Obama is listing but not yet sunk

March 18, 2008

His speech might have helped him but Obama’s chances are still damaged.

My initial view about Obama’s speech was that it was insubstantial and poorly delivered and that if it would succeed it would be because was, like a good stage hypnotist, Obama’s team has managed to hype it up so much that it acquired a momentum irrespective of its actual quality. However, after reading the reaction on even conservative web-logs, it seems to have been a good speech for Obama in that it staunched the wound, got ahead of any revelations that would proved him to be a liar, and reframed this as a debate about race, rather than one about patriotism and respect for the voters. However, Obama’s admission that he did attend some of Wright’s more ‘controversial’ sermons will definitely hurt him.

Ironically, as one poster on RedState pointed out, the speech that it most closely parallels was Bill Clinton’s speech about the Monica Lewinsky scandal, in that Clinton was able to turn the scandal into a referendum on the Republican reaction, but at the expense of destroying Gore’s chances of victory. In essence, Obama has partially dodged this bullet, in that his candidacy has not been completely destroyed, but Wright’s comments about September 11 will haunt the Democrats in the same way that Kerry’s ‘joke’ about troops has hurt his standing in Massachusetts. Indeed, voters in the Empire State may wonder why their Senator, who had been previously prepared to attack Obama, was not prepared to stand up for the victims of 9/11. However, I am still going to give him a 50% chance of being the nominee and a 15% chance of winning the election if he is nominated. He might not be completely toast (but I do stress the world completely), but he still has very little chance of moving to Pennsylvania Avenue. I stand by my assertion that McCain has a chance to put New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey in play if Obama is the nominee.



  1. Interesting.
    I’m not sure, but you ARE the numbers man!

  2. Give this speech 48 hours to sink in. The people of PA will respond strongly to Obama’s brave words on race.

  3. After doing some research, I’ve discovered that Rev. Wright’s comments are EXTREMELY cherry-picked: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvMbeVQj6Lw.

    Granted that it is probably still a very controversial sermon, I think it’s much more explanitory than a single soundbyte.

    After checking out Trinity Church’s YouTube page, I was even more surprised: http://www.youtube.com/user/TRINITYCHGO

    I have a feeling I won’t be the only person to visit this website for the first time.

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