Thursday, November 6, 2008
Why Obama Won: New Democrats
Barack Obama won for many reasons including the current state of the economy, John McCain's ties to President Bush and Obama's call for change. However, something overlooked seems to be the "style" of Obama's campaign which falls along the lines of "New Democrats". "New Democrat" was the moniker applied to Bill Clinton's campaign which ran on a populist tone calling for "change". Where have we heard that before?
Before Clinton, John F. Kennedy also ran as a young candidate calling for change and inspired Americans with his message. On the flip side, John Kerry and Al Gore ran stiff campaigns that lacked inspiration and emotion. If Al Gore had run for president with his personality now, he would have won. The label of stiffness and blandness was something that did Gore no favors. Kerry lost because of his un-willingness to defend himself against smears and his lackluster campaign. Obama tackled every arrow thrown at him by McCain and did an excellent job of spinning McCain's criticisms as smears and lies.
Remember that even though Clinton was nearly impeached, he left with one of the highest approval ratings of any president since World War II with 65% of the public approving of his administration. If Obama shapes his presidency in the mold of Clinton and Kennedy and works with Republicans to craft centrist legislation, there is no doubt he will be successful.