April 19, 2008

obama the firebug

It hit me this morning.  When it comes to burning bridges that matter, Obama's a real firebug. 

A few weeks ago, NYMag had a story explaining why John Edwards hadn't made an endorsement, which I covered.  Camp Edwards never liked the Clintons because of their corporate and lobbyist ties.  Beyond that, the NYMag article reported that Elizabeth hates Hillary. So they were somewhat more inclined to support Obama. 

Obama missed that opportunity.  NYMag reported,

Speaking to Edwards on the day he exited the race, Obama came across as glib and aloof. His response to Edwards’s imprecations that he make poverty a central part of his agenda was shallow, perfunctory, pat.

Obama? Glib and aloof, you say?  I'd have never guessed.  Hillary, on the other hand, was gracious and respectful toward Edwards after he ended his campaign, and again when they met in a second meeting, and managed to mend some fences with Camp Edwards.  Obama's first meeting with Edwards after he dropped out of the presidential race wasn't what destroyed the Edwards endorsement for Obama, his second meeting did that,

...in his Edwards sit-down, Obama dug himself in deeper, getting into a fight with Elizabeth about health care, insisting that his plan is universal (a position she considers a crock), high-handedly criticizing Clinton’s plan (and by extension Edwards’s) for its insurance mandate.

Not good, Barack.

So, why does the Silky endorsement matter?  What was Edward's base of support?  Poor whites, blue-collar workers, unions and the labor vote, right?  There is likely overlap between Edward's key demographics and those Obama alienated with the now famous Bitter comments.  Edwards could have been able to advise Obama on how to finesse his way through problems he already has with that demographic.  At the very least, Silky could have performed damage control for Obama after the Bitter disaster, or maybe have kept Obama from making that mistake in the first place.

As it is, Obama is probably not going to be able to gain good traction with this demographic, and as I noted (and oddly enough, TNR), this demographic problem is going to be a major hurdle for Obama in PA and other states, and quite possibly possibly an insurmountable one.

Posted by: doubleplusundead at 11:32 AM | Comments (16) | Add Comment
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