Monday, July 7, 2008
Looking at the electoral map today I came to the conclusion there are just a lot more ways for Obama to win it than for McCain. Starting from the Bush/Kerry map, if Obama merely picks up Iowa and Indiana he's got it. There's really no battleground states that McCain is likely to pick up. There are, however, a lot of other ways Obama could get over the top. This makes me think a radical shift in strategy might be appropriate for McCain, namely winning California. To do this he should 1. choose a Hispanic VP 2. introduce favorable immigration legislation with his name on it (again). This along with the fact that Hispanics have been moving toward the GOP and Hispanic animosity towards blacks might be enough to win California and Florida and keep the Southwest which basically allows McCain to lose every other battleground and still win.
If someone can explain to me why this is not possible I would appreciate it.
(Is this possibly what Jeb has had in mind all along?)
Just as Obama has inoculated himself from charges of being a radical liberal, McCain needs to inoculate himself against charges that he is Bushy. This should mainly be in the realm of a positive (hopeful) message of reform and economic growth, which is in some way a significant departure from Bush policies. (But shouldn't be about Iraq)
Eventually the candidates' past and present positions on Iraq are going to be understood and the issue will move from advantage Obama to advantage McCain. McCain's position was not the Bush position until Bush advocated the surge. He's on record criticizing Rumsfeld. To the anti-war people who were pro-war and are really anti-losing-war, they'll realize that McCain had it right all along. Obama meanwhile is stuck with an outdated position which he either has to maintain, against the rallying cry that he wants to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, or make a dramatic change to a cornerstone issue. This last week has revived my original thinking which was, if it gets down to McCain and Obama it's gonna be all about Iraq. (Whereas Romney vs. Clinton for example would have made Iraq a complete non-issue.)
I can't see McCain on intrade going much lower than 30 between now and the election. I can definitely see it moving to the upside. I still say, take McCain now, it's free money. (But take the profit when it comes.)
The fact of the Obama shift is now crystallized in public opinion. He should take a small hit in the polls for this and it should taint the tone of coverage towards his campaign for the next couple weeks. (Every policy statement will elicit the question, 'Is this yet another shift'?) Has enough time gone by for it to show up in the polls already? I'm looking for shift-->media acknowledgment of shift--->public acknowledgment of shift--->polls reflect shift--->prediction markets reflect shift. I don't expect it to be big, but movement.
Regarding Obama's apple pie campaign, he's got this problem where he wants to say 'I go to church everyday' but that might put the picture of Reverend Wright in people's minds.
Obama's shift is a long-term plus for him but reading that NYtimes editorial you know its a temporary negative and will induce further John Stewart mockery.
If McCain chooses Romney as VP I will puke, if he chooses a Hispanic he will be my hero.
As I said last post, McCain is not conventional GOP, as William Kristol explained about the 'staff shakeups'.
We still don't know anything about Obama, and that's why he can't be trusted. (And this should be the GOP refrain, not: flip-flop.)