Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama may have gotten blown out in Kentucky, but he is cruising to big win in Oregon tonight, and earlier this evening at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Obama promised that change is coming to America.
Obama said that he doesn’t see a divided Democratic Party, but an energized one, “Some may see the millions upon millions of votes cast for each of us as evidence that our party is divided, but I see it as proof that we have never been more energized and united in our desire to take this country in a new direction. More than anything, we need this unity and this energy in the months to come, because while our primary has been long and hard-fought, the hardest and most important part of our journey still lies ahead.”
He then laid out his basic theme for the general election, change versus experience. “We face an opponent, John McCain, who arrived in Washington nearly three decades ago as a Vietnam War hero, and earned an admirable reputation for straight talk and occasional independence from his party. But this year’s Republican primary was a contest to see which candidate could out-Bush the other, and that is the contest John McCain won.”
He continued, “We will face our share of difficult and uncertain days in the journey ahead. The other side knows they have embraced yesterday’s policies and so they will also embrace yesterday’s tactics to try and change the subject. They will play on our fears and our doubts and our divisions to distract us from what matters to you and your future. Well they can take the low road if they want, but it will not lead this country to a better place. And it will not work in this election. It won’t work because you won’t let it. Not this time. Not this year.”
He concluded by talking about his campaign in populist and revolutionary terms, “It’s what led high school and college students to give up their vacations to stuff envelopes and knock on doors, and why grandparents have spent all their afternoons making phone calls to perfect strangers. It’s what led men and women who can barely pay the bills to dig into their savings and write $5 checks and $10 checks, and why young people from all over this country have left their friends and their families for a job that offers little pay and less sleep. Change is coming to America.”
The change versus experience theme has been so good to Obama that he would have to be insane to change it, especially when he is facing another opponent in the fall that seems to be happily wrapping the incumbent label around himself. Early exit polling in Oregon shows that Obama split the vote with Clinton on working class voters and white women. In my opinion, Obama has the perfect message for this year. Now he only needs to figure how to broaden its appeal to more Democrats.
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