Friday, June 06, 2008

Observation on Obama and Clinton

What appears below is an interesting — and accurate — synopsis of why Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton. It originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune. Read it here.

5 reasons Obama won, 5 reasons Clinton lost ... and 5 differences between Obama, McCain

5 reasons Obama won
1. He owned the word "change" when voters were fed up with the status quo. In a field of older, better-known candidates, he represented "the new."
2. He opposed the Iraq War when others were equivocal. The issue was a clear winner against Clinton, who had voted in 2002 to authorize the invasion.
3. His oratory was electrifying. While his early debate performances seemed halting and uncomfortable, he steadily improved. His stump speeches were assured, and he drew crowds as large as 75,000.
4. His campaign was better strategically and operationally, particularly in taking the long view and focusing on caucus states and primaries beyond Super Tuesday.
5. He won the Internet, notably in raising record amounts of money and building networks of supporters through non-traditional methods.

5 reasons Clinton lost
1. Her campaign was too corporate and hierarchical. It spent too much on staff, was too slow in decision-making and had too little independent thinking.
2. She didn't recognize the threat Obama posed early enough, and went straight from "inevitable" to in trouble.
3. She invested heavily in Iowa, then lost to Obama there. Her deputy campaign manager had urged her to skip the opening caucuses, which her husband, Bill, had bypassed in 1992.
4. She had no coherent post-Super Tuesday plan. While she held her own in the Feb. 5 primaries, including a big victory in California, she lost the next 11 contests.
5. She failed to connect with African-American voters, a demographic that had always been in her corner. Early in the race, poorly timed comments by Bill Clinton hurt her among blacks.

5 major differences between Obama and McCain
1. McCain supports the Iraq War; Obama opposes it.
2. McCain opposes abortion; Obama favors abortion rights.
3. Obama favors talking with hostile regimes; McCain does not.
4. McCain would make the Bush tax cuts permanent; Obama would not.
5. Obama favors more restrictions on gun ownership than McCain.

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