Friday, October 10, 2008

Talk about misunderestimated!


This season, Obama has had the good fortune to run against two people who held the peculiar belief that they were entitled to the Presidency, and who, as a result, badly underestimated him. The fact that he seems to never let that condescension get to him, however, has nothing whatsoever to do with luck, and everything to do with temperament and character. Since I agree with McCain that we will need a steady hand at the tiller in the years to come, I'm glad to see it.

What really shocks me is that McCain underestimated Obama despite having seen the Democratic primary process play out. His response to this wasn't, "Hey, this guy beat Hillary f-ing Clinton in the Democratic Primary! He's going to be tough to beat." He never seemed to take that win seriously. I guess he must have thought Obama was just lucky. But nobody is that lucky. Obama's win was the result of having a top-flight strategic team and running against a candidate who had Mark Penn. It's oversimplifying things quite a bit, and this is not to diminish the role played by Obama himself (if anything, he deserves much credit for assembling his team) but that is basically why Obama won the nomination. His guys were the best in the business. Hers not so much. And you can see that again in the general election: Obama's strategists have greatly expanded the map, and those who think Obama is too safe and insufficiently bold ought to look at polls out of North Carolina (two today that give Obama the lead), Florida and Ohio. The financial crisis helped, but this was Obama's team being very, very smart.

I just find it amazing that McCain made the exact same mistakes as the Clinton campaign, but without the bright spots of her run. Thank you, Senator Dumbass.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.