Saturday, 5 July 2008

Is Obama Losing His Shine?

Barack Obama is getting a bit of a rough time from some quarters over a shift towards the political centre in an attempt to mop up a few more votes from the electorate who don't particularly follow his more leftist agenda.
Nothing wrong with that of course, his rival John McCain has tacked further to the right to gain more votes and all politicians wiggle up and down the ideological line trying to appeal to the greatest number.
The Iraq War, and his objection to it from the off, just happened to be Obama's greatest selling point and this is perhaps his greatest and most uncomfortable shift for many who held this policy up as an example of the 'change' which Obama was promising.
His unswerving support for Israel was what caused me to question his 'change' credentials but since then there has been his decision to support immunity for phone companies helping government eavesdrop on citizens and his new found opposition of gun control which have made a few more people frown but the switch in tactics in Iraq has been what has caused many to take a step back and take stock of the man they have been holding up as some sort of saviour of America for the past six months.
All this has given the Republicans a golden opportunity to label Obama as a flip-flopper, a term that was used with such devastating effect on John Kerry at the last election.
In Britain Margaret Thatcher stated that she was not for turning and Tony Blair said that his Government had no reverse gear but all they got for their refusal to yield was an early removal from power. A leader who refuses to listen and adapt when the evidence to change course is overwhelming is of little use to anyone and is potentially disastrous but despite making this same argument about his policies being adaptable, this is not how the Democrat's actions are being perceived with a growing number of voters.
The problem Obama has is that the u-turns he is performing look like grubby and blatant vote grabbing tactics and making a move for the centralist vote is going to lose him votes from the further end of the left where he could reach from where he pitched his flag at the beginning of his campaign.
An ability to re-evaluate ideas is a massive advantage for a politician to have in his arsenal but the growing view seems to be that possibly the death of John Mccain's Presidential hopes have been greatly exaggerated.


Stephen said...

Generally speaking, I take everything campaigning politicians say with a grain of salt. The proof will be in the pudding.

I think Obama should watch the movie The American President with Michael Douglas.

Anonymous said...

Makes me laugh how Obama is a 'flip flopper'amd Mc Cain is a 'maverick'.

I think pollies have to move to the centre for political survival - the electorate will not tolerate anything else. It seems to be the way the entire world is going. And he wants to win decisively I guess.

Lucy said...

Very true Stephen, all politicians make promises they later weedle out of somehow but as the British elections are so short, and Americas are so long, not usually see them do it until after they are elected.

I remember John McCain getting it in the neck for not being right wing enough at the start Ruth so his move even further that way was expected, Obamas shift seesm to have taken quite a few by surprise.

Nate Peele said...

I don't like to link to my blog in my comments to somebody else's blog, but frankly McCain's ability to shift positions is such an advantage that I can't fit all the changes in one post on here. Here's the list of McCain's supposed flip flops. I prefer to think of them as Republicanizations: