First I'd like to look at Michael Gerson's piece, A Phenom with Flaws, which is about Obama's post-partisan candidicay. I agree. He is not without his human side but that is why it is a genuine campaign. I'd say the internet has made the political process much more open then it ever has been before. There was some confusion in the earlier years of the internet politics but some order seems to be coming out of things, and people are becoming pretty savvy. Many of Obama's earlier supporters saw nuance in his speech that impressed them, and unlike Hillary Clinton, members of the conservative intellectaul base seem ambigous to an Obama presidency.
Yet I cannot get two figures out of my mind -- 75,000 and one. There were 75,000 attendees at Obama's Portland, Ore., rally on Sunday -- a monumental political achievement, found at the confluence of organization and enthusiasm. Obama does not merely talk of a new kind of politics; his charisma, story and tone symbolize a shift in political eras. Obama voters believe they are changing politics forever -- a claim that Al Gore or John Kerry could never credibly make. At its best, this desire to break the dominance of politics-as-usual motivated support for John Kennedy and the New Frontier. At its worst, it motivated support for professional wrestler Jesse Ventura to be governor of Minnesota -- he won nearly half of young voters in a three-way election. In either case, it is hard to bet against excitement and idealism.
The "one" is Mark McKinnon -- a media adviser to McCain, a friend and former colleague of mine, a Texas Democrat who strongly supported George W. Bush, and a man of great decency and integrity. Early last year, he gave me a copy of Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope" and said he had informed the McCain team that he could not help lead a general election campaign against Obama. This week, McKinnon kept his word by resigning (though remaining a strong "friend and fan" of the McCain campaign).
... The enthusiasm of many Republicans and conservatives to defeat Hillary Clinton would have come unbidden. Against Obama, it will come harder.
Of course indecision is hard to quanitify, and makes it hard to predict results, but the potential is for the Republican political machine to disolve as easily as to go into attack.
The thing about Clinton, she is going after unsympathetic voters. If there is pain in the rural areas of the country, which there is, people are less sympathetic when it is mixed in with racism; and while the two population factors of poverty and racism are linked, there is probably more poverty then racism.
John Edwards was in many ways the better candidate for rural poverty as he did not allow his constituants to embarrass themselves on the national stage- Clinton, also a well educated lawyer has been more graceless and allowed us all to see things in our country which make us squirm. No wonder she has gotten less money then Obama, even if she is impassioned and trying to help, she is not a good politician.
(Hillary would unite the Republicans behind McCain and not be able to drum up much enthusiasm from Liberal Democrats, as intellectuals and moderates she would need to blog about her good qualities in the internet, all read newspapers and keep up with controversy. The people she needs are a subset of the population with education statistics close to those of journalists, which is a group she has not fared well with.)