Thursday, January 3, 2008

That Obama Guy ...

... Man, can he give a victory speech, or what?

Just a note on the visuals of some of the candidate's speeches.

The crowd behind Hillary was clearly putting on their best happy faces despite the dour results. When the camera panned back there was a line of old people on the platform standing pensively with the hands folded meekly in front of them. It was a valiant effort, but it was very clearly a phony display of enthusiasm. And the these people were all pros, I might add. I saw Wes Clark, Madeline Albright, Tom Vilsack, and Bill Himself. None were too happy to be there at that moment.

The speech wasn't all that great either. Bob Woodward pointed out on CNN that Hillary tried to play it off like she won -- and didn't do a very good job at doing that either -- and that viewers will pick up on that. The content of the talk was also pretty weak, sounding much like the recitation of a laundry list of issues.

Huckabee's speech was much better and certainly lifted by the genuine enthusiasm in the room, but, seriously, did Chuck Norris really have to stand right behind him? I understand that Chuck actually is a potent campaign tool (to a certain degree), but at some point in time Huckabee's going to start having to act Presidential and Chuck Norris isn't exactly what I would refer to as Presidential.

On the other hand, everything Obama did tonight was very Presidential. The speech was delivered perfectly. The visual was great -- just Obama alone in front of a backdrop of enthusiastic supporters, no one looking over his shoulder (or even worse, off into the distance disinterestedly), all eyes were on him ... and he delivered an arsenal of sound bites that are going to be replayed over and over and over again for the next five days on the cable stations.

The cable stations are talking about the huge turnout (the kiss of death for the GOP in Iowa this fall) and the huge independent push for Obama. That will carry over in New Hampshire where there's an open primary. That means Clinton has just a few days to get really nasty, which won't help her. If she loses NH, it's lights out.

Man, I just don't think anyone has really appreciated what kind of night this was for Obama. All the key demographics went his way -- women, youth vote, independents, etc. He's going to get some solid earned media from the victory speech that going to be contrasted with some not-so-good film from Hillary. Then there's the money that going to start pouring in tonight ...

And perhaps most strangely, the vaunted Clinton machine just didn't perform. Hillary was supposed to have assembled one of the most formidable campaign teams in the history of modern American politics -- and they still lost by 9 points. That means there were significant problems with the messaging and the get-out-the-vote effort. That tells me that the only arrow left in their quiver is to give Obama the Business -- to dig deep into that oppo research file and get real nasty real quickly.

But tonight Obama showed him to be above almost anything that Hillary (or anyone else) could possibly throw at him and if he keeps that up he will not only be the Democratic nominee, but also the next President of the United States.

No comments: