Will Obama be able to hide his liberalism?

Rick Moran
Peter Brown runs the Quinnipiac University Poll and writes in the Wall Street Journal that this election will answer a fundamental question about the Democrats.

Is it their message that's garbage or
just their candidates?

If nothing else, the 2008 election will resolve the question of whether the Democrats have been losing the White House in recent decades because of their message or because of their candidates' inability to articulate it well.

Since Republican Ronald Reagan's election in 1980, the only Democrat to win the White House has been Bill Clinton. But he was the rare Democratic nominee, and not just because he was victorious.

Mr. Clinton's southern roots and willingness to challenge his own party's philosophical orthodoxy may have made the difference on Election Day in 1992 and 1996. In any case, he followed a fundamentally different path than other Democratic nominees since 1980.

After the 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000 and 2004 elections, Democratic leaders argued that the American people had not rejected their ideas or governing philosophy. Instead, they said, their nominee had not effectively communicated the party's core message. It wasn't the American people rejecting those views and values, they contended.

Whether that was an accurate reading of the electorate or a self-serving analysis by the party's elites, it has made wonderful cocktail party fodder for years. But it has also been used as a rationale by those who didn't see the string of defeats as a call to retool the party's message.

These Democrats argued their politics were not out of step and there was no reason to overhaul the party message; they just needed to tinker with it around the edges and find a better communicator to make their case.

Well, no excuses this time because the Democrats have nominated a golden tongued orator who should be able to sell refrigerators to Eskimos. But if you listen to Obama's speeches, there is a wonderful lack of specificity and details. We're told to go to his website to find the answers and if you do so, you are struck by how conventionally liberal almost all of his proposals are.

But in order to hide that fact, Obama makes majestic use of the English language, enslaving words in his effort to hide his intent.

Now all politicians do this to some extent so we really shouldn't be too mean to Obama for his subterfuge. But in the case of other candidates, the press can usually be counted on to fill in the blanks and show just what a candidate stands for in the end.

Not so with Obama. The press is so enamored of the fact that he's youngish, that he's black, that he's a great speaker, that he draws tremendous crowds and generates huge amounts of excitement - all of this is constantly written and said about him without one word about his liberal ideological leanings.

No wonder Obama's words sound wonderful; they are carefully crafted to make us feel good about ourselves and about America. Meanwhile, what he has in store for us could hardly be called "good for us" - unless we wanted to live in a socialist state.

This election, the Democrat may be able to pull it off; hide his true politics until after the election.
Peter Brown runs the Quinnipiac University Poll and writes in the Wall Street Journal that this election will answer a fundamental question about the Democrats.

Is it their message that's garbage or
just their candidates?

If nothing else, the 2008 election will resolve the question of whether the Democrats have been losing the White House in recent decades because of their message or because of their candidates' inability to articulate it well.

Since Republican Ronald Reagan's election in 1980, the only Democrat to win the White House has been Bill Clinton. But he was the rare Democratic nominee, and not just because he was victorious.

Mr. Clinton's southern roots and willingness to challenge his own party's philosophical orthodoxy may have made the difference on Election Day in 1992 and 1996. In any case, he followed a fundamentally different path than other Democratic nominees since 1980.

After the 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000 and 2004 elections, Democratic leaders argued that the American people had not rejected their ideas or governing philosophy. Instead, they said, their nominee had not effectively communicated the party's core message. It wasn't the American people rejecting those views and values, they contended.

Whether that was an accurate reading of the electorate or a self-serving analysis by the party's elites, it has made wonderful cocktail party fodder for years. But it has also been used as a rationale by those who didn't see the string of defeats as a call to retool the party's message.

These Democrats argued their politics were not out of step and there was no reason to overhaul the party message; they just needed to tinker with it around the edges and find a better communicator to make their case.

Well, no excuses this time because the Democrats have nominated a golden tongued orator who should be able to sell refrigerators to Eskimos. But if you listen to Obama's speeches, there is a wonderful lack of specificity and details. We're told to go to his website to find the answers and if you do so, you are struck by how conventionally liberal almost all of his proposals are.

But in order to hide that fact, Obama makes majestic use of the English language, enslaving words in his effort to hide his intent.

Now all politicians do this to some extent so we really shouldn't be too mean to Obama for his subterfuge. But in the case of other candidates, the press can usually be counted on to fill in the blanks and show just what a candidate stands for in the end.

Not so with Obama. The press is so enamored of the fact that he's youngish, that he's black, that he's a great speaker, that he draws tremendous crowds and generates huge amounts of excitement - all of this is constantly written and said about him without one word about his liberal ideological leanings.

No wonder Obama's words sound wonderful; they are carefully crafted to make us feel good about ourselves and about America. Meanwhile, what he has in store for us could hardly be called "good for us" - unless we wanted to live in a socialist state.

This election, the Democrat may be able to pull it off; hide his true politics until after the election.