As I thought about Senator Obama's seemingly off-the-cuff comment Saturday advocating on-demand "convenience abortions" for minors, I realized that this was part of a larger strategy to carve supporters away from traditional feminist candidate Hillary Clinton. In a media/public forum, Senator Obama said:
"Look, I got two daughters," he said, "nine years old and six years old. I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."
There's a savvy strategy at work here. Senator Obama became the first candidate to go beyond the traditional pro-abortion cant: "Safe, legal and rare" and took it to the next step - a blatant, open advocacy for convenience-driven abortion-on-demand policy that applies to minors. This has got to appeal to pro-abortion feminists who have to put up with that "Safe, legal and rare" formulation for political purposes, but who really want unquestioned abortion-on-demand - and while Senator Clinton has aped her husband's formulation, Obama has given the feminists what they want.
This is an echo of Michelle Obama's "proud" and "mean" statements in January, each designed to cement for them support from the disenfranchised voters who had supported Edwards - many of who were seen as "natural" supporters of Senator Clinton. Together, they constitute a niche-marketing, "cherry-picking Hillary's supporters" strategy ... and one done early enough to secure Obama's nomination (while giving him time to move back toward the mainstream long before November).
Further thoughts here, at Barnett on PR and Politics