Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Obamania isn't Beatlemania after all. And crying works.

Okay, okay . . . so the presidential campaign isn't over yet, and Hillary Clinton will live to take another position on the Iraq war, invading Iran, illegal immigration and so many other things. And Barack Obama's victory in Iowa wasn't quite the equivalent of the Beatles arrival at Kennedy Airport in February 1964. Why I was dumb enough to get ahead of myself on this, especially when I think I know better, is a question for scholars to ponder in their future research.

I do think there are real and substantial differences between Obama and Clinton that will favor the former and not the latter down the line these next several months. But I'll let others make bad predictions. I've got too much else to get wrong than to focus on the "am not-are too" portion of the presidential campaign season.

Hillary's "emotional moment" might have finally allowed her to connect with voters. When I heard her thanking her supporters on the radio as I was coming home from my hockey game, where I suffered an injury that might shelve me for a bit, she sounded robotic and flat, even though she was trying to communicate her feelings and remind voters that progress and change are what she's stood for her entire adult life. Obama, on the other hand, sounded vibrant and upbeat, and emotionally engaged. These two might have to go at it for a while, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. The big question will be this: After months of exposure to both candidates, and the tighter the race is the more they will have to communicate their ideas to the public, who will the voters find more appealing?

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