Obama Needs To Ready Himself
It seems clear to me at this early stage of Obama's first national campaign that:
1. The corporatist right wing is scared of him and the possibility of his election; witness the common messaging and talking points by Australian Prime Minister John Howard and William Kristol within six hours of each other from thousands of miles away that Obama would appease terrorists; and
2. The mainstream media still doesn't know how to write about a polished, ambitious black candidate, even Salon, which had the racist DNA evident when they used the "uppity" negro epithet in a subheadline for their recent story on his political background. When was the last time the term "uppity" was used for a white politician? Or others will simply smear Obama for allegedly being too liberal, while offering flimsy evidence of that and failing to accuse white politicians of also being "too liberal."
Obama has two choices in dealing with the treatment he will be getting from all sides: he can roll with it and try to rise above it, or his campaign can point it out as he goes along and let his supporters flame the media through a Truth Squad campaign. I would opt for the latter, through a "Tier One/Tier Two" approach whereby Obama himself doesn't sully himself with the dirty work of nailing slugs like Howard, Kristol, or even Salon's editor Joan Walsh but instead leaves it to campaign underlings and surrogates as well as the blogs to do it. However, yesterday he threw the elbows himself by tagging the media for its empty coverage and silly priorities. It is laudable to see the candidate himself or herself throw it back in the media's face, but it will make enemies amongst the cocktail weenie crowd inside the Beltway.
He's going to get a rough ride and needs to be ready for it. Powerful interests inside the Beltway and inside boardrooms across the world are uneasy with him and will try to stop him by hiding behind red herrings like "appeasing" terrorists to mask their racism. After all, is Wall Street concerned about any of the other realistic Democratic candidates and the effect any of them would have on their bottom line? Even Edwards' health care plan isn't a threat to HMOs or the drug companies, and none of them think Hillary is bad for business. But Obama is someone they know little about, and they aren't sure if they can control him.