What took them so long to figure this out?

The New York Times is leading its site with a poll that reports that Barack Obama "is now viewed by most Democrats as the candidate best able to beat Senator John McCain in the general election."

This is news? Maybe so. Maybe Democrats didn’t understand until now that Obama was their strongest candidate, the one most able to win in the fall.

I guess this shouldn’t be surprising. There are still plenty of Republicans who haven’t figured out that John McCain always was the strongest candidate they could put up, even though polls have told them that time and again.

To me, as a swing voter, these things are so obvious — especially the McCain part, which I’ve had trouble understanding why everyone didn’t see it in 2000. Obama’s strength took a little longer to be so self-evident, but it’s been beyond a doubt for several weeks now at least. I like McCain. I like Obama. There are millions like me, and we’re the ones who decide elections.

When are the partisans going to understand that? Or is it that they understand, and refuse to accept — to their own great disadvantage. This is the way it’s been for a long time.

Until this year. This year, there will be a choice between two candidates who can appeal to independents — which is two more than we’ve had in a long time.

19 thoughts on “What took them so long to figure this out?

  1. Gordon Hirsch

    The Times was just waiting to see what effect their knife in McCain would have before checking the polls again.

  2. Karen McLeod

    Is that why Hillary is trying so hard to demote Obama to the roll of chastened child or scullery maid? Yeah, I know that the picture taken of him is in traditional Somali clothing; but look at it. On first glance he appears to be dressed in a large apron with wide, crossed ties. He’s looking down, not meeting the eyes of those around him. He has a white turban on his head. This gives me a flash of a woman slave from “Gone With the Wind.” In addition her “Shame on you!” sounds mama to child, and her sarcasm about his uplifting speeches demeans us all. Hillary is acting like she’s gone out of the way to embody the political behavior that everyone is so tired of. And who is the NYT fronting for in its attack on John McCain? Unless they can provide more proof, this is just another round of baseless attack. From who? Where?

  3. bud

    Brad, you’re no swing voter. You’ve endorsed the GOP candidate for president 7 straight times and will do so again. And spare me the lecture on how you’ve endorsed as many dems and reps over the years. SC politicians are all very conservative and SC dems don’t bare any resemblance to national dems. Your vote will go to the candidate who wants to spend the most money. And given McCain’s blood lust for war that choice is a no-brainer. Obama’s domestic spending priorities just can’t compete with the killing machine.

  4. TC

    Disagree on Obama once it is a two person/two party race. Too many lifelong Dems are looking at McCain because Obama’s programs are too costly, too big government, and he is “yes” divisive too. How any republican could even think of voting for Obama is baffling. It would not be a decision based on the issues. Obama is left of Hillary and that is hard to do. I have never voted Republican but did vote Anderson (3rd Party) in my first election. I will vote McCain in this election. My wife has never voted Republican. Four people I work with have never voted Republican. They are all planning to vote McCain. All of these folks site fiscal responsibility, government interference and the practicality of Obama extricating us from Iraq in an appropriate manner as the reason. For me it is McCain’s demonstrated actions to work accross the aisle verse a promise to. I remember Jimmy Carter. Come November, many others will as well.

  5. dave faust

    I think it is true that the decision about who will be the next president will indeed be left to people like you Brad, but I surely don’t see that as a good thing.
    There is a hysteria sweeping the land. On the left it takes on maniacal overtones as mindless millions swoon and faint as BHO spouts meaningless platitudes and empty rhetoric about undefined “change.” On the right (the left-most fringe of the right) it is more subtle and refined, but it is hysteria nonetheless. People in this group are all about “change” too: Adherence and faith in the things that made this country great like strict constitutionalism and constructionist judges are forsaken in favor of “anyone will do as long as I approve of his character.”
    Partisans on the left I cannot speak for…they seem to have gotten their wish in Hussein Obama.
    As for partisans on the right, we are increasingly held up to scorn and ridicule as Brads’ “metrosexual middle” joins and rallys in the McCain cult. It is OK though. The principles I have always believed in are good ones, and therefore oughtn’t be deserted because the the wind blows the other way for awhile. You’re looking good on the way up Brad. I’ll be here waiting to catch you on the way down. David

  6. bud

    Fiscal responsibility TC? The GOP is about as fiscally irresponsible as they come and John McCain is the most fiscally irresponsible of them all. How do you think the occupation of Iraq is paid for? From a special money tree that can only be used to pay for military stuff. With nearly a trillion dollars in actual and projected spending on Iraq alone and McCain’s lust to continue spending on that fiasco I would submit that McCain is the gold standard for fiscal irresponsibility.
    Compare his plans with what actually transpired during the Clinton years and the contrast is startling. Surpluses during the Clinton years compared to endless red ink if McCain’s spending priorities are followed. These claims of the GOP being better stewards of our economy are laughable.

  7. Lee Muller

    As bad as the GOP is on spending, they had to fight the Democrats to prevent the deficits from being $250 BILLION LARGER.
    The feds had enough extra revenue from high economic growth to have keep spending at 2001 levels and paid off $1.0 TRILLION of the national debt. Instead, they added more than that in new debt.
    As bad as Hillary is, Obama would be the most divisive president since Lincoln, because he is so openly rejects Americanism for submission to internationalism. A lot of patriotic Americans will not go along with it.

  8. weldon VII

    Gee, Brad. You like McCain. You like Obama.
    There’s a Wal Mart, a Grand Canyon and about 150 degrees between their positions on the issues.
    When is a supposed non-partisan like you going to understand that if you like one of the two, you CAN’T like the other, unless you’re just caught up in whatever cults of personality they have going?
    It’s like saying you like communism and representative democracy,

  9. Lee Muller

    The commonality of Obama and McCain is the Cult of Personality, ambition, and lack of concrete vision for AMERICA.

  10. weldon VII

    Ready2Hurl, I gotta hand it to you, your anti-McCain blather lives up to everything I know about you.
    That is, it puts me in the shape your pseudonym suggests.

  11. weldon VII

    Sure, Brad, but that’s not an apt analogy to the Obama-McCain dichotomy.
    And surely you wouldn’t actually argue that McCain and Obama are politically similar?
    I liked it when the churches practiced communitarianism within the framework of a representative democracy.
    But when the government got into that business, it took the moral fiber out of it and priced it beyond the sky.

  12. bud

    McCain certainly does have a spell on Brad. And all of the media for that matter. If you would lay out the known corruption of the 3 candidates left standing without reference to names McCain’s corruption resume would quickly set him apart.
    Senator Clinton has so thoroughly been examined, and nothing of substance proven, she should get far more character points than she does. But noooo. She somehow gets branded as too devisive. But that’s only because the press continues to say she’s too devisive.
    So far Obama has escaped the wrath of the MSM. I’m sure the smear machine from hell, otherwise known as the GOP, will quickly bring out the big guns. As soon as they do he too will become “devisive”. They just haven’t quite figured out what strategy to use to smear him. But they are certainly clever enough to find a way. They are really good at the smear game.
    And McCain will continue to get a pass, no matter how many lobbyists he has on his staff, how many adulterous affairs he has or how much he compromises his core principals McCain will continue to be viewed as a “straight-talking maverick”. In fact he’s nothing but a doddering old fool who lusts after the presidency and will say anything to get it.

  13. Brad Warthen

    bud says, “Brad, you’re no swing voter. You’ve endorsed the GOP candidate for president 7 straight times and will do so again.”
    Of course, bud doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I’m 54 years old. I’ve voted in nine presidential elections. I voted for the Democrat six times, and the Republican three. Of course, now I’m going to have the Repubs on my case, calling me a Democrat. But the fact is that most of these cases were pretty close calls, and could have gone either way. You know, swing voters don’t automatically come out 50-50. I could have voted for all Democrats, or all Republicans, for president and still be a swing voter. It depends on what I consider in the privacy of the voting booth — a subject about which bud cannot know anything other than what I tell him.
    For instance, as I wrote once in a column, my first experience as a voter was a tough one. I went into the booth undecided (not an uncommon experience for me), and made my decision there between two unpalatable choices. I ended up voting for McGovern, but ONLY because I knew he would lose, and this way I could register my disapproval of Nixon. But if McGovern had had a chance of winning, I’d have gone for Nixon. I thought Nixon was dirty on Watergate (remember, this was early in all that), and that it was part of a pattern that really turned me off. But the campaign McGovern had run convinced me he would be an incompetent president. Nixon at least knew where all the buttons and dials were.
    That election provides a good example of why I’m so happy to see McCain and Obama emerging. I’ve never gotten to pick between two candidates I liked before. Assuming it happens, I’m really looking forward to it.
    But the bottom line here is that bud is violating one of the rules of the blog. He’s telling me who I am and what I believe, as opposed to what I say I believe. He has no right to do that here, and I’m leaving his comment up just to make this point. Only I know what I’ve been through election year after election year. He has no way of knowing.
    Folks, we’re going to deal with each other honestly and fairly here. If you can’t play that way, go away. Argue all you want with what people say, but don’t claim special knowledge of their minds that contradicts what they say.

  14. weldon VII

    Here’s a shock for you, Brad, and you, too, Bud.
    I voted for McGovern.
    And I also consider myself a swing voter. I’m not a Republican, though I have voted Republican since Carter.
    Yes, I once voted for Jimmy Carter.
    But, Bud, I can tell you this about your continued insistence on Hillary’s innocence. Never mind the papers on Vince Foster’s desk and the Rose law firm or even the picture of Obama wearing a turban or the scurrilous plagiarism charge against him. She married Bill Clinton, who elevated obfuscation to a high art, so she’s guilty as charged.

  15. bill

    Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day;teach that person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks.

  16. weldon VII

    To me, R2H, it’s just the Clintons playing dirty, trying to touch base with the lowest common denominator. It says nothing about Obama, or almost nothing.
    There. I’ve bared my soul. What does the picture mean to you?

  17. Lee Muller

    Dozens of Bill and Hillary’s staffers and business associates were indicted and convicted of stealing millions of dollars, so you can hardly call the allegations “baseless”. Juries didn’t think so.
    The fact that you ask for a list tells us that you are either unaware of the Clinton scandals, or don’t care and just trying to bluff your way out of a corner.

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