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Thursday, January 17, 2008

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But don't you see? Obama has to win over those "moderate Republicans" or he has no hope of winning the general election, if nominated.

This is because Democrats only enjoy a 50% - 35% advantage over Republicans in party identification. Obviously, you can't win an election with just the 50% of the country that consider themselves Democrats, so you need to reach over into the Republican pool to win.

Republicans, on the other hand, never need to reach out to disaffected Dems, (when was the last time you heard a Republican make a pitch for your vote?) because their 35% is more than enough to win.

It's just simple math, really.

But, you see, Obama is not implying that he would support Reagan's policies. All Obama is saying is that he respects, admires, [envies?] Ronald Reagan's aura of feel-good Panglossian optimism, Teflon coating, Hollywood media-manipulation skills, leadership while "out of the loop", vague but condemnatory religiousity, the happiness of senile dementia. That's the sort of President that Obama would like to be, even though his policies will differ, [in some unspecified manner that we'll find out later in 2009 when he's ready to announce it], from Ronald Reagan's.

Good comments. My biggest problem with Obama's quote isn't his paean to Reagan's style-over-substance approach (which he so obviously apes), but the ignorance it exhibits about what was really happening then—and what that portends for Obama's behavior if he's elected. It's not true that Reagan "tapped into what people were already feeling"; rather, he enacted policies that the vast majority of the population opposed, consistently, before, during, and after his presidency. The fact that Obama believes otherwise says to me that he's just as likely to misread current trends that same way, and govern accordingly.

Not that that's news, of course (for any modern Democrat), but too many people are laboring under illusions about Obama. So at the least, it's helpful to have this quote to combat those illusions.

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