domingo, 18 de mayo de 2008

Castellanos considera favorito a Obama

New York Magazine entrevista a Alex Castellanos. El reputado consultor republicano otorga a Obama un 60% de opciones de victoria este año, y le recomienda al Gobernador Ted Strickland, de Ohio, como running-mate. Para McCain recomienda al Senador John Thune, de Dakota del Sur. Republican Consultant Alex Castellanos: Obama Has 60 Percent Odds of Winning

(...) J.H.: Let's start with a pair of headlines. First, I wake up this morning to President Bush comparing Barack Obama to Neville Chamberlain because he, Obama, wants to open a dialogue with Iran. Is this the sound of the starting gun firing on the fall campaign?

A.C.: One of the starting guns. I think BHO fired the first gun the day of the West Virginia primary when he accused Republicans of "trickle-down prosperity." Powerful line. But yes, I think Republicans are trying to lay the foundation for the security argument: "Is a guy who just paid off his college loans a couple of years ago really ready to deal with a dangerous planet?"

J.H.: But it's a tougher line than that, right? Not just that he's too green, but that he's an appeaser, even a sympathizer, with the jihadists and the terrorists. Same deal as with McCain's hammering him for his “endorsement” by Hamas. Does this not only foreshadow a substantive thrust for the fall, but also a really harsh tone?

A.C.: I think the point is not that he sympathizes with terrorists. No one would buy that. Rather, that weakness and inexperience and naïveté produce the same results in a dangerous world — old Neville proved that. I don't think America is eager for a campaign with a harsh tone. Democrats and Republicans can see that.

J.H.: We can explore that in a bit more depth in a minute, but first let me turn to the second headline: the Edwards endorsement of Obama. Does it matter? If so, how much and why? And is there any way you could see JE ending up on the ticket with BHO?

A.C.: Edwards on the ticket? Only if the Rezko thing gets complicated and BHO needs a lawyer. Just kidding. Edwards shows up to cheer the team to victory after the game is over. A profile in courage. I would think Edwards compromises BHO's authenticity, makes the ticket look more political, and his angry populism fights BHO's optimism. Wouldn't be my first choice. So I would highly recommend Edwards as VP for BHO.

J.H.: So who would be your choice — if you were a Democrat, that is? (Dare to dream!)

A.C.: Ted Strickland. Ohio. Right state. Says working man. Malleable enough to be shaped by the Obama vision. And passes the first test of a VP choice: does no harm.

J.H.: The obvious follow-up: Why not Hillary?

A.C.: The obvious answer: She is the anti-Obama. She sound-cancels his message, like a set of Bose headphones. He is the new, transpolitical Democratic Party, or trying to be. She is very much the old political Establishment. Plus, the rule is you don't let voters take their old girlfriend with you on your honeymoon. And there is that other thing — he might win this election. Four years can be a long time.

J.H.: Let's stick with Democrats for a minute, and with HRC in particular. Three questions: (1) Do you think she would be a stronger general-election candidate than Obama? (2) Would you be advising her to stay in right now if you were, God forbid, working for her? (3) What was her biggest mistake in this campaign?

A.C.: Whoa. Lots to talk about. Okay … (1) Stronger in a different sense, yes. She's got balls bigger than church bells. Also, beating the Clintons is not something Republicans have been able to brag about. She is more competitive on the electoral map in a traditional, "three yards and a cloud of dust" campaign; she puts Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan in play better than BHO does. However, in the 40,000-feet, high-altitude, soaring, "I have a vision of a better America" campaign, a nontraditional campaign, he is stronger. He's got a passing game. (2) Absolutely. Stay in. Why not wait till June 3 and see what happens? What's she got to lose? There is nothing else she wants. (3) Biggest mistake was [Clinton’s chief strategist] Mark Penn, author of the book Micro-Trends. He is a micro-thinker. In his book, he says there is no single America, just hundreds of little micro-slices. His strategy, if you can call it that, was to win a couple of slices, women and Hispanics — i.e., he had no big-picture strategy or message. Exit polls say Obama voters support him 80 percent because he is one thing: change. Hillary voters support her because she is change, experience, cares about people … all over the map. How you can run for president of a country you don't believe exists? If you look at the forest and only see the trees, you have a strategy problem.

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