Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Boston Herald: Fact is Obama's Risky

From on April 22, 2008: "Barack Obama, meet John Adams.

Adams noted during the Boston Massacre trial that “Facts are stubborn things.” And it appears that, for the moment, the facts have caught up with Obama here in Massachusetts.

How else to explain the amazing, astounding and unthinkable results of the latest SurveyUSA presidential poll: Republican John McCain is tied with Barack Obama in the Bay State.

The last Republican to win Massachusetts? Ronald Reagan. The last Republican before that? Dwight Eisenhower. Even George McGovern managed to carry Massachusetts in 1972, the one Democratic holdout in Richard Nixon’s 49-state landslide.

Replace “McGovern” with “” and you’ve seized the essence of the Obama candidacy. He’s the most liberal U.S. senator, advocating tax increases on the “wealthy” and enjoying the support of Gov. Deval Patrick, Sen. Ted Kennedy, The Boston Globe-Democrat and every 9/11 conspiracy kook in the People’s Republic of Cambridge. He’s got all the players in Massachusetts behind him except the ones who actually vote.

While Hillary Clinton soundly beats McCain in Massachusetts in the new SurveyUSA poll, 56 percent to 41 percent, the Obama/McCain number is 48 percent to 46 percent, well within the margin of error.

A Democrat struggling here in 2008? An unpopular war, a collapsing housing market and $4 gas - if Britney Spears were running as a Democrat, she’d pull at least 50 percent of the Massachusetts vote.

Sixty percent if she kept her clothes on.

Holly Robichaud, the “Lone Republican” of Boston Herald fame, blames Patrick for Obama’s woes. “We’ve already elected one inexperienced candidate running on a vague platform of hope in Massachusetts, and it’s not working out. This is a classic example of ‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.’ ”

Not a bad theory, given that SurveyUSA also found only four in 10 residents approve of the job Gov. Patrick is doing.

But I think that the question driving Obama’s numbers down of late - Clinton passed him in Gallup’s national head-to-head this past weekend for the first time in weeks - is that liberals wonder if he can give them that which they crave most.

Not socialized medicine. Not surrender in Iraq. Not even higher taxes on evil, rich, white oil company executives.

What they want is victory - at virtually any cost.

Typical Americans want to know if Obama, a liberal community activist with little political or executive experience, is tough enough to face our enemies in a troubled world. Massachusetts Democrats could not care less - they just want to make sure he’s tough enough to take on McCain.

And because the answer is “probably not,” Obama is struggling among what should be his most ardent admirers. Massachusetts liberals like him as a guy, and they certainly support his politics. But they really hate losers. Especially after the last eight years.

From the 2000 election controversy - “selected, not elected” to “Bush lied, people died” - the Democratic passion for victory is palpable. The sting of 2004, when exit-poll reporting had John Kerry supporters cheering at 4 p.m. and crying at midnight, is a painful memory.

For a while, Obama was the golden child. His campaign allegedly inspired Obamacans to abandon the GOP in red states like Montana. As long as he looked like a winner, the Obama Express could not be stopped.

Now, it’s the post-Rev. Wright Obama - insulting “clinging” rural voters, running attack ads of questionable veracity, making public statements on things from gun control (for it) and higher taxes (for them, too) that are demonstrably

This may be the righter “left” way to govern, but is it the way to beat McCain?

Until Democrats have an answer, Hillary Clinton won’t be dropping out of the race. Why should she?"