The Plank

Democrats Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory?

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In my post yesterday, I made the point that just as it's perfectly obvious to most Democrats (but not all Republicans) that John McCain would be the strongest GOP nominee, it's obvious to most Republicans (but not all Democrats) that Barack Obama would be the most dangerous Democrat. Well, National Review's Byron York has been reporting in South Carolina, and makes the same point, from the right:

I went to Barack Obama’s rally here, on Sunday night, with a Republican friend who had never seen the Illinois senator in action before. Watching the crowd of more than 3,000 fill up the convention center, watching the people send up waves of energy to Obama, and watching him play off that energy in a speech that was one of the best political performances anyone has seen this year, my Republican friend said, simply, “Oh, st.” He recalled the scene from Jaws, in which the small seaside town’s sheriff realizes how big the shark he’s tracking truly is, and says, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” What my friend didn’t have to say was that he was deeply worried that Republicans just don’t have a bigger boat. ...

Watching Obama perform at the convention center Sunday night, it’s easy to understand why Bill Clinton is walking around with a look of red-faced frustration these days. Obama represents a mortal threat to his wife’s candidacy, and, given the identity politics that prevail in the Democratic Party, it will be hard to cut his legs out from under him without appearing racist. But there’s no doubt that some Republicans are hoping the Clintons will succeed. Running against the man on stage at the convention center would be a hard, hard campaign, requiring a very big boat.

--Jonathan Chait

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