On the face of it, it should concern Obama supporters like myself that
1) The most persuasive argument in support of Barack Obama was written by Andy Sullivan.
2) Obama's catch-phrase is "hope".
3) Obama is betting the farm on youthful first timers and independents in a rural caucus state.
But it doesn't worry me. If he should "lose" in Iowa, I won't second-guess his strategy. Obama was playing to win, and I respect that in a candidate. Many of the things the liberal blogosphere has got so huffy-puffy over are actually quite minor little things when looked at in context. Do you think Obama creating separation between himself and other candidates on Social Security had anything to do with Iowa's geriatric caucusing base? Do you think his Broderist, bipartisan rhetoric had anything to do with winning strategy?
A smile creeps over my face when I read comments like these:
It just gets me to wondering: Did Obama pick this whole bipartisan bull s**t line because he knew it would play in Iowa and guarantee him the nomination? Or, was he just lucky and a natural fit for the weird worldview of the Hawkeye state?
What do you think? Obama's just getting "lucky"? He raises a hundred million dollars and campaigns for a year, and he's not going to position himself to win Iowa?
Over in the comments at Adrastos, I tried to put things in context:
Jeffrey writes: "I also think the Obama-enthusiasts are too overconfident. I think they are placing too much Audacious Hope in the idea that we have turned some sort of magical corner regarding racism in this country."
And remember, that this isn't "anonymous voting". These white Iowans are caucusing; they are standing in front of their neighbors (while the country is at war) and affirming their support for "Barrack Hussein Obama", a black man who they never heard of 5 years ago. In some cases these white supporters will be actively trying to persuade their neighbors-- often moderate or slightly conservative older folks-- away from a white male or female candidate who they've known longer, and towards Barrack Obama.
Think for a second what it takes for a candidate and a campaign to successfully do that, in political terms.
In the comments at this Yellow Blog post, David asked why I liked Obama. I replied:
He opposed a trillion dollar war of choice that has resulted in hundreds of thousands dead, and is probably the biggest strategic mistake since Vietnam.
He arguably has the best plan for New Orleans/Gulf Coast recovery.
He has the best chance to win a serious electoral majority, and get a "mandate", and provide nationwide coattails with enthused independents and new voters.
And He's playing to win when he doesn't have to. (For example: He's not rolling over in a debate like John Edwards did with Cheney in 2004, knowing that he can afford to play it safe because there will be opportunities down the road.)
I believe that "serious electoral majority" stuff, btw.
I'd love to know what Edwards' post-Iowa gameplan is if he has momentum coming out of Iowa. Improve on his 4th place finish in New Hampshire in 2004, win South Carolina and get thumped on Super Primary Tuesday?