Sunday, March 23, 2008

Unsolicited Advice That Will Never Be Received

I don't get. Less than than a week ago, people were wondering if the Obama campaign would ever recover from disclosures about Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Now leading Democrats are lining up behind Obama and urging Hillary to quit. What is going on here? It is still far from clear that Obama will recover from the Wright revelations.

I am, of course, far too obscure to make any impression, but just for what it is worth, here is my advice:

To Obama: It is still almost a month to the next primary. A lot can happen in a month. Campaign for all you are worth. Use all your skills as a community organizer, build a party machine, develop a platform to address real issues that affect real people. Use all your skills as a speaker and try to connect to the concerns of the white working class. If you can make headway there, you might win the general election. But keep an eye on the polls. If it turns out that the Wright affair has caused you irreparable damage, if it becomes clear that you cannot win the general election, withdraw from the primary and let Hillary win the nomination without rancor. But drive a hard bargain. Do not angle for a role as Vice President. But insist as a condition for your withdrawal that she adopt as many as possible of your advisers.

To Hillary Clinton: Campaign tough but clean. See what happens. But if it becomes clear that prolonging the fight will just assure a McCain presidency, then withdraw. And if Obama withdraws, adopt as many of his advisers as can tolerate you.

To the Democratic Party. Start thinking about how to defeat McCain, now. Don't pull a Swiftboat. And don't claim McCain is an unprincipled opportunist. But do try to tie him to Bush. And point out how little he is prepared to deal with anything but war, war, and more war. And if Obama is not our next President, pull a John Dean. Make him party chairman or at least give him a major role in the party organization. As a former community organizer he is good at that. Consider it a long-term strategy for overcoming the Great Republican Slime Machine. The more the Democratic Party can extend into all parts of the country, the more its operatives listen to the real concerns of real people, the more it can offer something concrete and worthwhile to real concerns, the less the Slime Machine will matter.

To Democratic Voters. Learn something from the Republicans. Right wingers threw conniption fits when McCain won the nomination and vowed they would sooner vote for a Democrat. They lay down on the floor, kicked their legs and threw a tantrum for a few days. Then they got up and lined up behind him. I recommend that you do the same.

To Self. Brace yourself for a McCain Presidency.

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