James Joyner:

Between RealClearPolitics and Memeorandum, there must be a dozen articles this morning wondering if Barack Obama’s nomination is now a foregone conclusion, how Hillary Clinton managed to blow what seemed a sure thing, and how long Obama can get away with being the inspiring candidate of “hope” and “change.”

Perhaps the most novel observations come from Earl Ofari Hutchinson (via InstaPundit), who argues Obama looks so good only in comparison to Clinton.

The biggest beneficiary of the Hillary loathe has been Obama. Her campaign has been sufficiently subverted and sabotaged by the legions of Hillary haters to the point that it’s listing. If her campaign goes down, so will Obama’s Hillary firewall. The gloves will be off and it won’t be pretty.


His votes and views during his days in the Illinois Senate on taxes, abortion, civil liberties, civil rights, law enforcement and capital punishment have so far drawn little public attention, because of the media and a big chunk of the public’s obsession with nailing Hillary. But in a head to head match up with the likely GOP presidential nominee John McCain, Republicans and conservative interest groups will surgically dissect his state Senate votes and they will find much there to pound him on.


McCain and the GOP hit squads will go for the political jugular and lambaste him as an anti-police, anti-business, pro abortion, pro labor, pro-gun control, tax and spend liberal Democrat. Conservative interest groups will tar him as a liberal Democrat who will bend way over to pander to labor, minorities, and women. Obama’s record on civil liberties, civil rights, abortion, and spending will endear him to millions of voters, but not in the South and the heartland states.

Then there’s the personal dirty stuff. They’ll hammer him for his dealings with an indicted Chicago financier, for possible conflicts of interest in other financial dealings and legislative votes, and for his fuzzy, oftentimes contradictory, statements and actions on the Iraq War and terrorism. Then there’s the ultimate ploy: the race card. The GOP hit squads will dig, sift and comb through every inch of his personal life and poke through his voting record to find any hint of personal or political muck.

There’s much to this. Unlike the Republican race, which has been an ideological fight among different factions of the conservative coalition, the Clinton-Obama contest has been between people who largely agree with one another and the contrasts have been on style, experience, and differing visions of the 1990s Clinton legacy.

First of all James,I tend to agree with Charles Krauthammer on this one. I suspect that Obama’s appeal will outlast that of Hillary. he will manage to maintain the illusion until just past election Day, which is all the Democrats are ever interested in anyway.

The reason is simple, this entire contest between these two is a clash of cults of personality,  and Hillary Clinton’s personality is approximately as welcome as your average skunk, even by those who think she’s better qualified. There is those negatives, again.
I also tend to agree with Dr. Krauthammer that we’re in for a rude awakening if that day ever comes that we have Obama as President.

I am struck by the Earl Hutchinson comment that you reference that Obama only looks good in reference to Clinton.  I say that because it was just a couple of days ago that I was suggesting that John McCain only look good in reference and in comparison to the Democrats.  I suppose that this all boils down to the lesser of the evils, again.  Certainly, to some degree, it is always that.  Every election is selecting amongst a list of evils, since government itself is best considered as a necessary evil.  What disturbs me, is that our choices are becoming increasingly evil.  Even, unfortunately, the best remaining choices available to us.  And I wonder if we will ever ba able to stem that trend.

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