6.30.2008

Memo to Obama: Moving to the Middle is for Losers

From Arianna Huffington:

...I can unequivocally say: the Obama campaign is making a very serious mistake. Tacking to the center is a losing strategy. And don't let the latest head-to-head poll numbers lull you the way they lulled Clinton in December.

Running to the middle in an attempt to attract undecided swing voters didn't work for Al Gore in 2000. It didn't work for John Kerry in 2004. And it didn't work when Mark Penn (obsessed with his "microtrends" and missing the megatrend) convinced Hillary Clinton to do it in 2008.

[snip]

Throughout the primary, Obama referred to himself as an "unlikely candidate." Which he certainly was -- and still is. And one of the things that turned him from "unlikely" upstart to presidential frontrunner is his ability to expand the electorate by convincing unlikely voters -- some of the 83 million eligible voters who didn't turn out in 2004 -- to engage in the system.

So why start playing to the political fence sitters -- staking out newly nuanced positions on FISA, gun control laws, expansion of the death penalty, and NAFTA?

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