Monday, June 16, 2008

Strange talk from the front-runner's camp

Clicking around the web this morning I saw a strange story on CNN. Their Political Ticker features a story in which Obama's campaign manager makes a rather strange pitch.

In a private pitch late last week to donors and former supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe outlined several alternatives to reaching the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House that runs counter to the conventional wisdom of recent elections.
Plouffe "envisions a path to the presidency that could include Virginia, Georgia and several Rocky Mountain states, but not necessarily the pair of battlegrounds that decided the last two elections — Florida and Ohio." This is even more strange than it sounds since Plouffe also acknowledges that Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Hampshire are in play for McCain this fall even though Kerry carried those states comfortably in 2004. (The electoral votes from Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Hampshire represented almost 17% of Kerry's total, to put that into some perspective.)

I find it strange that the Obama camp is already down-playing expectations in the critical swing states and in solidly Democratic states while making noise about being able to win solidly Republican states. If I were one of the super delegates I would be wondering if I could switch my vote back to Clinton, and if I were a Clinton supporter I would be thinking "See, we TOLD you this guy couldn't win the general election!"

I had thought up until a few weeks ago that Obama was a shoo-in this fall, but after the controversy concerning Rev. Michael Pfleger's remarks I started to think Obama might lose. Now I'm wondering if he (or at least his campaign) is expecting to lose. What a strange year.

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