Monday, February 11, 2008

One (Big) Question

Things start seeming a little strange when articles like this and this are published by Obama supporters in the media.

I understand self-deprecating humor—I use it to make fun of myself for listening to the Backstreet Boys' new album and my continued love for Lunchables pizzas. What I don't understand is why more and more stories are being written that gently poke fun at the frenzy of support Obama's currently riding while somehow avoiding the question the authors both pose as to whether Obama can actually do any of the things he's talking about.

For a general election that could potentially pit Barack Obama against one of the most well respected Senators and decorated American heroes to run for president in decades, it's a question that needs to be explored. John McCain will inevitably run a campaign based on experience, experience that will sooth the concerns of many independent voters looking for a strong and capable leader. What makes me worry is that a fraction (albeit a small one) of Obama supporters are starting to wonder whether their candidate can really do what he says he will.

Against McCain, the Obama message of "change" could have some serious problems come November. The long primary election process is one where campaign strategies and messages are tested and tossed out, but if the fundamental premise of a major candidate's campaign is flawed it's something that needs to be taken a lot more seriously than it has been thus far.

We're Democrats living in an era of compulsive downloads and 7 day rentals; if the Ohio and Texas primaries seem like a long ways off, just remember that presidents stick around for four years...with no exchanges.

(all photos: © 2008 by Luke N. Vargas. All Rights Reserved.)


Anonymous said...

Brugman's article In the New York Times says what I'm worried about; Obama's support being more of a cult of personality than faithful following. I think its less of a question of wiether people believe that he can do it, and more about if people will begin to drift from him due to the virtual zealotry of some of his supporters.

Luke N. Vargas said...

It's an interesting theory, this distancing from the Obama campaign because of the fanaticism of his supporters, but I stand to think that if such a shift will occur, it will not be for at least a month or two. I don't like to nail the coffin on Clinton, but Obama will win a bunch of the next few states, and a lot of the voters in big contests like Maryland and Virginia and Wisconsin will be voting so soon that I doubt his supporters will second guess their support for him...especially the youth vote.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think your right, but I hope people will do a lot of thinking when they vote. The last time the phrase "Cult of Personality" was used in my memory was to describe Hitler's following, and athough this is no doubt a huge stretch, its a point worth making.
Throughout history people have voted for presidents simply because other people were or because of thier charm alone. I worry that Obama campaign may be getting most of its succes from his charm than his actual leadership ability, this kind of enthusiam for a candidate is reason to worry.