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False Equivalence

Only a media outlet devoted to soothing its liberal audience and rooting for Barack Obama could reach the conclusion that this past week was “a bad week for everyone.” Yeah, right. That conclusion may be more reassuring to people fretting over Obama’s recent travails, but it’s silly to declare that everyone had an equally tough time. (Ask John McCain whether that spike in his head-to-head poll numbers with both potential Democratic opponents left him despondent.)

Between Obama’s speech (which opened up more questions than answers and which, according to one poll, had a shockingly negative impact on voters, especially independents), the dig at his “typical white” grandmother, and his nose dive in general election and key state polls, it would be hard for an objective observer to conclude that this was anything but a really, really rotten week for Obama. But he got that Bill Richardson endorsement, you say. That would have been a 2 on the political Richter scale several weeks ago. Now it rates an announcement on Good Friday. Enough said.

The key issue is whether there are now a significant number of voters who simply will never vote for Obama. They may be Democratic primary voters, who could send the delegate balance sliding in Hillary Clinton’s favor. But they might be independent, Republican, or non-primary voting Democrats. Voters, that is, who might be less than forthcoming with pollsters, but won’t–after hearing Reverend Wright’s venom and Obama’s ineffective excuses–ever vote for Obama. Stunning as it may seem, the Democrats may have found a way to fritter away their 2008 election advantages.


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