After South Carolina
Barack Obama is poised to win the primary in South Carolina, while he continues to remain behind Hillary Clinton in every single February 5th state. Where can he strengthen himself? It seems as though Obama, over the course of the last two weeks, forgot what he had going for him:
- Electability: Hillary Clinton will not win in Midwestern states. She will unify the Republican Party against her, and we will have to put up with eight more years of divisive politics. Obama, on the other hand, is being supported by flocks of independents and demoralized Republicans.
- Iraq: Hillary Clinton voted for the war. Barack Obama opposed the war from the very beginning. Maybe try putting Obama's 2002 Iraq speech in a campaign ad. Clinton's stances have changed with the polls.
- Washington: Our capital is broken both politically and ethically. Hillary has been in Washington since the 90s. If she claims that her experience has prepared her, try asking, "Well, where did that get us?"
- New Era: Above all, Obama needs to win more Democratic voters, and not rely so heavily on independents. In order to do that, Obama needs to convince Democratic voters that the party needs to begin a new era. No going backward. Hillary Clinton is the party of old. Barack Obama is a fresh, optimistic face that embodies the hopes of a young generation. Sure, this point sounds pretty idealistic. But strategically speaking, Obama's best bet in securing more Democratic voters is to send the message that it's time to move on. No more old faces. We need new ones.
This primary process is far from over. Originally I had thought that my state, Washington, which holds its primary in mid-February, would not have any impact on the nomination because it would already be decided two weeks earlier. Not so. This thing could drag on until March, only because Hillary and Obama are splitting delegates. But Hillary will significantly increase her lead on February 5th unless Obama capitalizes on his pending South Carolina victory, and begins aggressively stating his case. He certainly is inspirational. But he could do better -- a lot better!