Thursday, April 17, 2008

How The Extended Primary Helps the Democratic Party

Contrary to what some people think - the extended primary season is helping, rather than hurting, Barack Obama's chances to be elected President.

It is doing several things that help Barack Obama -
  • Giving him a chance to polish up his responses to policy questions and political attacks which are sure to come
  • Allowing him an opportunity to reflect on how best to present his points of view so as to appeal to the widest base of voters
  • Hillary Clinton, with lots of help from cable news, is turning emotionally charged "exciting" but generally meaningless talking points into "old news" by fall.
The end result is that this fall the easily flummoxed John McCain will get a chance to debate issues that are important to American citizens with one of the most articulate people we've seen in politics in decades. We won't be seeing a repeat of the ABC debate, where 45 minutes went by before a substantial policy issue was discussed.

Barack Obama will have a chance to tease out and clarify what John McCain and the Republican party have to offer working class Americans in the future. We've already seen what they had to offer in the past and thoughtful people know we need fundamental change.

There will still be plenty of non-issue character assassination and guilt by association and inference for people who like the tabloid style of journalism.

After Barack Obama is chosen as the Democratic nominee the 527 Groups will start to crank up their machines and barrage voters with sleazy attack ads.

Barack Obama's youth and relative lack of experience as a politician give him an advantage compared to John McCain who's lived long enough and been in politics long enough to provide fodder for the sleeze providers. Many of the negative stories about McCain, which came out in his campaign in 2000 against George Bush, will be "new" to today's voters and that's a problem for him, since he will be trying to distance himself both from those stories and the last eight years of the Bush administration....while simultaneously trying to match wits with the elite (in a good way) Barack Obama.

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