What If He Loses?
After November 4, 2008 someone is going to be pissed. For John McCain and Barack Obama the closer Election Day gets there is this innate desire to be positive, but not be presumptive. The speeches they will deliver will try and erase lines like, “when we win” with “if we win.” No one wants to jinx the outcome. Polls show Obama with leads in places democrats have not won in the past. It also shows the margin in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and Florida give McCain a mathematical chance to prevail.
I will be giving my analysts on WYPR-FM on election night. It is either going to be a short night or a very long night. I expect problems with so many first time voters, challengers, and critical states in play. I am psyched about the results either way. So let me bring some doom and gloom to the post.
It is the headline his supporters will cringe hearing. Here’s what I expect the concession speech to sound like. “I want to thank everyone who did everything they could to make this campaign work. I have called John McCain and congratulated him on his win (crowd moans). We began this journey in Springfield, Illinois with the conviction the American public wanted change. The change they got through the ballot was an army of new voters who crossed racial, social, and income lines to cast a vote for me. But we must move ahead. The great experiment of America continues. God Bless, America.”
The analyst of the outcome will center on several areas: the bruising primary, the inability to connect with blue collar voters, and the not ready for prime time voters.
The primary challenge by Hillary Clinton will get plenty of play. Some will suggest her attacks damage him. There will also be questions about her enthusiasm. Lastly, some will suggest she wanted this outcome and get ready for 2012.
Despite having a monetary advantage and blanketing the airwaves it was not enough to change the minds of millions who were unsure of his politics. The last minute spots attacking him directly became effective and essentially canceled out his blanketed advertising.
The early voting fell Obama’s way but he was unable to close the deal with independents that split down the middle. He needed a plurality among this group. The enthusiasm showed by supporters could not be translated in places where he needed to win in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The African-American vote went 95 percent his way but this was not enough. He needed another coalition. The obvious coalition was white women. They have been called “soccer moms and security moms.” It was interesting the older you were the less like you were to vote for Obama.
Here’s the good news, despite losing he has won. He will return to Senate as the go to guy for any piece of legislation. He will still be the largest fundraiser for the democrat party. This is his second political loss but don’t count him out.
Unable to change the subject from the economy Senator John McCain loses to Senator Barack Obama. “I’ve called Senator Obama and congratulated him on his win. I want to thank him for running a campaign which focused on issues rather than personality. By the way how about Sarah Palin. (crowd roars). I’ve been fighting for this country since I was 17 and don’t expect to stop now. Let’s join together and put our political fighting behind us. God Bless all of you and God Bless America.”
This is a telling moment in history. The country has looked beyond its dark past of slavery and entered into the 21st Century with its First Black President.
Inside the GOP the blame game begins. Some will point to McCain’s insistence not go negative early. Others will suggest the selection of Palin was a blunder, but the harshest criticism will be leveled at the campaign staff especially Charles Black.
Pundits will suggest the Republicans were doomed from the start by President George Bush. His unpopularity combined with political scandals, an economic collapse, and the war in Iraq was the undoing for all Republicans.
The big question now, “What does it mean to be a Republican?” Will the social conservatives have sway or will the fiscal conservatives have sway? Who is the new leader of the party and can they find a way to broaden their base. Too much has been left up to independent voters who’ve called this election.
The good news for the GOP is the Democrats are in charge and they will likely “screw it up” before the mid-term election. Spending cuts should their mantra. Behind the scenes several Republicans are gleeful the Democrats will be facing the financial debacle.
I really don’t know if either of these outcomes will come true. People on both sides of this contest are committed. The lost will be personal. Will you be able to survive? Of course you will. Remind yourself you still have family, work, and a mission to survive. The stakes are high. No doubt about it. Watch as I will not just for the winner, but also how the loser spins the outcome.
Labels: Obama Loses Election