Previously in Grim Amusements: Obama for President?
Betting on Obama? He's at 10 to 1
Chicago Sun Times
October 24, 2006
Sen. Barack Obama has a lot of people on his side as he considers running for president -- Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes, actress Halle Berry, Oprah. But what, really, are the odds he could win?
10 to 1, according to Sportsbook.com. The online gambling site, which touts itself as the "largest sports book and casino on the planet," noted that Sen. Hillary Clinton is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. But, the site said, "should Obama enter the race, he would be a serious challenger."
A Chicago Sun-Times/NBC5 poll in September asked if the South Sider should run. Three out of five voters saw Obama as presidential timber and wanted him to make a bid.
Clinton dodges Hillary vs. Barack question
October 24, 2006
BY ANDREW HERRMANN Staff Reporter
It's a potential match that has the political world buzzing: Hillary vs. Barack.
But former President Bill Clinton, in Chicago Monday, wasn't weighing in on a fight that could pit his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, against Sen. Barack Obama for president in 2008. "I know you fellas want to write about this,'' Clinton told the Sun-Times in a brief exchange at a Michigan Avenue hotel. "And you will.'' But the issue at hand now is the 2006 congressional races, the ex-prez said. And any Democrat doing anything less would indicate a "lack of intelligence.'' As he shook hands with Democrats after a fund-raiser for Rep. Melissa Bean and Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, Clinton was asked what he thought of Obama's weekend remarks confirming that the Hyde Park resident is thinking of such a run.
"I agree with him,'' Clinton said.
"He says he wants to focus more on the [current congressional] elections,'' Clinton said. "He and Hillary both.'' [...]
OK, so here's the thing.
Obama cannot win a presidential election in this country at this time.
Hillary Clinton cannot win a presidential election in this country at this time.
The GOP wouldn't even need to run a smear campaign on Obama -- although I think they would anyway, because that's just what they do; all they would need to do is to say, "Look, what the hell has this man done? He's been a state representative for only a few years, and then he was a senator who didn't even fulfill his first term. He has no other governmental experience at any level besides that." And that's all perfectly true. Americans might like outsiders, but we prefer our outsiders to have at least a little experience doing something at a higher level than that.
The GOP would, of course, run a smear campaign against HIllary Clinton. (Really, when have they stopped?) They would do it with enthusiasm, relish, and malice aforethought, afterthought, duringthought and any other time they could think of it. And, whether earned or not, Senator Clinton is a terribly polarizing figure on both the right and the left. The Right would attack her as a proxy for her husband, and in her own right; the Left is deeply ambivalent because of her surprising support for the Iraq war, which she has never renounced.
The South would not vote for Obama (except possibly South Carolina, which once upon a time had a plurality black population -- I don't know if that's still true, however). A good chunk of the West would not vote for him. Indiana (definitely), Ohio (probably) and possibly Wisconsin and Minnesota would not vote for him, judging from their recent surprisingly conservative politics. And a Hillary Clinton/Obama ticket would be a gift from the Republicans' paranoia gods.
And speaking as a resident of Illinois, I want him to sit his butt back down in that Senate seat and at least serve out his elected term, dammit.
If he really wants to be president, what he should do is serve out this term, get re-elected to his next one, run for governor of Illinois during that term, and if he's elected, THEN run for president. It's a long wait, and he'll lose all of those bright shiny new-toy qualities that attract people to him right now, but he'll also have enough experience that more people will be more likely to believe that he can actually do the job.
To be sure, 10-1 are surprisingly short odds for this candidate, at this point in the race that isn't yet. And I would dearly love to discover that I've misunderestimated my fellow Americans, including the Senators Obama and Clinton themselves.
Kinda doubt I have, though.Posted by iain at October 24, 2006 02:58 PM