Maybe Obama can't close the deal because he's not asking for our votes?
Could it be? Why does Paul Krugman hate the Unity Pony?
Mr. Obama was supposed to be a transformational figure, with an almost magical ability to transcend partisan differences and unify the nation. Once voters got to know him — and once he had eliminated Hillary Clinton’s initial financial and organizational advantage — he was supposed to sweep easily to the nomination, then march on to a huge victory in November.
Well, now he has an overwhelming money advantage and the support of much of the Democratic establishment — yet he still can’t seem to win over large blocs of Democratic voters, especially among the white working class.
As a result, he keeps losing big states. And general election polls suggest that he might well lose to John McCain.
What’s gone wrong?
Well, except for WWTSBQ, of course.
From the beginning, I wondered what Mr. Obama’s soaring rhetoric, his talk of a new politics and declarations that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” (waiting for to do what, exactly?) would mean to families troubled by lagging wages, insecure jobs and fear of losing health coverage. The answer, from Ohio and Pennsylvania, seems pretty clear: not much. Mrs. Clinton has been able to stay in the race, against heavy odds, largely because her no-nonsense style, her obvious interest in the wonkish details of policy, resonate with many voters in a way that Mr. Obama’s eloquence does not.
Yes, I know that there are lots of policy proposals on the Obama campaign’s Web site. But addressing the real concerns of working Americans isn’t the campaign’s central theme.
Tellingly, the Obama campaign has put far more energy into attacking Mrs. Clinton’s health care proposals than it has into promoting the idea of universal coverage.
During the closing days of the Pennsylvania primary fight, the Obama campaign ran a TV ad repeating the dishonest charge that the Clinton plan would force people to buy health insurance they can’t afford. It was as negative as any ad that Mrs. Clinton has run — but perhaps more important, it was fear-mongering aimed at people who don’t think they need insurance, rather than reassurance for families who are trying to get coverage or are afraid of losing it.
No wonder, then, that older Democrats continue to favor Mrs. Clinton.
The question Democrats, both inside and outside the Obama campaign, should be asking themselves is this: now that the magic has dissipated, what is the campaign about? More generally, what are the Democrats for in this election?
So Obama spent all those millions of teebee dollars blurring the Democratic message so badly that now nobody knows what we stand for?
And they say Hillary's running an awful campaign?
NOTE Turkana, channelling Digby, says it's time for Obama to "show his wonk." Too late for that. If Obama had wonk to show, he'd have shown it. Wonks aren't known for their ability to conceal their wonkiness.