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What Republicans See in Obama


Barack Obama says he can unite the country in a way that Hillary Clinton cannot. (AP).

In an interview with the Washington Post this week, Barack Obama laid out as explicitly as he has to date what many believe is his strongest argument for his candidacy against that of Hillary Clinton: that he is a less polarizing figure on the national scene. "I believe I can bring the country together in a way she cannot do," Obama said. "If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't be running."

In making this case, Obama can find both affirmation and reason for concern in an intriguing and overlooked nugget in the Post-ABC poll on the Democratic presidential race released late last month. Simply put: independents and Republicans seem to recognize that Obama has the potential to appeal to voters outside the Democratic base -- but Democratic voters themselves don't yet seem to be taking that fully into account in their thinking about whom to nominate.

Asked which Democratic candidate would have the "best chance to defeat the Republican nominee in the general election," 54 percent of Democrats polled said Clinton would, compared to 22 percent who said Obama would.

But when the same question was put to independents and Republicans -- which Democrat would have the best chance in 2008 -- those voters had a notably different view: 35 percent of independents said Clinton would have the best chance, and 29 percent said Obama would; 37 percent of Republicans said Clinton would have the best chance, compared with 33 percent who said Obama would. (John Edwards was deemed most electable by 9-10 percent of voters in all three groups of voters.)What to make of this 17-19 point gap in the estimation of Clinton's general election prospects between Democrats and other voters? One might surmise that independents and Republicans -- the very voters whose views matter most, come November 2008, in determining how electable a Democrat would be -- are basing their estimation of Clinton's chances on their own misgivings about her, and the misgivings of other independents and Republicans.

Democrats, on the other hand, appear so far not to be making as much of Clinton's unpopularity among many groups of voters. Whether there is an increased reckoning among Democrats on this score will likely help determine whether Obama is able to carve into Clinton's status as the party's frontrunner.

Chris Runkle, a 51-year-old analyst with the New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice, was among the Democrats who responded that Clinton would have the better chance. She said in an interview that she did worry that "the conservatives hate her," and that if Clinton wins the nomination "there's always the fear" that "there might be a vote against her as opposed to for whomever is the Republican candidate."

But Runkle also gave weight to Clinton's fundraising machine and the importance of name recogntion and experience in winning the general election. And she said she had been pleasantly surprised at how Clinton had won over people in New York after being elected to the Senate, and hoped that perhaps the same could happen nationwide.

" I thought she'd have trouble in New York, I thought, 'aw, jeez, it's all going to come up again,' but she seems to be handling herself well," said Runkle.

But Leslie Gallagher, an independent from Fairfax County, Va. has doubts about Clinton's ability to change people's minds about herself, and thinks Obama would have a better chance of winning in 2008.

"Too many people say, 'There's something about her I don't like,'" said Gallagher, a 50-year-old homemaker who voted for John Kerry in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000. "She's been in the public eye for a long time, and everyone's had a long time to form opinions about her. I'm not sure she can turn it around."

--Alec MacGillis

By Washington Post editors  |  August 15, 2007; 9:56 AM ET
 
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Comments

We say that we are a christian nation, yet we continue to judge each other because of our race as if we have chosen into which race we will be born. Because of our racism, we cannot see beyond our own fears and ignorance. Both whites and blacks have these tendencies, instead of a nation looking for unification and peace as the standard, we divide and separate each other creating even more hatred and hostility. Yes it is easier for someone like Mr Obama to care and fell the concern for both whites and blacks. Having parents of both races is a plus in trying to bring us together. It's time we concentrate on our humanity and how we can serve each other as oppose to alienating and destroying each other.Are we not all God's children?

Posted by: escarp15 | August 24, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

If Senator Obama thinks he can convince republican voters to vote for a REAL black person(as opposed to Powell or Rice)then he does not know the GOP and its hooded minions...

Posted by: kase | August 16, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

whoever said all the pro-Obama comments are from conniving lying Republicans, is either paranoid, a moron or a conniving lying Republican.

Posted by: sickofspam | August 16, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama too young? Well he is 46 right now and would be 47 if and when he assumes the presidency. Other too young presidents: Teddy Roosevelt (who has his face on a side of mountain for being too young right) 42; JKF, remember him, only 43 at the height of the Cold War, and here is the kicker, remember the last guy, well he was only 46. We should have gone with pappy Bush by that logic. Let's keep focused on what matters: their policy positions and leadership potential.

Posted by: jabaarg | August 16, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I would not vote for Hillary if George W. Bush was to run again! Which he may as well, because they are only setting us up for time off to run Jeb Bush in 2012! Round and round we go ruled by these damn clowns! Never ending wars! Deepening poverty!

The televison pundits are racist and beholden. When your campaign for presidency gladly accepts a contribution from KEN STARR!!!!! - Who's ass won't you kiss or knob won't you shine to get your fanny in the door! All the rest of us can forget it!

Barack may not have the right name, but he sure has the right concepts and humanity to turn around the vicious cycle of abuse of the American people.

When Hillary's experience amounts to "I married Bill Clinton" and they attack Obama who has worked with the public face to face, not from behind some facade of "first lady", Obama is a true leader who can strengthen our country in ways that would do wonders for Wall Street and Main Street. The American people would believe in themselves and invest in our country again. We would regain that "Can do" attitude that made this country the beacon of hope it was through the 20th century.

Enough of the pimps and ho's in our governance! It's time to get off this vicious drug of Bush/ Clinton - Clinton/ Bush! Rehab has a wonderful prospect and his name is Obama! ....see how easy that rolls off you tongue...

MSNBC, CNN, & FOX ...Corporate Commericials for CLINTON!!

"STOP THE INSANITY"

p.s. John Edwards wrote the law that helps them spy on us...what kind of politician runs with that in his back pocket?

Posted by: Coreffex2000 | August 16, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I am a Democrat, have been for almost 50 years. I cannot vote for Hillary,too shrill
I cannot vote for Obaba, too young. I CAN vote for Edwards, Biden, Richardson, or Kuchinski. Any or all, Prez or Vice Prez.
Just get these people that are now IN office, OUT of office. PLEASE!!! My grandchildren will have to live with and will be in debt for many years-and probably THEIR children.

Posted by: jbmart51 | August 16, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who says there is 'no beef' where Obama is concerned is simply un-informed and too transparently so to be taken seriously. Hillary will ensure a Republican victory pure and simple. She changes her position with the wind, and is so intensely hated by republicans and many, many democrats that to have her as nominee would be the only way republicans could win back the WhiteHouse.

Hillary talks in generalities and couldn't be pinned down to a specific plan to save her life. Everything Obama stands for has specific plans attached. His experience in the Senate (both State and National) blows Hillary's away.

Posted by: bklynsam | August 16, 2007 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Any voter who says he is a Democrat who would vote for a Republican before he would vote for Hillary, 'because he wants to use his vote', isn't a Democrat!

Posted by: habranthus | August 16, 2007 5:17 AM | Report abuse

The country is in trouble now because of Bush. He is dumb,ill informed,and most of all lack of skills and experience to be a good president.You can not say he does not have big ideas and leadership, but he leads the country to the wrong direction. In a way Obama is just like Bush, he wants to be president,but where is the beef? He is all talk, talk, and talk. Just look back at the few Dem debates. He could not even know how to handle some of the most fundamental questions put to him. And you want him to be the president of United States? Come on, wake up! Don't let the GOP to manipulate you. This is Mr. Karl Rove's last trick he pulls. He has been targeting at Hillary Clinton for a long time as the most formidable enemy.Devide and conquer is his best strategy
Pleast don't fall for!

Posted by: johnycheng1 | August 15, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

The country is in trouble now because of Bush. He is dumb,ill informed,and most of all lack of skills and experience to be a good president.You can not say he does not have big ideas and leadership, but he leads the country to the wrong direction. In a way Obama is just like Bush, he wants to be president,but where is the beef? He is all talk, talk, and talk. Just look back at the few Dem debates. He could not even know how to handle some of the most fundamental questions put to him. And you want him to be the president of United States? Come on, wake up! Don't let the GOP to manipulate you. This is Mr. Karl Rove's last trick he pulls. He has been targeting at Hillary Clinton for a long time as the most formidable enemy.Devide and conquer is his best strategy
Pleast don't fall for!

Posted by: johnycheng1 | August 15, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

This message is for the Republicans -

To be specific, the Conservatives Republicans: get out more and get in touch with the world, not your Republican base. When you engage in character-degrading rhetorics; spinning comments made by Barack as an indicator to his naivette, please, HUSH the nonsense.

When your party is inflamed with corruptions after corruptions, how can you even begin to question Obama's leadership?

Obama stands for changes, a "real chance" to unite both the Dems and Repubs. He's refreshing and willing to work across party lines to satisfy ALL Americans, not just the Dems.

Who, among the Republicans candidates, can you say that about ? McCain, Mitt, and Rudy will further embrace the destructive policies in tune with big-business, more wars, and widening the gap of the income brackets at a time when America need unity, mutual respect from both sides, and the return of Americanism.

Obama in '08 !!

Posted by: riney_11 | August 15, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I see 2 problems with the electability of Sen. Obama. In a perfect world an intelligent guy like Obama would be a shoo-in for president. But obviously this is not a perfect world. Half of country voted for our current president, many because he didn't sound too smart. There is an overwhelming anti-intellectualism in this country. Think of the last president who was known for his intelligence(Nixon or JFK?). I'm not saying most of our former presidents weren't intelligent; I'm just saying that currently it is not advantagous to advertise your intellect in a campaign. That's one of the places where Obama will have trouble. He talks with common sense and speaks in more than sound bites. This is the reason why I'm voting for him, but for many he doesn't sound good old boy enough.
The second is his lack of experience. I know this is a red herring but imagine the Guliani add. "Who do you trust to protect you? A first term senator or America's Mayor." This would expecially work with another attack in America. His attempt to sound tough by threatening to ignore the sovereignity of a nation and act militarily within it's borders sounded naieve and irresponsible. The mudslinging only gets worse from here. How can he hold himself above it all and not end up Swiftboated?

Posted by: nalandmark | August 15, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I am proud to be an American when I see the way the Iowa straw poll seemed to cut through some of the hype created by the media that was in favor of the over financed candidates.

Back about 1915 or so we had a politician named Woodrow Wilson that accepted a bribe to create the Federal Reserve. They were a group of very powerful bankers and businessmen from around the world at the time. Through the monopoly of being the source of our money and by being outside of our government, or paying any taxes, they have built up a fortune that, I believe, includes owning most of the politicians of the world.

It is going to take a determined, We the People, to restore law and order in our government before we can restore law and order in our streets.

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

-Woodrow Wilson

Posted by: Stokeybob | August 15, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I come from a staunch republican family (with the exception of one family member) and have traditionally as a republican but this election I will be voting for Obama. I echo the thoughts and sentiments stated before that we need to have a president that brings positive change and someone who hasn't played a pivotal part of the political polarization of the last decade. I dare say many moderate republicans would vote the same given a weak republican candidate running against Obama as president. What kinjanetgypsy said is true, he is a leader with integrity, vision, and I feel Hillary would only accomplish the continued division of our nation.

Posted by: elida_tsou | August 15, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Does not anyone worry that Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim and attended the worst terrorist school The Madrassa. Of course he was smart enough to join a Christian church when he realized he would have to. I find it appalling that we allow a Muslim to run for President anyway and that a muslim in Minnesota was allowed to be voted into our Government and put his had on the Quran instead of the Holy bible. What are we thinking !!!!!!!

Posted by: gshattuck | August 15, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

The comments above don't sound like they are from democrats at all. Collectively, it sounds like a big push for Obama so that the Republicans will have a better chance of winning the presidential election in 08. Oh well, believe what you want to. I know who's got my vote.

Posted by: phlor729 | August 15, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Clinton for President
Obama for Vice President
Keep your focus on what's right and you will take the race.

Posted by: thick1fun | August 15, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I am a democrat who would never vote for hillary clinton. I would rather not vote but i also met Ralph Nader in wash DC at the take back america conference who told me in public he would run if hillary runs. I will vote for him. Yes he is a spoiler but if hillary runs he will surely get many many more votes this time than he ever got before. Maybe we need to suffer more before we decide for a real change in this country. Maybe the republicans will win with Hillary running. To me there really isn't any difference. Its all about dividing the public where Barack gets people from all sides supporting him.

Posted by: DANIELLECLARKE | August 15, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I was a big Hillary fan back in 1992 when I thought she would become an icon of women's capability and would help my wife to achieve the respect she was denied by her corporate employers. I also respected her work with kids.

Then Bill was elected and Hillary got what she wanted: chairwoman of a high visibility panel on the future of health care. She was arrogant and secretive and was easily sandbagged by the Republicans. It wasn't just Harry and Louise that brought her effort down, it was incompetence and hubris.

In October of 2002, I pleaded with her to stand up to the beating drums of war, to be a leader and do the right thing. She did the opposite. A couple years later I pleaded with her to exact a price from the finance industry for the changes they wanted to the bankruptcy code: reinstate usury laws and outlaw predatory lending. She failed that one too. Both of these failures suggest political calculation over the welfare of the people and the nation. This country needs a leader who is not wedded to the policies and ideologies of the past. Hillary does not fit that bill, or Bill's shoes.

I am hoping that this will become apparent over the next few months. I am hoping that Obama will show that he will be what Hillary will never be. A leader who moves more than 51% of the people; Hillary will be happy to get the slimmest margin, so long as she wins. Then she will become one of those failed politicians who are so enamored of their own conceits that they believe they can impose upon all the people what is repugnant to half of them. We've had enough of this already.

Posted by: ohlsonrw | August 15, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

It's about time people clued in that many people only recognize Sen. Clinton's name but prefer Sen. Obama's positions and his wise outlook on things.

Mind you, I'd prefer a Gore/Obama ticket, myself.

Posted by: WillSeattle | August 15, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

People desire change. None of the Democratic candidates could do as poor a job as the current administration.
Bill did a greatjob as president and I admire him to this day. Hill is no Bill. Barack can provide the US with what it needs most, leadership and a willingness to eliminate partisanship paralysis. He has effectively demonstrated his ability to reach out to others with radically different opinions to accomplish change.

Posted by: eSPO1 | August 15, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I just for once wish I had the chance to talk to her about health care. It is laughable to me, to hear her talking like she is an expert. I just want to ask her didn't you have a chance to work on this when that cheating husband of yours was the president? And by the way Hill, how did that turn out for you?
The second thing I would like to know is, how come she is considered strong. She went out and told the country her husband was wonderful and that the right wing conspiracy had been after them forever. He sent her out there knowing what he had done. A strong woman would have said this is ENOUGH. You have made me look like a fool in front of the entire country and you have cheated over and over. It is her business if she wants to let him walk all over her in front of the entire country, but I think it shows how weak she is and how she would do anything to get enough pity to get elected. I think that is exactly why she got elected to a state senate position in a state she had never lived in before. When she debated the poor man she was running against, he got attacked for being to hard on the little woman. If she can't take that, then how in the world is she going to have what takes to run this country?

Proud member of Right Wing Conspiracy

Posted by: SFennhi | August 15, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Clinton very well may be able to eek out ohh so closely in the general election, though she and we may well blow it for us- again. But what would be the point even if she did barely win? The minute she is elected the "right wing conspiracists" would be out to get her and the rest of the country just to make sure she doesn't accomplish a damn thing. Then of course the defeated Republicans would come blazing back, ahem '94 anyone? and we would be stuck with a republican rebound at the worst possible time- 2010 while the states redistrict. I am a lifelong, loyal democrat who would hold my nose and vote for her in the general for my own party ideological purity reasons, but I also know doing so will doom my party for another decade. Please stop looking backwards at the gold ol' days (which is what conservatives do, they CONSERVE the past)of her husbands candicacy and look forward (which is what liberals/progressives do, they want PROGRESS) and elect a new voice that isn't going to rehash all the psycho drama of the nineties: Obama.

Posted by: jabaarg | August 15, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Knowing the way the current Republican crop operates, I wouldn't be surprised if they're the ones pumping Obama full of campaign cash thinking that they have a better shot if they run against him in the fall.

Posted by: rvarelagdp | August 15, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I keep hearing it again and again and I see it all over I am another person that refuses to vote for her, I have never voted for a republican and I try not to sit out but she could not buy my vote for a million dollars. It is time for a change in the way politics are run not just one group to the next and I dont get the feeling that she will do that.

You want to talk about charisma look at Bill Clinton, he had it in droves. I think the CLinton camp and her supporters are using this charisma deal to portrait him as more show(I smell covert racism)

Keep it up people Hilary is not the way we want to go if we do we will end up with Karl Rove as president in 2012.

Posted by: mim5677 | August 15, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

OBam will win, because he runs of hope to make this country better.Which other candidate do you really believe that's up for that task ?

Obama08

Posted by: abcdefg | August 15, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Two things stand out regarding Hillary Clinton, there is no denying that she is the most polarizing figure in Washington and that she has proven her lack of judgment. Given her hands on 8 years in the White House, she had more knowledge of what was the real situation in Iraq than any other senator, yet she voted for the worst foreign fiasco in America's history. Millions of Americans who had far less information than she did knew then what was going to happen and that invading Iraq was a huge mistake. She more than any other senator has no excuse!
The American people have been fooled too many times and as they showed in 2006 "we won't get fooled again", not by a Republican or a Democrat! It takes more than the party faithful to elect a President. She cannot win and she shows her disregard for the good of this country by even running. I've always been a liberal democrat and would vote republican if she is the democratic candidate!

Posted by: lou | August 15, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

OK, bbln, I went to your DailyKos link to learn all about Hillary's accomplishments. Turns out that there are none, even on her fanboy's website! The website was all about her speechs and voting record. Most of her speeches and votes I actually like, or at least can live with. Hardly a surprise, since I am a lifelong Democrat. Her actuall leadership accomplishments = a big fat zero. This woman is a fraud! Obama has accomplished MUCH more in his three years in the Senate than she has in 7, never mind his truly outstanding record as a legislator in Illinois. Hillary Clinton as nominee = continuation of partisan gridlock, whether she wins or loses the general election. For real change in our system, we need Obama!

Posted by: RSchoumacher | August 15, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the above poster kezacko re: Hillary's sweeping statements claimed during the AFL-CIO debates about "her 35 years of fighting the right wing and accomplishments on behalf of the American people, then I'm your girl!!!" Such a sweeping generalization claiming her accomplishments on behalf of the American people!! This is schlock marketing. Other than her one elected term as a carpetbagger Senator in NY, she has no real "experience" qualifying her to be the Leader of the free world. She does have the swagger to attack her rivals' experience, but nothing in her background to match her rhetoric. Many of us who voted for her husband remember quite well the poor outcomes of her attempts to be a co-president.
Vanity Fair had a remarkably insightful article written by the widow of the late Senator Patrick J.Moniyhan describing how she and the late Senator decried Hillary's "arrogance and opportunism", and how much he loathed walking out on his front lawn to "endorse" her to be the candidate to take over his seat in the Senate in 2000.
None of my democratic women friends in our 60's and older are wanting to see Hillary be the candidate. I would love to have seen a woman of bipartisanship, and experience like Senator Diane Feinstein run for the Presidency, but she did not elect to pursue that course.
Bill Clinton for all of his years of peccadilloes "owes his wife", but the citizens of the United States owe this "victim by choice" nothing as a consolation prize!
Hillary Clinton does not have a history of being a peacemaker, nor being able to work with people who disagree with her strongly held opinions. She most often appears self-righteous, and unwilling to compromise.
Surely our country does not need to embrace the same two family dynasties who have been in power for way too long.
It is time to seek the Leadership of a person of integrity and vision with the motivation to seek healing, and respect again for this great nation. Every Democrat that I know is fervently backing Senator Barack Obama as the best candidate to be the leader of the Free World.

Posted by: kinjanetgypsy | August 15, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm quite smitten with Obama, and I agree with what he's said in this great interview. The man is inspiring--and his experience in community building in Chicago, after editing the Harvard Law Review (wow) shows he's smart and not driven by greed. If Hilary wins the primary, I'll vote for her in the general, but if Obama wins, I'll not only vote, but volunteer somehow in the general election campaign. He really does promise more hopeful changes in our horrible national predicament.

Posted by: Vaughan1 | August 15, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I am a Religious conservative who has always hardly agreed with democrats. I have however supported 1 democrat: Bill Clinton 1993 in 1997.

The person I supported always won. Call it spiritual insight if you wish. I'm defecting to the dem for the second time, but this time it's not a Clinton (sorry). It is Barack Obama. And I hate to say this to anyone who's not a supporter, but it would be better if you all start warming up to the reality, because he really will be the next president.

If anyone here is a Republican and would like to join Republicans For Obama, their website is www.republicansforobama.org

Posted by: zrarieh | August 15, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

FINALLY

some press coverage about these facts.

I'm so sick of hearing how Hillary is "leading the polls".

Yeah, right- leading withIN the dem polls.

Democrats need to WAKE UP.

If dems are stupid enough to nominate Clinton,
republicans who would have stayed home
(because of their weak candidates) will come out
to vote against her.

If Hillary actually cared about America,
she wouldn't even be running in a year that we
so desperately need change in washington.

Why RISK the presidential election in a year
that has virtually been handed to the democrats?

I've always voted Dem, but i will NEVER vote for
Hillary, and if she is nominated
I will stay home,
but the republicans who hate her will go out...
to vote against her.

Posted by: julieds | August 15, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

This article gets to the point that many reporters are missing, Obama's ability to appeal to all people. Many Republicans and independents have been saying for a long time that they are now willing to vote Democratic but they will not vote for someone who has been around forever, particularly Hillary. Obama can create a Rooseveltian majority for the Dems if given the chance.

Posted by: paulb | August 15, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

FINALLY

some press coverage about these facts.

I'm so sick of hearing how Hillary is "leading the polls".

Yeah, right- leading withIN the dem polls.

Democrats need to WAKE UP.

If dems are stupid enough to nominate Clinton,
republicans who would have stayed home
(because of their weak candidates) will come out
to vote against her.

If Hillary actually cared about America,
she wouldn't even be running in a year that we
so desperately need change in washington.

Why RISK the presidential election in a year
that has virtually been handed to the democrats?

I've always voted Dem, but i will NEVER vote for
Hillary, and if she is nominated
I will stay home,
but the republicans who hate her will go out...
to vote against her.

Posted by: julieds | August 15, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

bbln,

you wrote:
'I do not get this guy - he is 80% charisma and 20% unproven leadership. John Edwards would be a much more capable leader, and yet, Obama is trumping him on charisma and a "change" agent.'

Obama has a track record of community organizing on the South Side of Chicago, State Senator of Illinois, US Senator, and authoring two books outlining his successes, mistakes, and vision for leadership.

For track record, you could check out his voting record, the legislation he has passed, or go to a neighborhood he's organized in and ask around.

You could also crack open one of the books Obama has written-- pick a random page and see if his voice is merely charismatic, or if it speaks of a deeper listening and life experience in the man than news blurbs or edited sound bites can convey.

Obama made the point in another place-- you can have lots of experience, but with bad judgement. What kind of judgement would you like to see in the President of your country?

So, what I would agree with is-- Don't evaluate a presidential candidate based solely on their charisma.

Get an idea of their judgement, track record, policy ideas, and begin to evaluate them on those grounds.

Posted by: sidMerid | August 15, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Given Obama's inability to convince 80% of the Democratic primary voters to vote for him, I fail to see how he's going to magically unite the entire country behind him.

Obama's ego seems to be as enormous as it is delusional."

No JosephPalla, it's Hillary Clinton and her supporters who are delusional to be putting so much stock in any primary polls this early in the campaign. There really is deep-rooted animosity against Hillary Clinton over the Iraq War and her stands that are seen as far too pro-corporate. It's not until after Labor Day that primary voters really start to pay close attention to candidates' records, as opposed to the name recognition contests that such polls represent at this early point.

The facts are that Hillary has consistently been the strongest supporter of the Iraq War among the major Democratic candidates, something that Obama is going to be hammering her with, and rightfully so. Plus the flag-burning amendment stupidity, plus other pro-corporate and anti-worker stands.

And lylepink, where exactly were you conducting your informal survey, at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser? I've talked to dozens of Democrats in my neighborhood-- a very true blue northeastern town-- and while most would at least consider voting for Hillary, most favor somebody else (chiefly Obama and Edwards), and there's a surprising number, close to 15% or so, who would not support her under any circumstances and vote for a 3rd party candidate. She's too divisive a figure even within her own party, let alone the general electorate.

Posted by: malagasy | August 15, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

naijaman writes
"The Hillary camp claims he is engaging in "negative campaigning". Wow...this from the camp that has consistently attacked HIM?"

I had the same thought. I wonder how the Clinton supporters view that line of thinking.

Posted by: bsimon | August 15, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The big gulf in American politics is the one created by an candidate's ability to win an election, and a public servant's ability to lead an electorate.
Hillary is proving that she has the power and talent to be a winner.
But Barack Obama's history, carriage, courage, and charisma prove to me that he is a leader of the first order.
This isn't a sporting match. This is our history.

Posted by: huntington | August 15, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm somewhat amused that the Hillary camp is now attacking Obama for his comments today about being able to bring the country together better than Hillary can. The Hillary camp claims he is engaging in "negative campaigning". Wow...this from the camp that has consistently attacked HIM?
Obama simply stated his case, and even went out of his way to say the negative feelings towarrd Hillary from the 90s are not of her own doing, but the fact is they exist.

How on earth is that "negative campaigning"?

Gimme a freaking break!

Posted by: naijaman | August 15, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is trying to say that he is more of a uniter because Hillary Clinton is more polarizing? How passive of him - what is he actively doing instead to unite people? I do not get this guy - he is 80% charisma and 20% unproven leadership. John Edwards would be a much more capable leader, and yet, Obama is trumping him on charisma and a "change" agent. Although I don't like Elizabeth Edwards' mudslinging - something about what she has said rings true. If Obama were white, I don't think anyone would pay attention to him, and they'd see him for the amateur that he is.

Posted by: bbln | August 15, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Kezaco says - what has Hillary Clinton actually accomplished to date, on her own rather than as Bill's wife?

What a sexist statement from someone too lazy to google Clinton's accomplishments. Here's a link that summarizes an amazing amount she's accomplished as an activist and as a Senator. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/8/14/94755/8229

Posted by: bbln | August 15, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I am looking at this whole debate from an outsiders point of view. Being a green card holder who has lived here for only four years I can not vote. But if I could, I would definitely vote for Obama. Hillary's success in the polls so far stems from the fact that she can rely heavily on the political machine both Clintons have built over the last decades. Now, dear Americans, please remember that despite the fact that the Clinton years were good years, the Clinton years were also the time when the polarization of the two parties started........ Anyone who truely wants to leave the political blame game behind, needs to recognize this and vote for Obama. He is indeed the only candidate on both sides who can bring this country together.
Hillary's advantage right now is the name recognition and the support of most media outlets. As voters inform themselves better, Obama will go in the lead.

Posted by: petbo | August 15, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm not impressed by the so-called "experience" of Hillary Clinton. If serving as a U. S. Senator for one term counts, then John Edwards matches that. If being First Lady to a Governor then a President counts, then Laura Bush will soon match that, but I wouldn't support Mrs. Bush for President because of such "experience." The more important consideration is--what has Hillary Clinton actually accomplished to date, on her own rather than as Bill's wife? Be specific please.

Posted by: kezaco | August 15, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Kathleen (and others) above. Obama would gather the vast majority of Democratic voters if her were the nominee and has already deomostarted that he can count on a sizeable independent and Republican vote as well. I believe either Clinton or Obama can win with a well-run general election campaign, but Obama has the greater potential.

Posted by: pcstorandt | August 15, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Having canvased in NH, I can confirm that most Dems are comfortable with all of their candidates. However, there are also a surprising number of voters of all affiliations who declare they will never vote for Hillary. And I have already met several Republicans who are actively working for Obama in addition to a large number who are positively inclined towards him. So many in fact, that I conclude he really does have the broad appeal he claims and could change the way American partisan lines are drawn. Maybe that is what worries both the Democratic and Republican hacks most, that their hold on their parties will slip if Obama's succeeds in changing the way this country is governed.

Posted by: wizinit1 | August 15, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

As a long time Republican who is fed up with the intolerant wing of my party and holier than thou wing of the Democratic party, I see Obama as a person of priciple and moderation who has a shot at bringing the moderate middle back into the game. Other than President Bush, Senator Clinton is perhaps the most polarizing and divisive figure on the political scene today and I have no doubt that a Clinton Presidency would keep the extemist wings of both parties alive and well. Those supposed 80% percent of Democrats who support Clinton would also support Obama in a general election but a Democratic party led by Clinton might well lose enough of the middle to throw the election to a moderate Republican.

Posted by: andygarcia42 | August 15, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Replying to Mr. Palla's comment, 80% of the Dems don't even know who Obama is! The national poll numbers are as follows: 43% Clinton; 23% Obama. Less than a majority of Dems prefer Clinton at this point. However, if Obama were the candidate can you seriously say that all or certainly the vast majority of Dems would not support him? If you are saying this, I believe you are mistaken.

With respect to Republican support, any Democratic candidate will have to get some independent and Republican support. Currently, Obama is polling 6.7% among Repubs in Iowa, a state where the voters have had a much better chance to get to know the candidates. Hillary polls 2% among the same voters. McCain polls at 3%, which means that Obama is currently favored over a well-known Republican in that state! What does that tell you?

As far as Obama's ego, it is no bigger than Mrs. Clinton's. He is right in saying that whoever becomes president will have to reach out to Republicans. If we don't, we will not heal from the polarizing politics of the past several years, some of which Hillary Clinton is responsible.

Posted by: kathleen.mcgee | August 15, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Given Obama's inability to convince 80% of the Democratic primary voters to vote for him, I fail to see how he's going to magically unite the entire country behind him.

Obama's ego seems to be as enormous as it is delusional.

Posted by: JoeCHI | August 15, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

So, finally a newspaper gets to Clinton's weakness. She sees a fight against the GOP (as stated in her AFL-CIO forum comments). That is divisive thinking. Obama is inclusive. He drew a standing room only crowd of over 900 people in very conservative Elko, Nevada. Romney was there this week and only got 300. What does that say? Obama reaches out and Clinton does not.

Posted by: goldie2 | August 15, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I have talked with more than a hundred people that are planning to vote in 08. I have found only one dem that did not think Hillary would win and would not vote for her. These folks tell me the same thing that other people are telling them. I don't have any idea where these pollsters are getting their information, but it seems to me that the people that don't like Hillary is almost all repubs.

Posted by: lylepink | August 15, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

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