June 8, 2008

Hold that trigger yet, Mr. Obama

Filed under: Politics — Bottom's Up @ 9:03 pm

Its been less than a week since the Barack Obama clinched the democratic party’s nomination for the 2008 Presidential elections. And its been a little over a day since Hillary Clinton did a better job at concession than she did the first time. However, the old media, the new media and the blogospehere alike are already abuzz with whether there should be an Obama-Clinton ticket. The crux of the arguments in favor of this are two

  1. Exit polls suggest that at least 10% of Clinton supporters would not want to support Obama – be it because they do not like Obama for various reasons (Obama it too left wing, Obama is too inexperienced or Rev. Wright) or for the simple reason that they feel that Clinton has not been treated fairly (Michigan, Florida, sexism, media bias, etc) and blame the Obama camp for this.
  2. Obama cannot win over the blue collar votes that Clinton can.

Now all these are very valid reasons and have some element of truth to them. However, I believe it is a little too early for the Obama camp to make any decisions.

For the argument that Clinton supporters wont support Obama – yes, some of those wont. However, would these be close to a million that is being thrown around. Right now it is too soon after Clinton’s concession and the emotions are running high for those Clinton supporters who would say they would not support Obama because Clinton was given an unfair hand. Given a few days, these die hards will get back to their lives, sip some margaritas and start looking at their alternatives – John McCain, Bob Barr or maybe just maybe Ralph Nader. They will start comparing policy notes for Clinton and Obama and see that there is hardly any difference. Good chance that a bulk of these would return to the Obama camp.

As for the blue collars, now Obama will be differentiating himself not from someone with the same policies as him, but someone like John McCain with his free market approach to health care, his lack of inroads with the Unions and his reduced capital gains tax (a policy which this writer believes may have some merit). Also, Obama has shown more than once – though not always – that he does have a better chance with people once they have seen more of him and now he is not jumping from one primary to another and has time on his hands. Thus, he has a good chance to make inroads with the blue collars that so far have eluded him in some states. To add to this argument, there is the constituency that would never vote for him for the simple reason that he is not white. This is however a constituency that would not vote for him even if Clinton moved heaven and earth while campaigning for him. The same would be true for those who would not vote for Obama because they cannot relate to his policies, etc and Clinton being on the ticket can affect this only marginally.

Another complication that Clinton has created is that she has openly expressed her desire to be VP and the Clinton supporters are exerting pressure on Obama to accept her on the ticket. An Obama decision to get her on the ticket would make him look weak and easily pressured, something a future president must avoid at all costs.

So what should the Obama camp do at this point in time when it comes to the VP decision? I say – nothing of consequence. They should wait till emotions subside and then do some surveys/look at polls to figure out how strong the anti Obama sentiment remains in the die hard Clinton camp. In the meantime, they should come up with an aggressive strategy to win over the blue collars. This would also give the Clinton camp and Hillary in particular to hit the trail in support for Obama and aggressively campaign for him. Thus if later Obama does in fact offer the VPhood to Clinton, he wont come across as succumbing to pressure and instead rewarding her/making a sound political choice. The time will also help them evaluate how effective Clinton is in bringing her blue collar base over to Obama.

Till then there is plenty of work they can do to highlight some of McCains weaknesses and shattering his infallible foreign policy credentials delusions.


1 Comment »

  1. […] camp do at this point in time when it comes to the VP decision? I say – nothing of consequence. research on digital signage and kiosks DecisionPoint …Custom research on digital signs and […]

    Pingback by decision point — June 12, 2008 @ 11:49 pm | Reply

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