Today I met some local Hyde Parkers wanting to get Obama elected. It was nice to chat with them but I was thinking more about the conversations I had had 2 weeks ago in Ohio. I brought up Barack Obama in various settings with a number of people. The responses were:
1. What did you say? Obama bin Laden?
2. That name is funny. What kind is he? I mean, what is …. Is he American? He is Black??
3. I thought you liked Kerry.
Obama’s work is cut out for him – in Ohio or in Iowa. Hillary certainly has the name recognition; and Edwards the experience from ’04; or Vilsack the pure nuttiness. The shine on Obama has receded as far as the media is concerned. The tone of the articles is getting harsher. The dominant themes so far have been his blackness [will Black voters go for this 'African' American guy???], his liberal street cred [he has sold out to the mainstream!!!] and the meta-commentary on Barack Obama thinking about a Barack Obama run [he is too immersed in himself!!!]. In the days forward, I expect the focus to shift on foreign policy (his Iraq position is not enough), on terrorism, on America’s role in the world, on health care, on what he intends to do about global warming etc. etc. Or whether his father secretly made him a member of the cult of Mohammadans. Probably just the last topic, actually.
We all got some work to do.