I was proud and happy to vote for Barack Obama for the Senate in 2004, back when I lived in Illinois. He really is a remarkable individual, and he won a victory of enormous size over the lunatic Alan Keyes. And while I am an Edwards supporter, I am delighted that Obama is doing so well. If he is our nominee, I will go 100% ALL OUT for him. I will do anything I can to help him. He would be light years better than anyone the Republicans might nominate. Having said all that...
HE'S IN FOR THE UGLIEST REPUBLICAN ASSAULT IN HISTORY, and it could work.
And about the elephant in the room...
In the Deep South many white voters will say they are considering Obama, but how many will vote for him? It's just an ugly fact: black candidates in the South historically underperform their poll numbers with whites. We cannot count on a single southern state--again--unless the African-American turnout is spectacular. That leaves us needing to add to Kerry's states from 2004, and that could be tough. We need Ohio, for sure. We need New Mexico and Nevada. Iowa is in good shape for us now, but we're 10 months away. And can we hold Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan? It makes me sad to say it, but racism is still an issue, whether we acknowledge it or not. This is going to be a gunfight, and it will be a particularly nasty one. American conservatism is PREDICATED on racial and ethnic hatred. Obama has a real chance to make history in November, but there's a huge barrier he must overcome. It's just that simple.
When the Republicans argue that Obama has relatively little experience in the Big Leagues, how will we respond, especially if McCain is their nominee?
When the Republicans point out Obama's (outstanding) progressive record and scream "Liberal! Liberal! Liberal!", how do we beat this attack back?
And when the Right begins its (subtle to not-so-subtle) racial smear campaign, how will we respond?
Some of you will say, snarkily, "Oh let's just surrender to our fears and not nominate Obama." I'M NOT SAYING THAT. But a lot of my fellow Kossacks are letting their hearts run away with them. You've practically got Obama being sworn in right now, and you need to get a grip. If Obama is our guy, he can't play nice with these bastards. He's going to have to fight. And, as I said the other day, it will be up to those of us in the trenches to win it for him if he wants to take the high road.
I admire and respect Barack Obama, community organizer, state legislator, U.S. Senator, 46 year old political dynamo. But he ain't won nothin' yet, and the right is about to launch attacks on him more relentless than any we have ever seen. Think McGovern, Gore, and Kerry had tough fights? Wait until you see the right wing white male power structure go after the first black American with a real shot at the White House. So to all my Kos friends who love Obama, I say, calm down. We've got a hell of a lot of work to do, and this thing is just getting started.