Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One Week to Go

It has been a long campaign. I have heard several times in the last day that it's hard to believe that we're only a week away. As the campaign grinds to its conclusion, I find myself pondering just how much Barack Obama has changed the political landscape.
I first had a sense that Obama could be a contender when
he drew a crowd of 15,000 on a rainy Texas day back in February of last year. When he followed that by raising $25 million in the first quarter of 2007, I and others began to think he might be a contender. Of course, that number seems modest in comparison to the $150 million he raised last month.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden have managed to confront the ugliness of the McCain/Palin campaign in two significant ways. They haven't allowed any nonsense to go unchallenged. Biden's brilliant response to idiotic questions of this local TV reporter should be studied by aspiring political operatives everywhere.
But even more importantly, Obama has sought to elevate the tone of the campaign, even when supporters wanted him to get tougher. We all remember
his soaring rhetoric at the Democratic convention in 2004:
Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us -- the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of "anything goes." Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America -- there’s the United States of America.
He kept it up when he accepted the Democratic nomination in Denver:
The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America.
Do you remember the first debate? Critics pointed out that Obama said several times that he agrees with John McCain. Do you think that was by accident? I don't. I think Obama was showing himself to be a safe choice for president. If he's so radical, how can he agree with McCain on so many issues?
I would look for Obama to return to the theme of unity when he makes his closing argument to voters tomorrow night.
I expect the polls to tighten a bit in the coming week, as some undecideds reluctantly opt for McCain. I expect McCain and Palin to talk more about taxes and spreading the wealth, when their warring factions aren't arguing over who lost the election. I expect the turnout next week to far exceed the 122 million voters who came out in 2004. And I expect that Barack Obama will win on November 4.
But first, we have work to do. If you want to help out in Delaware or Pennsylvania, call the Delaware for Obama office at (302) 428-1615.

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