Huffington Post Headline: 'Obama Undercuts His Brand'
Want more evidence that some of Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama's recent campaign maneuvers aren't going over very well with the ultra-left in this nation?
Readers clicking on the link will find the following opening paragraph to an article bylined "The Huffington Post" (emphasis added):
Sen. Barack Obama is risking his brand as a political reformer, according to reports today in the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. In recent weeks, he has moderated or changed positions on a number of politically-charged issues, leading to criticism from demoralized Democratic activists and charges of "flip-flopping" from conservatives.
The articles in question chronicled some of Obama's recent flip-flops, including his decision not to take public campaign funds, and to vote in favor of amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, both positions tremendously counter to his far-left-leaning base.
Of particular interest is the Times piece, "Obama is Shifting Towards the Center," which actually tried making the case that the uber-liberal junior senator from Illinois "is emphasizing centrist -- even conservative -- positions on hot-button issues."
I kid you not.
As absurd as this might seem, HuffPo readers and Netroots denizens might actually believe this nonsense as pointed out in the Post piece (emphasis added):
But even some who should be his core constituents -- in the Democratic Party's progressive wing and the liberal blogosphere -- have taken his recent maneuvers as a wake-up call. They are warning the senator that in his quest to reach voters in the middle of the political spectrum, he risks depressing the enthusiasm of the voters who clinched the nomination for him.
Which makes this HuffPo piece, as well as its prominent focus at the website Saturday, all the more fascinating.
After all, in an election that promises once again to be very close, both candidates clearly can't rely exclusively on their base. Coming out of the primaries, Obama seemed much more in control of his than McCain who still hasn't been able to get the support from Conservatives displeased with his position on illegal immigration as well as his votes against President Bush's tax cuts.
One would think this would give Obama an edge unless you don't ignore the ferocity of the uber-left.
With this in mind, Obama has a challenging tap dance ahead of him: how does he say things that woo enough moderate voters to get him over the magic 50 percent mark without angering the far-left base that brought him to the dance?
To be sure, these folks aren't very forgiving of Democrats making any move to the center. Just ask Joe Lieberman.
This also puts the Obama-loving media in a bit of a pickle: how do they convince moderate Independent voters that Obama isn't the far-left candidate he really is without angering those pleased with what he actually stands for?
Put another way, what kind of makeover will press members assist the Democrat candidate in achieving that will end up pleasing liberal and moderate voters?