I’ve talked to Democrats in 10 cities in the last four months and found Obama fever throughout the Democratic Party. Besides an online Al Gore boomlet, no one else raises a reaction anything like it. More impressively, there's now a distinct possibility that Obama may seize the moment and run in '08. A close associate introduces a note of caution: “I’d put the chances right now at no better than 50 percent,” he told me Tuesday, as Obama taped Oprah’s show in Chicago.I'll say... someone please bring me my nitro pills.
For Obama-hungry Democrats, those are much better odds than they’ve assumed. Whatever happens in the midterms, ’08 could get very exciting, very fast.
Obama's aides see no political reasons not to make the race. His advisers believe his mere four years in the Senate will not be a liability. *** The Senate is a political tomb," says one. The longer one stays, the more controversial votes one casts. Gravitas and knowledge about the issues are not problems for Obama, who is plenty fluent on the issues, even if he hasn't established much of a record yet.Apparently the folks in the Obama camp have been reading Zorn's columns.
On the Iraq war, the critical issue for Democratic primary voters, Obama is perfectly positioned. He opposed the war from the beginning, with an articulate denunciation of the Bush policy as a distraction from the war on terror. In other words, he was four years ahead of the curve. By contrast, John Edwards is in the uncomfortable position of having said he was wrong to support the war.That sounds right to me -- I know folks who have never donated a nickel to a politician who would eat cold dog food every day so they could donate to an Obama presidential run.
Hillary Clinton is even worse off. She has yet to acknowledge the obvious: that if she knew then what she knows now, she would have voted against the war instead of for it. If both Obama and Clinton run, he would quickly best her on this issue, which all of her "early money" would do little to counteract. *** Hillary enjoys a formidable advantage in fund-raising. But if he gets going in early 2007, he could close the gap quickly.