From Steven Stark’s latest column:
All the stories chronicling the demise of the Barack Obama campaign are premature, no matter what the current polls say. He still has the same assets as when he announced in February to great optimism. And, in the months since, heâ€™s raised a ton of cash and seen the rest of the challengers to Hillary Clinton fall mostly by the wayside. It looks as if he may get the one-on-one challenge he coveted sooner than he expected.
But itâ€™s clear Obamaâ€™s campaign has stalled â€” and not because heâ€™s shied away from attacking Clinton (that would be a huge mistake). Rather, his campaign has made a key strategic blunder that has, in turn, badly affected the candidateâ€™s rhetoric â€” once considered one of his key assets.
As for that blunder, it first came to light in an April New York Times Magazine profile of Obamaâ€™s chief strategist, David Axelrod. Few, though, seemed to grasp its implication. Axelrodâ€™s approach â€” and one has to assume Obamaâ€™s as well â€” is â€œrooted less in issues than in the particulars of his candidateâ€™s life,â€ the author observed. â€œFor [Axelrod], running campaigns hitched to personality rather than ideology is a way of reclaiming fleeting authenticity.â€
Thatâ€™s an interesting premise, with only one flaw. It rarely works in presidential politics, which is why Obama now finds himself in trouble.
Check out the rest here.
Stark makes a valid point on this topic:
All talk, no action
Obama isnâ€™t the first American political figure to battle the â€œinexperiencedâ€ label. John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Thomas Jefferson, and even Christopher Columbus all were younger than Obama when they made their mark on the world. (Reminding voters of this fact occasionally wouldnâ€™t be a bad idea.) The way they countered the charge was by demonstrating leadership, often through rhetoric. They didnâ€™t respond to the accusation â€” they just demonstrated they were above it.
Obama is the fluff candidate. He’s a softball kind of guy. His biggest campaign plan involves “hope” for the next generation.
Anyway, give Steven’s column a read and check out his 2008 blog here.