Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My First Quick Take On 2008

I'm watching Hillary speak on the Senate floor with the sound down. I listened to 30 seconds of it and couldn't take anymore. She would be a disaster for the Democratic Party, which is why they could go for her.

On the other side there's Rudy and McCain. No one has been more disappointing than McCain - an actual war hero kissing President Bush's ass to keep his own chances alive. I believe this sickening display has ended his hopes of being President. The White House is using him like a 10-dollar crack whore, and I could weep.

I have been in a room with Guiliani and he has gravitas to spare. He is presidential, and most voters are more forgiving of the personal stuff than our fundamentalist religious leaders would have you think. These pious blowhards only wish they were running America. They're not. President Bush was the least moral man ever to be President but he played the Christians like the biggest suckers in history. The Bible warned them about people like George but he reeled them in anyway. The Religious Right could be the biggest losers of the last 6 years, not counting the GOP itself.

So what will happen? I'm going with the Elvis factor on this. John Kerry was an example of someone who had Zero Elvis Factor, while Bill Clinton had a ton of it. These politicians think they can win over the public by picking just the right position with the right nuanced explanation for why they arrived at it.

Listen close, you pundits out there: There is no stronger force in politics than the Elvis factor - that is how Clinton defeated the first Bush, an incumbent President. The Elvis factor is when the People decide they like someone. It is why Tom Hanks is often mentioned as a dream candidate.

The only one with the Elvis factor is Barack Obama. Edwards and Mitt have a little but not enough, and you can't have the Elvis factor unless you have a lot of it. You've got to be in the main room and Edwards and Mitt are in the lounge. Obama's name will wind up on the marquee outside - he is a star. That is why leaders from near and far are already trying to destroy him. The American People will ponder what 4 to 8 years of listening to Hillary talk would sound like, when even 30 seconds is excruciating. She used to be better than this but ambition has made her unbearable and the People will be turned off. She has been Senatorized.

Obama has an air of greatness about him. If the American People get enough exposure to him, they will vote for him. It's that simple. Guiliani has a chance because he is presidential, but star power wins in America. As much as I hate to say it, even George Jr. had quite a lot of it - Bill Clinton admitted that, and he should know.

This time around Obama is way out in front of the other candidates in Star Power. He's my early pick as the next President of the United States. He's got the Elvis factor, and for the rest of the candidates, it's going to be Heartbreak Hotel. The Portland Freelancer has spoken.


At 12:24 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

You aptly recognize that we select Presidents in a way like no other office. It's a much more visceral, emotional choice than for Senate or House or Governor or even state legislator. People work off their own sense of "feel" for the candidate's vision and charisma.

That quality--the Elvis Factor, as you say--repeatedly has transcended other factors in our elections. Typically when there is a candidate with Elvis on his side, there's simply no stopping him.

To put the election in Hold'em terms, Obama has a straight draw on the flop, and only needs to keep his bets smart on the turn and river in order to clean up. In political terms that means gaffe management and being a keen observer of the national mood.

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I just entered "Elvis Factor" in google and came up with a bunch of different uses for that phrase. It's hard to think of anything original anymore.
Oh well, at least I had a Valentine's Day joke on Ted Haggard on TV last night, so I'm still in play.
I liked your card references - very vivid.

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill...please, please, please!!!!
Tell us the joke!!!! Pretty please?????

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I was exploring what Valentine's Day was like for a newly straight Ted Haggard. He just got done with his 3-week program, right. I imagined him out there buying roses and candy for his wife and thinking, "Even if you throw in the cost of the meth and the male prostitute, being gay was still cheaper than this."

At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Obama has zero chance. Sorry, but you are buying into the unprecedented media hype/pass he is currently enjoying and buying it hook to sinker. Oh...did I say "unprecedented"? That would mean that no one has ever been a media darlin' like this before. And that would mean completely ignoring the 2004 Howard Dean campaign.

Obama will float like a butterfly until reality stings him like a bee. Reality being that a candidate is going to have to win at least one or two states in the South to win the election, and pretty soon the Democratic base will realize that Obama doesn't have a chance. No Southern state is ready to vote for a liberal black man. Sad that race has to come into this, but it does. Not everyone is as tolerant as you or I.

As with Dean, pretty soon the "electability" question will surface and Obama will be done. You are going to be stuck with Hillary.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

If Obama's got no chance, it's interesting how worried the Right appears about him.

At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does "the right" seemed worried about him? Because he's mentioned occasionally in the 'right wing' media? Usually just reaction to the MSM puff pieces about Obama being rammed down everyone's throats. I personally hope to God he gets the Democratic nod. That way I can relax and enjoy Rudy's 25 pt victory in the General Election.

At 10:52 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I remember reading in the history books about all the pundits who swore that a Catholic would never be elected President. Then JFK came along.
You have a valid case, but life would be no fun if I stuck to the conventional wisdom.
As far as right wing response to Obama, it's not often that the leader of Australia comments on an Anerican candidate a year and a half before the election.

At 12:22 AM, Blogger Jack Bog said...

I hope Obama makes it.

I don't think he will.


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