Well, it appears that my prediction of a Hillary victory was incorrect. Obama seems to have secured the Democratic nomination. Barring some unexpected turn of events (like the appearance of the mythical “Whitey” video), the DNC will nominate Barack Obama for the office of President of The United States of America.
Much has been made of the contest between an African-American and a Woman, but little has been said about the real battle lines that this contest represented: hard-left vs. middle-left. 16 years ago, Bill Clinton moved the Democratic party to the middle. Obama promises to move the party to the left. Way left. Way, way left.
Way, way, way left.
And that will be his biggest problem in the general election. Obama is the farthest left of every other Senator. There is simply no other politician on the national stage who is farther from the center than Barack Hussein Obama. All of the controversies that will surround Obama in the coming months; his relationships with unrepentant former terrorists, his willingness to meet with dictators and terrorist sponsoring tyrants, his desire to bomb allies, his refusal to acknowledge progress in Iraq, his steadfast refusal to even consider listening to military commanders in the field before making far-reaching strategic war-time decisions, his relationship with the worst parts of the black segregationalist movement, and his seeming inability to muster any reasonably authentic display of pride in America all spring from the same well: his deeply progressive political ideology. Jeremiah Wright isn’t the problem for Obama, it’s the ideology that makes Wright possible.
To make matters worse, Obama is inexperienced as a politician. Compared to McCain, Obama’s lack of experience is comical. To combat that lack of experience, Obama will argue — as he has been — that he has better judgment. But when his history is littered with the likes of Ayers, Wright, and Rezko, when his major foreign policy decisions have ranged from the simply ludicrous: bomb Pakistan, to the simply wrong: the surge won’t work, to the simply awful: unconditional meetings with Iran and North Korea, his judgment seems to be rather powerfully flawed. All those lapses in judgment spring from the same well: his deeply progressive political ideology.
Obama needs to move to the center, and he needs to move quickly. To win the general election, Obama needs to win over independent and moderate voters in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. He needs to appeal to the exact same voters that voted for Bush over Kerry. And he needs to win them back. That bears repeating, because while it’s the line that Clinton has been singing to the superdelegates, it’s a line that hasn’t gotten much play in the major media. To win in the general election, Obama needs to win over the white suburban women who voted for Bush instead of Kerry.
Will making Hillary his VP help bring those voters over?
Or will those voters turn to a politician with decades of experience and a strong commitment to national defense? As Victor Davis Hansen put it, the Democrats have nominated the only candidate they had that could lose this election and the Republicans have nominated the only candidate they had that can win it.
Things to do in Denver?