Sunday, December 31, 2006

2008: Whatever happened to...

...Barack Obama?

One would think that with the explosive entrance of John Edwards into the Dem '08 race that Obama would momentarily pause his Hawaii getaway to gain back a share of the Dem spotlight with some public appearance or, finally, his campaign announcement. Obama continues to be bombarded with Hawaiian support and the Draft Obama '08 campaign is still out there. Why the wait?

Perhaps he's wary of his original timeline for a holiday announcement after seeing how the Edwards launch quickly vanished from the MSM, being replaced by the deaths of Saddam and Gerald Ford. Only the political punditry is abuzz over JRE now, leaving his campaign at a loss in trying to scrounge up some publicity. Would an announcement on Oprah ensure peak attention for Obama's '08 entrance? That's what some of Obama's allies are indicating.

If Hawai'i-born Sen. Barack Obama decides to seek the Democratic Party nomination for president, he will likely make the announcement soon on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," according to U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i.
He said Obama had indicated during an earlier appearance with Winfrey that he would announce his candidacy on the program if he decides to run in 2008.

"If that takes place, it will be the most-watched daytime television show in American history," said Abercrombie, who held a press conference yesterday with a small group of other Hawai'i-based Obama supporters to urge that he join the race.

The only problem with the Oprah launch idea is that it would clearly add to some growing Dem complaints that Obama is all fluff.

Barack Obama visited New Hampshire, wowed the Democrats there and jumped up more than 20 points in the polls to a tie with Hillary Clinton, all of which means he could be in for it. “Where’s the beef?” more and more people will ask and already are asking, even including Gary Hart, the most famous political target of that withering inquiry.

“Truly great leaders possess a strategic sense, an inherent understanding of how the framework of their thinking and the tides of the times fit together and how their nation’s powers should be applied to achieve its large purposes,” Hart writes. “ ‘The Audacity of Hope’ is missing that strategic sense. Perhaps the senator should address this in his next book. By doing so, he would most certainly propel himself into the country’s small pantheon of leaders in a way that personal narrative and sudden fame cannot.”

Fluff? Maybe, but who should care about that if fluff is the only way to win? Kerry was anti-fluff, and look what happened to him. Voters want cheery populists in office, not the dour warnings and rants of a Bush or Kerry.


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