I’m not really that interested in politics, and I’m certainly far from an expert prognosticator, but I think Obama will lose in November, and here’s why: the Democrats have become the party of the elite, and the majority of ordinary Americans have an instinctive dislike for the elite.
August 25, 2008 by 28 Comments
Check back through most of the recent presidential elections, and it doesn’t matter if the guy was Republican or Democrat. What matters is that the winner was perceived as an ordinary kind of down home sort of guy next door, and the loser was perceived as an idealistic elitist.
George W. Bush won because (although he was from the most privileged East coast family) he portrayed himself as a Texas rancher who married the local librarian. He projected the image of an ‘Aw Shucks’ kinda guy with a drink problem who found Jeezus and started drinking orange juice and going to bed early. Gore and Kerry were perceived as wealthy, educated elitists. They lost.
Clinton beat George Bush senior for the same reason. Clinton was just a good ole boy from Arkansas who had a way with the ladies and a tendency to get into a few scrapes and then smile and talk his way out of them. Why he was just as ordinary and mischievous as all the other fellas who sometimes make a mistake, but manage to come up smiling.
Jimmy Carter won for the same reason, and the only reason Reagan beat him was because Reagan was even better at being the “Aw shuck, ordinary fella” guy than Carter was. Probably the only exception to my theory was George Bush Sr beating Dukakis, and that was because they were both elitists, and the voters chose the one they knew.
So, if you want my two cents, Obama will lose. His lofty, idealistic and intellectual approach will alienate ordinary Americans. His background is too foreign. They’re suspicious of a father from Kenya, a Muslim stepfather, a boyhood in Hawaii and being educated abroad. The more John McCain plays himself as a true, blue, patriotic, former POW and soldier, the more he’s going to get that elusive ‘down home’ vote that has swung elections for everyone else. If McCain wants to win he needs to learn lessons from Reagan, Clinton, Carter and co. He needs to come across as an ordinary Joe, and Mrs McCain should stop looking like some anorexic model, start baking cookies, talking about her children and grandchildren (if she has any) and being folksy.