Countdown To Obama Overexposure - 10
Barak Obama has, in his less than two years in the U.S. Senate, put up an impressively liberal (by some measures, perfectly liberal) voting record, a ways left of Hillary and just a hair more radical than Ted Kennedy. And yet, he's managed to put on an as-yet unchallenged air of eclectic centrism (while his only significant aisle-crossing was on the not particularly partisan (though admittedly worthwhile) issue of pork disclosure).
His political fortunes may rest on his ability to stay sufficiently far left as to dodge Hillary on the road to the primary, offering the left wing an alternative to Clinton's longer practiced (if equally ficticious) centrism, without giving up the maverick, no-tie-wearing, unbehloden to either party, choice of a new generation status he's been riding.
In my opinion, his viability in 2008 hinges more immediately on his ability to avoid catastrophic overexposure. As much of a media darling as he may be, so too was Howard Dean (and much farther along in the election cycle) before his own implosion. Dean's downfall may have pivoted on his Napoleonic scream, but it happened when it happened because that's when the dynamics of media and public opinion finally grew unsustainably large around him. The whole works were bound to collapse on him as soon as he offered up the next minor, irrelevant (if very stupid looking) gaffe. Suddenly, the frontrunner was an instant laughing stock and the party scrambled around the nearest empty suit to prop up.
Obama would be well-advised to hold on loosely to his momentum, but not let go. If he clings too tightly, he's gonna lose control.
Sure, he could pour a bunch more fuel on his own media fire and continue to dominate the political news cycle. Probably for weeks, maybe months. But eventually, the same mechanations of public opinion and media attention will come into play - more journalists following Obama means more incentive to find counter-stories; the more centralized his support becomes, the more fashionable it will be for Democrats to find a new non-establishment candidate to cheer. With more than a year until the first primaries, it's likely time to ease off on the throttle.
But instant fame must be quite an intoxicant. It might simply be too much to expect somone thrust so swiftly into the national spotlight not to want to go on dancing and bowing for as long as that spotlight's shining.
As Obamamania has gripped the country, I've been genuinely uncertain and quite curious as to whether he could resist the media sirens' call and escape the fate of the Deaniacs. As of today, I'm no longer uncertain.
And so begins the countdown to Barak Obama's fatal overexposure.
It's funny. And it's charming. But it's too early.
Elsewhere: John Podhoretz ponders how and why Obama became this cycle's Rorschach Candidate.
Larry Kudlow highlights the very liberal record Obama has notched up despite his short tenure in the Senate.
Handcrafted by Flip on December 12, 2006 |
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» Barack Obama: Where Does He Stand? from misunderestimation.com
So far, Ive carefully avoided politics on this blog for many reasons. However, with the state of our country and the importance of the upcoming presidential election season, it may be time to roll-out a new category. This presidential election ... [Read More]
Tracked on Dec 15, 2006 11:36:53 AM