Thursday, January 24, 2008

Obama as the Reluctant Samurai

Obama Winning Spin War Over Who's Victim In Campaign - Greg Sargent @ TPM

I think Sargent's analogy of Sen. Obama as a David to the Goliath of Sen. Clinton and President Clinton is remarkably astute when viewing it through the lens of the mainstream media. My take is that Sen. Obama has acted like the kid on the playground who reluctantly must fight against the schoolyard bully despite his best wishes. This kind of narrative, that of Sen. Obama as the reluctant fighter who desires only peace but whose hand has been forced, is a smart one and one likely to stick around so long as the Obama campaign does not come out with too hard of a charge against the Clintons. President Clinton does have a point that the media has paid a great deal of attention to his role in his wife's campaign, but I think that is only proper since he is after all a former president and de facto leader of his party. That Obama's campaign has used this to their advantage shows a subtle kind of ingenuity that might stave off the Clinton machine's attacks while delivering him the nomination. Sen. Obama's hesitancy to make an all-out attack against the Clintons plays both to his message of unity and to his advantage in a fierce primary race. Against a Republican opponent, I think Sen. Obama will prove far more aggressive since he can use his message of unity as a pivot point against the smears of a Republican candidate without worrying about driving a wedge in his own party. It's smart politics for Sen. Obama.

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