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Monday, January 28, 2008

Post-SotU "Is Bush Alive?" Blogging

Thanks, #3, for watching the State of the Union so I didn't have to. Yawwwwn. What did I tell you? Non-eee-vent.

I only wanted to see the post speech cable news spin. Nice to see that both CNN and MSNBC have hired Barack Obama as a commentator. On himself. "So, Senator, what do you think about being crowned the new JFK by the only Americans who would know?" "Gosh, I'm uncomfortable with that comparison. It's like being called the next Mickey Mantle or the next Willie Mays--did you know they played ball in New York and California?" I'd say I was shocked not to hear any real commentary on the State of the Union, but I've already forgotten there was one.

Not to rain on the Obamapalooza, but how much does Teddy Kennedy's endorsement really count? As a southern boy, I can't say he means much to me, but maybe you Yanks will have a different view. I'll buy that he speaks to a lot of older voters who remember Camelot. And his speech today was a blistering shot at team Clinton. But I must have heard half a dozen talky heads say that this would sway the Latino vote because JFK stood up for the migrant farm workers--what? 45 years ago!? Really? Does Teddy's touch heal urinary problems and make mice immortal too? How many magical black messiahs from the Green Mile can we have on one campaign? I should have known we were in trouble when Chris frickin' Matthews had to be the voice of reason, reminding us that HRC is still the front runner in most Super-T states. They should stop calling this "spin" and just hand out whiplash collars and insurance payments to regular viewers. Next week: why Obama outwhited, outblacked, and outsmarted himself.


At 7:03 AM, Blogger Frances said...

Obama's coverage WAS about as good as it gets yesterday - wasn't it?

I agree that the Kennedy endorsements aren't a game changer everywhere. Can't help him in the South all that much. And I got two emails from die-hard Republicans yesterday expressing "concern" about what this will do to Obama's electoral chances. (Does this mean he's a crazy liberal, after all?)

But it seems to me that it does help with Obama's worst demographic: low information Democratic rank & file. A Kennedy endorsement is like a label that says "100% certified Democratic." These low information voters choose mostly on the basis of cues and name ID. HRC still has the huge advantage on name ID. But party cues matter a lot too (which is why party establishment choices almost always win primaries). The Kennedy endorsement helps to establish Obama as acceptable to the party establishment also. And it probably carries a little extra weight with middle-aged and older voters, an especially weak demographic for Obama.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Number Three said...

To pile on Frances's comment: Most voters don't think ideologically, and most Democratic primary voters have very strong, positive feelings toward the Kennedy family, and Teddy. So Kennedy's ideological baggage doesn't hurt, and his endorsement probably helps with a lot of voters. It is certainly getting enough coverage to get primary voters to pay attention.

I also think that Monica Lewinsky trumps Kennedy's personal baggage. For what it's worth.

The media do love Obama, don't they?


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