Monday, September 22, 2008

Barack Obama needs to play dirty and get mad

In the latest issue of Time Magazine Michael Grunwald writes about Barack Obama's calm demeanour, the reasons behind it and why Democrats are worried.
Read the full Time Magazine article here - Where's the Fire? by By Michael Grunwald

Michael spells out the fears of Democratic supporters
The deeper concern among the handwringers is that Obama isn't really tough enough for the job... even if he did outfox the Clinton machine... They worry that he's trying to run out the clock, as if the disasters caused by eight years of supply-side economics and neoconservative geopolitics were so obvious that he could simply coast to victory on a massive get-out-the-vote operation and the collective wisdom of the American people...They want to see fire in his belly.
contrasted with Barack's steady approach and assurances
Relax. "This campaign needs to keep its focus," Obama told jittery supporters in a conference call last week. The race, he said, is still "ours to lose." Call it confidence or arrogance, discipline or stubbornness, but Obama is not a freak-out kind of guy... "The reason I am calm is, I have confidence in the American people." Yes, McCain recently adopted the mantra of "change" as well, easing away from "experience" after putting Sarah Palin on the ticket, but Obama sees that as proof that the election will be fought on his turf... "No one is going to move him off his message in a manic moment," says Obama supporter Claire McCaskill, a Democratic Senator from Missouri.
This strategy will only work for the Democrats the if the American people he describes as having confidence in ISN'T the same type of Americans Bill Maher describes.

Finally, Michael rationalises why Barack may have no choice in his strategy anyway
Obama doesn't do spontaneous combustion. And he's keenly aware of the deeper danger of fire for America's first black presidential nominee... White America has embraced unthreatening African Americans like Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and Colin Powell, but this is still a majority-white country, and Obama does not want to be stereotyped as a race man like Malcolm X. In a media climate in which "working class" and "small town" and "ordinary" voters still mean white voters, angry white candidates can be "populists," but angry black candidates get tagged as "militants." Obama has no interest in trying to find out whether America is ready for an angry black man.
The jury is still out on whether Barack's calculation as the election becomes more about the personalities and less about the issues.

For the Democrats to win, all signs point to Obama needing to channel the red devil on his shoulder. Obama's supporters are simply arguing, "what's the harm in bringing tables, ladders and chairs to win a wrestling match?".

Watch wrestler EDGE finding the 'dark side' within to help lead him to victory

(warning: contains disturbing wrestling violence)

Watch a fuller version of the clip here

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