Monday, August 18, 2008

Conventional Wisdom Alert

By Diane Silver

In case you missed it, journalism's current declared conventional wisdom about the presidential race is that Barack Obama has already lost the election because -- take a deep breath -- he's:
  • Too black
  • Too smart
  • Too liberal
  • Too not liberal
  • Too thin
  • Too vague on the details
  • Too eager to include too many details
  • Too flip floppy
  • Too firm on not flip flopping (After all, Obama sat in Rick Warren's Saddleback Church and actually told the congregation that he didn't agree with them on everything. What an idiot.)
  • Too attached to the state of his birth, Hawaii, which apparently isn't in the United States anymore, and how dare Obama actually vacation in a state where millions of other Americans have also vacationed (How un-American of him, and, ah, them.)
  • Too not into eating what everyone else eats (By the way, does anyone actually know what Obama eats?)
  • Too nuanced (see Sally Quinn post)
  • Too nice (He won't fight back hard enough.)
  • Too rich! (Please ignore the fact that he was raised by a largely single mother and doesn't come from a wealthy family. Please ignore the overwhelming wealth of John McCain, his wife and their many homes because here's the kicker: Obama went to a fancy university. How DARE he get a Harvard education!)
  • Too Muslim (except Obama isn't)
  • Too Christian (Did you see who his pastor was?)
  • Too close to John McCain in the polls because Obama shouldn't be tied at all because everyone knows everyone hates the Republicans and everyone knows that any other candidate would have already been victorious by now (Oh wait, we haven't actually voted yet.)
  • Too saddled with the wrong middle name
  • And, yes, wait for it... TOO popular! (The nerve of all those people going to see him speak in Germany. How dare anyone think that anyone who draws hundreds of thousands might be anything but a bubble-headed Paris Hilton clone. Isn't a person's ability and a candidate's fitness to be president tied to keeping his crowds tiny? Shouldn't we elect someone everyone ignores?)
Can Obama win? I have absolutely no idea, but I would sort of (because I'm old fashioned) like to have the chance to actually see the rest of the race, watch debates, listen to speeches, read examinations of the issues if anyone ever does that anymore, make my own decision and like, well, have a chance to cast my vote.

Why do I think Obama isn't already leading the polls by 20 points? Honestly, because getting elected president is hard. In the last two elections, American voters have been split almost evenly. Why in the heck should anyone win this by a landslide?

Oh, here are a few more theories.


Nancy Jane Moore said...

Thank you for reading all those reports so I don't have to! I've reached my limit with this nonsense and we still have ten weeks to go.

Meanwhile, someone has pointed out that while Obama doesn't have a commanding lead, he does have a solid lead in electoral votes -- that is, he's doing well in enough states to give him a big edge there even if he doesn't outscore McCain too much on the overall vote. Say what you will about the electoral college -- personally, I don't like it -- it's still the only game that counts.
(I'd tell you where I read that, but I'd have to go plow through all those annoying stories that Diane mentioned to find it, and I'm just not up to it.)

Diane Silver said...

Actually, I've recently seen articles saying that Obama's lead in electoral votes is also shrinking. This may well be true, but right now everyone needs to take a deep breath and ignore the pundits!

Anonymous said...

"By the way, does anyone actually know what Obama eats?"

Waffles, I think.

Kilroy_60 said...

I don't buy into this analysis. Putting that aside, the choice of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Vice President will knock down a lot of hurdles. That's what Senator Obama is counting on, according to the political junkies I know with ties to the campaign.