Two women of my acquaintance who are staunch Democrats and big believers in the democratic process — i.e., the civic responsibility to vote — have told me that, come November, the idea of voting for Obama is not appealing. Friend number one told me in an email:
I agree about Obama. I am not at all a supporter of his and have serious concerns about the possibility of him becoming president… though I am not a big fan of McCain. If it comes down to him or Obama, I might go Republican for this election (as I have before). As you know, I am a registered Democrat with political leanings more in that party’s direction, but give equal consideration to experience, competence, and strength of character as I do to general political ideology and party loyalty.
More recently, friend number two confided to me at a party at her home:
I don’t trust Obama. I think he’s hiding something. For the first time since I was old enough to vote, I am really conflicted. I’m thinking about staying home in November.
Friend number two also expressed her dismay over the news of John Edwards’ marital infidelity. As she put it, “he broke my heart.”
Now, of course, this is not a scientific poll, just comments from two people I know. Yet these are not party insiders — they’re just regular folks like you and me, and they are having serious doubts about voting Democrat in November if Obama is on the ticket.
Considering Obama’s inability to get much more of a lead in the polls than the margin of error in a year which, based on historical precedent, the White House should go to the Democrats, perhaps my friends aren’t the only party faithfuls with doubts about the presumptive nominee.
What could Obama, the politician who has promised to deliver “hope and change,” possibly be hiding? What’s not to like about his experience, competence, and strength of character?
- His questionable relationships with the likes of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezko, and others?
- Proof to the contrary of his self-proclaimed ability to bring bipartisanship and unity to Washington? According to David Brooks, DC Republicans say, “He [Obama] never worked with us. … We’ve tried to have bipartisan backroom discussions where we just talk about things; he and his staff would never take part in those discussions.”
- His inability to properly vet important advisors on his campaign, including those with questionable ties to the Countrywide mortgage scandal and the Muslim Brotherhood? If this is how he picks advisors, how will he choose cabinet members?
The Democratic convention in Denver is fast approaching (August 25-28). Rumors about a Clinton coup attempt are rampant. But would the Democratic Party really throw Obama over for Hillary at this late date due to worries that he might not clinch a victory in November? Consider what it would do to their credibility: This is a party that over the past three or four decades has crafted its identity upon… identity politics. Their MO is dividing people into neat little categories and keeping them both placated and at each other’s throats at the same time by emphasizing differences and promising various handouts.
Obama has been touted as the harbinger of Hope and ChangeTM. He has also been held up as the post-racial candidate whose election to the highest office in the land will commence the healing of a nation, regardless of whether there is a festering wound or not. The Democratic Party has invested a lot in Barack Obama, the candidate who will somehow change business as usual in Washington.
So imagine, if you will, a last-minute jettisoning of Obama in favor of Hillary Clinton. Supporters of Hillary Clinton have been shouting to the rooftops that sexism was responsible for her losing out to Obama in the primaries. What would dumping Obama say to blacks, whose votes the Democrats have taken for granted for years? “Sorry we got you excited, but we need a candidate we think can win. Maybe next time. Love ya!”
The Democrats don’t mind being labeled as elitists. They can even manage to fob off accusations of sexism as long as appeasing a greater identity group can prevail. But to be perceived as racists would sound the death knell of the Democratic Party as we know it today. I may be wrong, but I believe the Democrats are stuck with Obama. Hillary may be the candidate with a better chance at trouncing McCain in November, but that’s all water under the bridge now.
Live by identity politics, die by identity politics. Meanwhile, rank-and-file Democrats who are uncomfortable with a candidate who has precious little experience in anything and worrisome personal connections will have some real soul-searching to do on November 4.