I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Has The Obama Star Faded Beyond Hope?

The votes have been counted in Pennsylvania and Barack Obama is feeling the heat from the furnace of desperation. He lost yet another “big” state to Hillary Clinton, but it is worse than just losing a state primary. Exit polling revealed that a scant 12% of voters were in the age range of 18 to 29 years old, which is not a good sign for a campaign that could rely heavily on the energy of the youth vote. Exit polling also revealed some dismal news for the Democratic Party in November. More than half of those casting a ballot for Clinton in Tuesday’s primary contest promised not to vote for Obama if he is the nominee in November. The same holds true for Obama voters if Clinton wins the nomination.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean promises that the nominee will be known by mid-June, but everyday that this drags on, more and more dirt is flung back and forth between the 2 campaigns. Hillary ran ads in Pennsylvania condemning Obama’s remarks concerning the “bitter” voters in small towns around Pennsylvania. Obama ran his own commercials against Clinton, but after spending 3 times the amount of money that the Clinton campaign did, he still came away with a resounding defeat. Over the past several weeks, there have been many political pundits that have openly called for Clinton to concede defeat, but the Democratic primary voters came out in force for Hillary. Why should she concede if she is still raising money, $10 million in the 24 hours after her Pennsylvania win, and if it is clear that Obama will not have the needed 2025 delegates to claim the nomination?

Obama is clearly showing the signs of a candidate struggling to finish the race. He has refused to sign on for any further debates in the North Carolina or Indiana. His campaign posits that they do not need any further debates because they are winning, but it is becoming apparent that the candidate is ill at ease answering tough questions. His political immaturity showed in the last debate where he struggled to answer questions from George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson. Could it be that his campaign is based on flowery, but empty rhetoric? He is in his element when he pontificating about hope and change, but when he is pressed with questions, the flowers all wilt and fall off.

Obama has also started to take criticism from the Republican Party and other conservative groups. One ad in North Carolina brings up his relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. The commercial was made by the North Carolina state Republican Party against the Democratic candidates for Governor. Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee, has denounced the ad and asked them to pull the ad, but the state party officials are standing firm with their support of the ad. There is also a proposed ad to point out that Obama was weak on punishing gang members convicted of murder in Illinois. While on the state senate, Obama voted against “expanding the death penalty for gang murders”.

As this primary season winds down, I have to wonder if either of these candidates will be left standing by the time the convention rolls around. Will the super delegates choose one of these 2 candidates, who are showing their divisive nature more and more, or will they opt for a wild card candidate that they hope will actually stand a chance of winning in November? Whatever happens, you can almost see the smile growing on McCain’s face as this nomination process drags on. It may be his best hope for capturing the White House in November.

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