disenchnatment with Republicans all argue that McCain will not be able to be sustained against a candidacy such as Obama's.

Submitting....

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