Home > Election 2008 > Obama Pulls Ahead, McCain Leaves Principles Behind

Obama Pulls Ahead, McCain Leaves Principles Behind

February 14th, 2008

Obama, after his sweeps in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland by high margins (wasn’t Clinton supposed to be fighting hard in one of those states?), now claims another prize: his first lead over Hillary in the Gallup Daily National Tracking poll. It’s just a 1-point lead and so a statistical tie, but it follows a trend where Obama again gains a point a day while Hillary loses one. Just a little more than a week earlier, Hillary had been ahead by 13 points after a strange post-Super-Tuesday bounce. But now, with no good news for Hillary for at least three weeks (she is expected to lose in Wisconsin and Hawaii by similar margins), and possibly not even after that (with so much time and money, Obama is bound to make up some distance in Texas and Ohio), the trend will probably keep going for a bit. For the first time, Obama is considered the front-runner, a freight train with Hillary’s name on the… ouch, on second thought, I don’t think I want to use that metaphor.

What Obama has to watch out for: the expectations game, which has hurt him a few times in the past. Still, it comes down to a numbers game now: many are saying that Hillary’s Giuliani-like big-state-firewall strategy of winning Texas and Ohio is risky–that Hillary will have to not only win the states, but win them by several touchdowns in order to come out ahead in this race. And with Obama coming down the stretch with momentum, a truckload of cash, and seeming inroads into Hillary’s base, he stands a good chance of reducing Hillary’s critical leads in those states.

On the other side of the aisle, Republicans cut McCain a break today: on the anti-torture bill, had they tried (yet, yet, yet again) to filibuster, they would have put McCain in a difficult position of having helped stop the bill. Or he would have been in an equally difficult position of having helped pass a Democratic bill. So they helped him weasel his way out: they did not try to filibuster, but instead let the bill pass, with McCain voting “no.” While that violates his conscience and principles, as well as his past words and actions, it appeases the right wing base–and McCain’s vote is supposedly less meaningful because he did not stop the bill. That’s the key–McCain is kinda screwed on this any way you look at it, so for him, apparently, the least harmful path is simply to say, my vote didn’t matter.

So, all McCain lost today were his principles. But he kind of gave up on those when he started this campaign and started kissing up to the people who smacked him around good in 2000. McCain, a victim of torture himself and a lifelong advocate to ban such practices, today voted to sustain the use of torture so he could win a few more votes. When it comes to the crunch, it seems that “Straight-Talk” McCain will abandon his principles and suck up to anyone who can get him what he wants.

And notably, the “liberal media” is hardly touching this story.

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  1. Stuart
    February 14th, 2008 at 11:48 | #1

    Obama seems to have strong support among the Southern Democrats, and I was guessing that he might win in Virginia because of such support. This support should be a big help in the general election.

  2. Eric
    February 14th, 2008 at 17:44 | #2

    McCain whoring himself out is a HUGE surprise to those of us who have heard him endlessly compared to Reagan…

  3. Kenzo
    February 14th, 2008 at 21:21 | #3

    Mr.Poza: I love Obama’s nice smile every day on TV… I love him.

  4. Luis
    February 15th, 2008 at 09:58 | #4

    Stuart: that’s my feeling, that what we are seeing is a prelude to a potential landslide for Obama in a general election. The southern states, if anything, are hostile to McCain, and many more people than usual like Obama. Obama could be the first Democrat to take the South since Jimmy Carter, and the first to win by a landslide majority since Johnson.

  5. Tim Kane
    February 15th, 2008 at 11:10 | #5

    The possibility is certainly there for some major landslide action if Obama’s leading the ticket.

    If Hillary’s leading the ticket she’ll be lucky to eek out a win, despite the utter and complete collapse of credibility of Republican rule courtesy of Bozo Bush.

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