Friday, January 04, 2008

First Win Goes to Obama

I was frankly quite surprised in the definitive win in Iowa by Barack Obama (and even more surprised with Clinton coming in third, but really only by a few tenths of a percent behind Edwards). And according to this analysis over at TPM's Election Central, it wasn't due to Obama being the second choice from caucus goers who were finding their candidates not viable.
According to the entrance poll, which only measured first preferences of the participants going in, the numbers were: Obama 35%, Hillary 27%, Edwards 23%.

Here's Obama's victory speech from last night, and damn, was it ever presidential sounding.

This is the kind of rhetorical flourish that brought him to the center stage back at the Democratic convention of 2004, and it can help to cement the conventional wisdom that he is the real deal.

But rhetoric shouldn't replace real policy change, as Erica Barnett reminds us in this post over at The Stranger's Slog blog -- Why I’m Not For Obama. Here are her main points (expanded at the Slog post):
1) His energy plan is the least progressive and most status quo of the three. The plan, released last October, includes every pale-green, fake-environmentalist scheme you can imagine: Expanded nuclear, doubling or tripling of corn production for ethanol, a carbon sequestration scheme that relies on technologies that don’t yet exist, and so-called “clean coal,” which isn’t really clean at all.

2) Politically, he’s an appeaser. He issued a convoluted response when news broke that he was touring with Donnie McClurkin, an “ex-gay” homophobe, then allowed McClurkin to use his campaign as a platform to spread his homophobic message to thousands of African-Americans.

3) And speaking of parroting Republicans (and their talking points) … He’s bought into the false idea that Social Security is in a “crisis,” going so far as to use that word.

4) His health care plan, unlike his opponents’, wouldn’t cover everyone. Unlike Edwards’ and Clinton’s plans, Obama’s would not include a mandate that every American participate (it contains a mandate for children, but not adults); without a mandate, the plan would not qualify as universal health care.

Very valid points. Hat tip to Jeff Carlson for the Slog link.


At 8:58 AM, Anonymous kat said...

Jeez, I was waiting for you to say something about Obama. I figured you would have had a splashy headline up Thursday night. Slacker!

Actually, Iowa turned out pretty much how I thought it would. It seemed to me that while Hilary might have been many people's first pick, she wasn't many people's second pick.

Alas, as I have said, on a purely policy decision, I much prefer Edwards. And while he has moments of great eloquence of his own, I don't think he'll be able to usurp Obama. And I'm happy for Hilary to just go back to the Senate or wherever because I just don't see the point of her.


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