Tuesday, December 05, 2006

2008 Update: Obama

Obama, still the Dem superstar, continues to send shockwaves through the field of Dem contenders in '08 with his coy - yet forceful - attitude concerning a presidential run.

Senator Barack Obama’s announcement that he might run for president is altering the early dynamics of the 2008 Democratic nominating contest. The move has created complications for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as she steps up her own preparations and is posing a threat to lesser-known Democrats trying to position themselves as alternatives to Mrs. Clinton, Democrats said Sunday.

Yes, it's true. The Dems have been in a tizzy ever since that unforgettable moment when Barack told the world that he's "thinking " about running in 2008. His early bombshell caused the long shots Vilsack and Bayh to ramp up their campaign and enter the race immediately. He's also caused big problems for Hillary. Besides intruding on her NY turf, Obama has also emerged as both the perfect anti-Hillary and a fundraising machine, lining up big-name donors to snatch away from the Hillary campaign. And despite his kind words for H at his NY event ("I'm not one of these people who thinks she can't win"), Obama knows that he can easily tap into both left-wing and centrist Dems that can't stand either Hillary's early pro-war position or her icy, polarizing, and secular image. Obama can draw all kinds to the Democrats in '08. Hillary can't say that.

But can he get over the minor problem of his infamous middle name? (It's Hussein. Yikes...). You know the GOP will have fun with that.

Either way, Obama faces one hurdle that he positively cannot control or have much impact on. And that's his seeming perfection. It's like the guy was manufactured for Howard Dean in Hollywood. Actually, his camapign seems right out of a certain 'West Wing' storyline. The charming, populist, minority Dem, played by Jimmy Smits, running for Prez against the feisty, moderate GOPer in Alan Alda. Obama vs. McCain, anyone? Smits won the "primary" while facing a Hillaryesque juggernaut candidate, and then beat McCain...er, Alda, in the "general". Can reality follow the playbook of TV?

There is bound to be something to slow down Obama fever; it just hasn't popped up yet.


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