Can Obama Win the General Election?

It seems rather self evident that even if Hillary Clinton’s campaign has not officially closed for business (i.e. she’s still fund raising to recap her losses) at least her path to the white House is ultimately blockaded by deficits in popular vote, states won, delegates and at this point, maybe even superdelegates, the one indicator that she was consistently (albeit decreasingly) ahead in. Her campaign continues to “fight for those unrepresented voters in Florida and Michigan” but this noble facade can not cover the fact that she ignored agreed upon terms regarding those states prior to the primaries and she did not cry for their inclusion until after the Obama campaign pulled away. The sad part of the matter is that inclusion of those states’ delegates will only marginally help her campaign and would only negligibly alter the lead Obama has built.

The leading media outlets have already claimed the race for Obama including Rassmussen, Tim Russert, as well as dozens of other pundits, experts, publications and any average person who takes a passing glimpse at the math.

Now that even the shrillest supports of HIllary outside of her campaign are conceding that she’ll be watching the big fight from the sidelines, new tactics to undermine Obama’s chances are emerging.

Dick Morris on Fox News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor asserts:

There will be a lot of that, but John McCain is a given in this race. The variant is Barack Obama. John McCain is like the lever in the middle. And Obama’s positives and negatives seesaw. And that will determine the race. And the determinant in the election will be whether we believe that Barack Obama is what he appears to be, or is he somebody who’s sort of a sleeper agent who really doesn’t believe in our system and is more in line with Wright’s views?

Dick Morris is right, if the nation looks at Obama’s issues, his intelligence, his integrity and adaptability* then the race probably won’t be much of a contest. If Obama is routinely smeared, associated with bogeymen like Rev Wright and William Ayers, then he will have a hard time.

Stump speeches, political commercials, leaflets and other campaign material inform some voters on their choices for president, however the bulk of how our society perceives a candidate is molded by how they are portrayed by our news programs and (unfortunately) the pundits possessing these pulpits.

Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films has been chronicling Fox’s coverage of Obama and the video below entertainingly recounts the FAIR AND BALANCED coverage provided by Fox News.

As the video concludes, it shows that Fox News’s tactics against Obama have spread into the debates on other networks. Fox is controlling the debate around this election by ignoring the issue and repeating over and over again his loose ties to Rev. Wright and Ayers while McCain gets a complete pass on his connections to Rev. John Hagee (whose endorsement he sought out and embraced).

I fundamentally disagree with disparaging a candidate for their former and brief associations and think the guilt by association moniker should be reserved for politicians whose associations impact their policy decisions. Of course by this litmus test, Obama’s former pastor and the host of a fund raiser he attended a decade ago fall quite short of qualifying.

The fundamental issue of “electability” comes down to a couple key points. In our country one of the most important aspects is the perception of the candidate’s personality and values- voters flocked out in 2004 to vote against gay marriage, abortion and gun restrictions when really what was on the table were predatory lending, trillion dollar wars and economic stagnation. These are blatant examples of policies that harmed average people voting for that good Christian white guy who protected their right to have guns in case gays tried to do something dangerous and subversive like get a marriage license. As a result, the voters were packing heat and their marriages weren’t destroyed by homosexuals but their sons were off fighting in illegitimate wars and their houses being foreclosed upon. I am not saying Al Gore or John Kerry were saviors, but the media maligning of those candidates delivered our nation the Cowboy who never appropriately learns boundaries.

Fox News (the embodiment of this thesis but by no means the only outlet participating) seems to be aiming to ensure that no one believes Obama can win the general election because of fake scandals that are repeated on air constantly to make sure viewers can not escape the association of Obama with kooky black nationalist pastors and domestic terrorists. This obsession with ignoring policy and repeating faux scandals is evidenced effectively below on Fox’s morning show:

The electablity question lastly comes down to one thing, will Fox news and other media outlets continue to play a constant loop of maligning faux scandals or will the media during the general election ignore this anti-democratic smearing of candidates and propagandistic personality attacks (arugula eating, NPR blasting in his volvo, elitism) and foster a true debate between two parties.

These two parties represent different directions for America… it will change our place in the world, change our economy and foreign policy and we can either give the American people a chance at picking the candidate they truly want through honest information, or we can give them no choice by irreparably and unjustifiably smearing one of the candidates.


*By adaptability, I draw the line between intelligently adjusting to policy when new information is presented. This is different than “flip-flopping” which is a form of pandering and changing your position depends on what you feel your audience would like to hear.


~ by Brad on May 9, 2008.

5 Responses to “Can Obama Win the General Election?”

  1. I sort of agree with everything you wrote, with one big exception — I can’t give it any emotional (or physical) energy. I’m with Howard Zinn and Grace Boggs about the electoral process — it’s a distraction from using our real power. See Howard Zinn’s article “Election Madness”. There was an article earlier this year by Grace Lee Boggs in Yes! magazine — the title had Obama & MLK in it, that put words to much of where I’m at with this whole process. Giving energy to it feeds it — and I ain’t gonna do that. I also support everyone doing what they feel that they must do, but hope that they have questioned whether the box they are coloring in has a right to exist or is the only box, before choosing to do so.

  2. This is so true, the media thinks we are all shit for brains

  3. With so many people relying on the media to spoon feed them information rather than researching all the resources we have avalable today I wonder just how effective our “elections” are at all. I forget who said it but there is a quote I like that goes something like this “democracy is only as good as the voters are knowledgeable”, it is so true.

    I like Obama, I have read both his books, I like the way he appears to think. I have read much on what others say about him, gone to and read, I have read so much (on all of the candidates) that my little pea brain is worn out…if only more people would do so and not base a vote on one or two hot button issues rather than allowing themselves to be led by their emotions.

    BTW…Nice blog


  5. he WON

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