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Memo to Obama: Moving to the Middle Is for Losers- Arianna Huffington (420 comments) [View All]

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T.Ruth2power Donating Member (371 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-06-08 07:05 PM
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Memo to Obama: Moving to the Middle Is for Losers- Arianna Huffington (420 comments)
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Memo to Obama: Moving to the Middle Is for Losers

By Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post. Posted July 5, 2008.

Realpolitik is one thing. Realstupidpolitik is quite another.

Last Friday afternoon, the guests taking part in Sunday's roundtable discussion on This Week had a pre-show call with George Stephanopoulos. One of the topics he raised was Obama's perceived move to the center, and what it means. Thus began my weekend obsession. If you were within shouting distance of me, odds are we talked about it. I talked about it over lunch with HuffPost's DC team, over dinner with friends, with the doorman at the hotel, and the driver on the way to the airport.

As part of this process, I looked at the Obama campaign not through the prism of my own progressive views and beliefs but through the prism of a cold-eyed campaign strategist who has no principles except winning. From that point of view, and taking nothing else into consideration, I can unequivocally say: the Obama campaign is making a very serious mistake. Tacking to the center is a losing strategy. And don't let the latest head-to-head poll numbers lull you the way they lulled Hillary Clinton in December.

Running to the middle in an attempt to attract undecided swing voters didn't work for Al Gore in 2000. It didn't work for John Kerry in 2004. And it didn't work when Mark Penn (obsessed with his "microtrends" and missing the megatrend) convinced Hillary Clinton to do it in 2008.

Fixating on -- and pandering to -- this fickle crowd is all about messaging tailored to avoid offending rather than to inspire and galvanize. And isn't galvanizing the electorate to demand fundamental change the raison d'etre of the Obama campaign in the first place?

<snip>

Watering down that brand is the political equivalent of New Coke. Call it Obama Zero.

<snip>

http://www.alternet.org/election08/90465/?cID=947822#c9...
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