Wednesday :: Jan 30, 2008

Sen. Obama's Politics of Division

by eriposte

If you have followed my posts and analyses of the records of the top Democratic candidates, you would have noticed that Sen. Obama's and Sen. Clinton's voting records and positions on issues are largely similar - they are almost equally progressive. They have a fairly similar history when it comes to fundraising and contributions (prior to the start of this campaign). They both believe in the importance of reaching out to Independents and Republicans in order to win (although Sen. Clinton also appeals a lot more to Democrats, unlike Sen. Obama - and she cares a lot more about building the Democratic brand and being a fighting progressive). Overall, there are major similarities in their approach and in their politics - that is to say, there is far more that unites them than divides them. In fact, there is far more that they both have in common, in contrast to Republicans like John McCain who are on the other end of the spectrum.

Let me add something else. Sen. Clinton made a conscious effort to directly and systematically reach out to (Independent and) Republican voters in NY state and then won a bunch of Republican counties as a result. She also has a 33% approval rating amongst Republicans and 55% approval rating amongst Independents in NY state, even in the midst of non-stop attacks on her character by Sen. Obama, other Democrats, Republicans and the media. This is a testament to the fact that she is actually not that divisive in the eyes of voters who know her. In fact, she won many more independents in Florida just yesterday than Sen. Obama did - and she got more votes across a much wider variety of demographic groups than Sen. Obama did. (How's that for "divisiveness"?)

Why am I pointing this out?

The reality is that the person who is being divisive in this campaign is not Sen. Clinton - it is Sen. Obama. Rather than behave as the UniterTM that he claims to be, he can't stop dividing the Democratic party with the use of false Republican attacks against his main opponent. If he really wants to be a uniter, rather than a divider, and set an example to his followers, he can run a campaign on the issues, criticize his opponent on the merits of her positions (but not by making stuff up about her repeatedly), and not write and deliver divisive speeches using faxed talking points from the Republican National Committee. Now, that would be a simple and easy way to unite the Democratic party and the country. We'll see if Sen. Obama is up to the task.

eriposte :: 11:22 PM :: Comments (110) :: Digg It!