Sunday, December 16, 2007

Honesty, Not Defensiveness, Can Be the Great Disarmer For Obama!

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This insightful piece, by M.J. Rosenberg at TPM Cafe, hints at the one unassailable strength that Barack Obama would have in his Presidential run:
Anyone who thinks that Billy Shaheen's Obama slur was a blunder, rather than a calculated piece of the politics of personal destruction, should note that Mark Penn repeated it hours after Sen. Clinton apologized.

Penn got this right out of the Rove play book. Just as Rove took John Kerry's greatest asset -- his military record -- and lied it into a negative, so Penn takes Obama's -- his biography -- and tries to do the same.

The difference is that the tactic won't work with Obama. The patrician Kerry did not know how to deal with guttersnipe attacks. He was so utterly unused to them.

All African-American men are used to them, especially one who made it to Harvard Law, the US Senate and a Presidential candidacy despite his race, his name, and his exotic heritage.
Rosenberg’s conclusion is that there will be more attacks:
So get ready. The worst people in America are going to use Barack Obama's race and his personal struggle against him. They are going to try to transform his unique assets into negatives.
But Obama has what none of the other candidates in either party can match: an seeming ability to be open and honest about who he is and where he came from that will, any time he uses it to disarm an attack, remind voters of all the things they hate about other politicians in general, and the Republicans of the Bush II Era in particular.

Whenever opponents try to attack his personal history, Obama can simply respond that “he has learned a lot of valuable lessons from those struggles, and they have made him appreciate the person that he is today.”

He won’t even have to mention the plentiful denials of personal history, including sexual identity and corruption, on the other side of the aisle, for voters to be reminded of them!

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