This will be a close race, and an interesting one. The drama leading up to november is picking up with one major event after another. Both parties are split--the dems by Hillary, the reps by McCain's moderation on certain issues. Both parties have charismatic and likable personalities at their helms (unlike 2004, which had two candidates I would pay money not to share a drink with). And there is a lot at stake.
I just read an article titled, 5 things McCain needs to succeed. It listed some pretty commonsense stuff.
Here's my take: The Democrats' biggest weakness is that they're liberals, and, well, people don't like liberals. I know that sounds like a dumb thing to say, but have you looked at footage from the democratic national convention? Look, I agree with the dems on most of their issues, but I never saw such a collection of bitter, snide, self-important old people whose jokes were universally unfunny. Really, the dems all seem "old" to me, older than McCain, because McCain can make me laugh, and they cannot. But worst of all, the Democrats still imagine that their only constituency, and the only people they need to address, are pure, secularist liberals. Conservatives and republicans have never made that mistake.
So here are 5 things Obama needs to succeed:
1. SHOW people are smart he actually is--and stop insulting our intelligence--by talking directly to the issues instead of just giving "inspirational" speeches empty of content. Forgive me, but youth and glowing white teeth do nothing for me. Talk about your platform. Don't tell me everything's going to change. Say what will change, and for pete's sake don't cloak it in stump-speech. Be the anti-politician for once; give me some straight-talk express. Because right now, the dems are trying to write straight in crooked lines. There's only one guy I know who can do that, and it isn't Obama.
2. Reach out to conservatives in the party. I hate to break it to Obama but the United States is a conservative country. OK, so you're not going to criminalize abortion. Fine, nobody expected you to. Are you going to do anything to decrease the number of abortions? 'Cuz dems do not have a good record of this. Or maybe you think abortion is just the greatest thing since HotPockets? And other issues, too. Stop acting as if all Democrats were pure democrats. And by extension, silencing, disenfranchising, and punishing your loyal dissidents. Biden was a step in the right direction. Now let's see some more.
3. Don't be so gay. I remember back in 2000, candidates were asked about the homosexual marriage debate, and Gore fumbled on the answer. He would not flat-out say that he favored gay marriage. You know what? You should learn something from him. Don't assume that just because the media is blaring YAY GAY MARRIAGE that American culture has changed substantially on this issue since 2000. Go ahead and allow it, fine, that's your platform. But the gay marriage issue is similar to the abortion issue: the more visible it is, the more you will alienate voters.
4. Don't be so STIFF. I mean seriously, the greatest irony of modern politics is that the party of gay marriage, abortion on demand, pacifists, feminists, and pot smokers is so bloody boring and rigid. Yeah I've seen Roy Zimmerman's videos. He's funny. But he's also really uncomfortable in a rigid, desperate kind of way. All of your lines are meticulously scripted and planned. STOP THAT. All right, so maybe you have a candidate who doesn't look like a Mr. Ed or speak like Charlie Brown's teacher. If Obama is a Bently an McCain is a beat up old Jeep, I'll take McCain every time. Don't be fooled into thinking that this is only about image. Your image betrays you. The party of "let me do what I want" needs to stop acting like the party of "do as we tell you or else".
5. Finally, when all of that is done, remind people of how bad Bush is. Don't tell us, show us. Give us substance; don't just assume that we all remember how much we hate Bush. Because you know what? If you rest on your laurels and let McCain have his way, he will successfully make American forget how bad Bush was. You cannot ride the wave of anti-Bush sentiment, you have to create that wave. Don't forget that prior to 2007 Bush presided over a pretty good economy--but that Clinton presided over a better one. We don't much remember how good things were with Clinton--that's your job, and I haven't seen enough of it.