I can hear it already, a torrent of grade-school cracks raining down upon Barack Obama if he becomes the Democrat’s nominee for President:
Obama your momma. Osama-Obama. Barack-O-Notta.
They’ll find a way to hate him. The vilification has already begun.
But there’s another reason why he’ll never be elected President. He’s not presidential “material.”
The public has a conception of who is and is not presidential shaped according to the people who are supposed to know. It has nothing to do with race – Colin Powell is considered presidential – and everything to do with who he is.
For instance, he’s rated by “those who know” as the most liberal senator. Lord knows America can’t have a liberal in the White House. Just look at Jimmy Carter. If he would’ve spanked Iran for taking our hostages in the first place, we wouldn’t be having all of these problems now. America doesn’t elect liberals or senators – except Republicans named McCain.
Obama is a peacenik. He’ll sell us out. We can’t trust funny-name with the sacred duty of protecting our country from its many enemies. At war with the Muslims and America elects a guy whose name rhymes with the arch-enemy? Right.
He doesn’t genuflect to the flag, refuses to wear it upon his lapel to show his patriotism. He’s never served his country (we’d still swift-boat him anyway). Let’s not get started on the dangers of an inexperienced President during time of war.
Hillary hopped on the argument. She knows what John McCain is going to pull out. If the next eight months of Republican attacks could be summarized into a song, the chorus repeated over and over will be:
“He ain’t gonna make it, no flag waving or bacon. He ain’t gonna make it. To November.” Can you hear the Twisted Sister remake already in your ears?
Hillary can harp on experience all she likes, she’s shrill, and the American public – Democrat included – prefers her in the background. Hillary is Tracy Flick in Election who won’t accept that something so important to her – getting elected class president – boils down to a popularity contest. How could anyone vote for all-charm-no-substance when she so obviously is better prepared and versed in the minutia of running government?
And negative campaigning, a certain scene from the movie coming to mind.
Can you imagine listening to Hillary for the next four years weigh in at length on the issue of the day? She forgets that Presidents are part of America’s dream landscape, and a figure so intimately involved in our lives better be easy-going. The office of President isn’t just the job. It embodies our collective psyche.
And Obama has captured its imagination. He is more like R.F.K than R.F.K was to J.F.K. No wonder the Kennedy family enthusiastically endorsed Mr. Charming. But the politics of hope always takes a bullet, in this case straight out of the barrel of the national security argument. McCain’s support for the Iraq war could pay off because the end is in sight and we can’t pull out now. The argument is built upon a mirage though, because American tax dollars are paying the salaries of 600,000 Iraqi militia to keep the peace.
[The Bush exit strategy for the Iraqi war? Waste obscene amounts of money preserving an illusion, leaving office with affirmation of their policy and drop the mess on John McCain.)]
Obama in their minds is a non-possibility. At least Hillary plays their game; Barack-a-notta thinks the rules will be reinvented for him. Or so goes the argument. Facile and presumptuous but unfortunately true. I shudder to think what our star will look like after the mud sticks and the petty hate machine of Republican politics finds its teeth.
Let’s hope America has grown up and is ready for a fresh approach. And a guy with a funny name.