Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Obama Advantage

I have been giving great consideration to why Obama is doing as well as he is in the primaries and why I believe he will have a very strong chance at winning the Presidency if he successfully wins the Democratic nomination.

Let's start with a commonly known statistic. When a Governor goes up against a Senator, the Governor always wins. Recent examples would be Carter, Reagan, Clinton and G.W. who were all Governors. So why do Governors win against the more seasoned and experienced Senators? In my opinion there are two reasons.

First, the Governor is perceived as not being "corrupted" by D.C. politics. They are untouched and represent a pure break from what the rest of us hate about Washington D.C. We naive voters hope this new "innocent" will be able to resist the corrupt D. C. machine.

Secondly, they don't have a record that sticks to them. Once one becomes a Senator, the deals and negotiations begin and votes are traded for favors, etc. The Senator develops a track record of voting which later becomes public record and then is used by the "enemy" to begin defining who the person is. The objective is to put the person on defense.

Ok, so here we have a gaggle of Senators running for the White House. Both Clinton and Obama are minorities and there is no way that either of them would have had a shot at the White House if they were to try to run as Governors. They had to prove to America that they were Presidential material by first proving themselves as Senators.

So, how does one get the Governor advantage? By doing as little as possible while being Senator so that nothing sticks. And that, my friends, is what Obama has been doing. We can argue until we are blue in the face that Obama has no experience but then neither did all the Governors who became President of the U.S. Even though Clinton hasn't been Senator for long, we know her too well and she has some baggage she may not be able to rid herself of. Notice how Obama doesn't defend his lack of experience and instead promotes himself as a "new page".

Obama has cleverly demonstrated his D.C. "innocence" by not accepting specific types of donations for his campaign. This is his way of giving the image that he is "untouched" by Washington politics.

So, Obama's advantage, in my so ever humble opinion, is that he has studied all the reasons a Governor wins these elections and has effectively found a way to wrap himself to be a Governor in Senator's clothing.


jeff cothren said...

Very interesting and insightful - definitely going to have to mull this one over, but I think you're dead on about the governor vs senator baggage issue.

A Girl From Texas said...

I find political campaign philosophy or whatever you want to call it, fascinating. And this election campaign is very interesting.