Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Obama's Challange

Or Clinton's, I suppose. But Gary Younge's article is written about Obama's campaign, so let's stick with that. Basically Younge says that Obama is going to face some tough challenges if he receives the Democratic Nomination.
Whoever wins will inherit a nation in serious state of disrepair. Just in the last two months, since those first caucus goers ventured into the Iowa cold to deliver him his surprise initial victory, the Dow has fallen by 6% and the price of petrol has risen by 4.5%. Meanwhile Iraq is stalling, Afghanistan is unravelling and the former chief prosecutor for Guantánamo’s military commissions, Colonel Morris Davis, has conceded that the trials of detainees there are rigged. Taking over from George Bush is a bit like becoming the new manager of Leeds United or chief executive of Northern Rock. You enter with high hopes pinned to your front and “kick me” on your behind.

An electoral coalition of independents, wealthy progressives, African Americans, white men and the young have come together to vote for him, but has yet to mobilise itself into a political movement that can support him. A movement sparked by the issues his candidacy has raised that moves beyond his personality as a candidate.

. . . Obama cannot turn this around on his own any more than Bush got America into this mess on his own. Enough of the public had to be actively complicit in the Bush agenda for it to be possible to make things this bad. Indeed, the right has been extraordinarily adept in this regard. When Bush nominated Harriet Miers or sought to pass immigration reform, they blocked him. When he cut taxes and started war, they backed him. Without them his presidency would have crumbled sooner, and even more dramatically. Enough of the public would have to be equally complicit in Obama’s agenda for him to right Bush’s wrongs.
I'd agree; Obama is going to need the public behind him. A tall order with the next 10 months of Conservatives trashing him every day. Hopefully he is up to the task.

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