Wednesday, June 11, 2008


By Victor Davis Hanson
at Pajamas Media

Excerpt from Autopsy of the Primaries: The only Democratic Candidate who can lose the General Election; the only Republican one who can win it.

The Chicago Past

Obama either out of misplaced loyalty or because of 20 years of Chicago racial politics, simply cannot deal with the continuing embarrassments of Wright, Pfleiger, Trinity, et al. He either gets defensive and blames the messenger of the latest embarrassment, or makes silly announcements of support. They are followed by qualifiers, followed by eventual “disowning”—but always with a twist of pique. Wright’s madness was mischaracterized by unfair video “loops” and “snippets”—before he refuted Obama’s apologia by sickening America with the entire racist rant at the National Press Club.

But by now all of America fathoms the truth: Obama made a devil’s bargain with a number of racists to establish his own street credentials in the rough and tumble world of Chicago politics. He now finds that what started his career could well end it. Bottom line: the voters will have to decide whether these skeletons are the usual embarrassments that all candidates deal with as they evolve beyond their diehard bases, or instead disturbing proof that Obama himself got a certain psychological high from hearing ministers and congregation members routinely trash whites and the so-called establishment, as attested by his attendance at and subsidies to the Wright ministry.

Rule One for Obama’s campaign: Don’t let Obama rush to the defense of any dubious character in his past, since he inevitably will have to disown him sooner or later. The impression that Obama inevitably changes his storyline (while a Wright or Pfleger remains absolutely predictable and consistent) is beginning to tire the American people.

Gaffes Galore

Anyone who lived his first 18 years out of the continental United States, and then attended politically-correct Ivy League schools before jumping into Chicago politics might not have a broad view of American demography and indeed, U.S. history—much less the sociology of the United States.

But the number of Obama’s slips are staggering. They range from geographical ignorance (Kentucky is not contiguous with Arkansas, but it is with Illinois), to US history (there are 50 states in the Union; the US army did not liberate Auschwitz) to foreign affairs (the election of Hugo Chavez predated George Bush) to simple political ignorance (you don’t trash the lower white middle class to San Francisco elites) and common decency (you don’t put your own grandmother on the same moral plane as the racist Wright, or a U.S senator in the same category as the terrorist Ayers.)

Rule Two: Get Obama back on a script. He may sound catchy and smug in repartee and ex tempore give and take; but he has already made candidate George Bush’s much caricatured inability to identify a Pakistani president seem like a very tiny Dan Quayle proverbial potato.


Michelle, as America learned, cannot give a speech without either (1) claiming that her husband is a saint and a genius, and we are all lucky to have him; (2) whining about the unexpected “raise the bar” pressures on the young urban yuppie careerist couple; (3) trashing the United States; or (4) defining world or national problems in terms of herself or her kids.

Rule Three: Do not confuse her ability to wade boldly out into audience in the manner of Phil Donahue with either savvy, wit, humor, or enlightenment. One or two more performances of the tired Princeton-Harvard-Reverend-Wright take on contemporary America—and the campaign is over. All the talk about whether she is a “legitimate” target will be about as relevant as whether a woman who joins the military will sometimes be in harm’s way in wartime.

The Agenda

Obama’s team must not confuse Republican problems of the economy, war, fuel, and 8 years of an unpopular candidate with voter lust for a liberal agenda. Who wants vast increases in payroll, income, and inheritance taxes—not to pay down the debt but to fund billions in new entitlements that will only create greater dependency and stifle initiative? Or who wishes to throw away all that was won in Iraq by quitting now, when a slow withdrawal won by victory is within our grasp? And who wishes hyper-liberal judges and appointees, more “oppression studies” in our schools, or the same old, same old on’t drill, mine, or use nuclear power, while enriching our enemies and singing sonnets to wind and solar?

Rule Four: Keep talking about Lord Hope and Saint Change and Holy Possibility—and don’t get into specifics. Jimmy Carter didn’t and it worked in 1976 for him. The problem is not that Obama simply talks in platitudes, but rather that he must—given the most leftwing agenda in modern memory.

[And about McCain:]

Rule Three: Each time Obama hits him with the age issue, McCain must remind us that he at least knows how many states there are in the Union or the difference between Memorial and Veterans Day. And McCain should learn from Reagan—smile, relax and take two days a week off.

More . . . [re McCain etc.)

Read the whole thing at


Obama Rules
Ten new regulations for the 2008 election
by Victor Davis Hanson

No comments: