Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jesse Jackson, Photoshop Missiles, and the 24/7 News Cycle

A lot can happen in 24 hours...

A day ago, Barack Obama was still taking heavy fire for--depending on who you ask--"flip-flopping," "lurching, or "zig-zagging" toward the center of the electorate.

Thankfully for the Obama camp, Iran test-fired missiles, at least one of them possibly digital, and then Jesse Jackson got caught on a hot mic.

For a few hours at least, the heat is off Obama, or at least the heat from the mainstream news. Perhaps he can use this opportunity to say something to reinvigorate his base.

While we wait for that to happen, allow me toaddress the top two counterarguments that I've been hearing about the recent criticism of Barack Obama.

1.) Barack Obama needs to move to the center to get elected.

Actually, no, he doesn't. John McCain is the weakest Republican candidate for president in a generation. The Republican party is arguably at its weakest point in two generations. This is an unprecedented opportunity for a Democrat to obtain the White House behind a genuine, progressive Democratic policy.

2.) Barack Obama has never been that far left. Read his books.

Nobody is claiming that Obama used to be Ralph Nader and now he's John Kerry. Supporters are upset about his centrist leanings on a handful of key issues: Iraq, gun control, capital punishment, and wire tapping. Not to mention his downright conservative leanings on faith-based initiatives.

So while the mainstream press churns forward, lambasting Jesse Jackson and analyzing Iran scenarios, I'll linger on a question from yesterday: What happened to the real Barack Obama, and will he be back in time for the debates?