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Election 2008—the “Big Mo”

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In the world of sports, momentum is a well understood concept. If you expect to win, you have to have momentum going in, and you have to sustain it throughout the game. Of course, the other team or players sometimes are successful in changing the momentum but not often. Simply put, momentum is the will to win and overcome your opponent no matter how tough the game becomes. In spite of a knee injury, Tiger Woods found a way to win the US Open. And in spite of Kobe Bryant’s best effort to rally the Lakers, Boston won the NBA championship.

This election year sports Barack Obama against John McCain in the national championship for President of the United States. And in spite of McCain’s best effort so far, Obama clearly has the momentum. He has had the momentum since first winning the Iowa primary, and in spite of a couple of good runaway second and fourth quarters when Hillary won California, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania, Obama maintained the momentum by winning virtually all of the smaller states. Hillary played it to the final second, but had to graciously concede defeat. If Obama sustains the momentum throughout the election campaign, John McCain is going to end up seeing his best days behind him.

From day one, Obama has remained steadfast in his message: “I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington . . . I’m asking you to believe in yours.”

That he is also running openly as a populist and a socialist would seem counterintuitive to becoming a serious candidate, but considering how much hardship has been created for everyday working folk by capitalistic greed, McCain’s message of “pro-growth; pro-democracy” seems to be falling on deaf ears.

Recently Obama announced he would forgo public funding of his campaign and instead would rely on the individual donations of his supporters. McCain called foul, and said Obama has gone back on his word when he promised he would take federal funding for his campaign if his opponent did the same: “This is a big deal, a big deal,” McCain said. “He has completely reversed himself and gone back, not on his word to me, but the commitment he made to the American people.”

To McCain it is an issue of character, but to Obama it is a slam dunk of playing hard against his opponent and moving on. It would do McCain good to stop squabbling and get back to the game by giving up public funding as well.

Regardless, public funding or otherwise, McCain is going to have to play his best game by convincing the American people that he is every bit as sincere as to why he thinks he should be the next President of the United States, and I believe he is.

However, with recent failures in mortgages, rampant increases in energy, food and other goods, and stagnant wages, the Republicans are fast becoming a party that is about to be completely ostracized come November 2nd. When you consider the average American who hasn’t had any significant pay increase in the last two years, you can only imagine the emotions that begin percolating when their paycheck hardly covers basic expenses. People are mad, and when people are mad, they get on that roller coaster of emotion and take a ride with whoever is promising a better deal. That is why Obama has the momentum, and John McCain doesn’t. People want change, not political principles or ideology. However, the change people might end up getting might be considerably less in their pocket then they may realize.

Carter was elected because Gerald Ford was perceived as a continued extension of Nixon’s presidency. During Carter’s presidency, we had run-away inflation, and a president who could not be decisive on anything. The Democrats are taking advantage of the perception that McCain’s presidency would be a George Bush third term—different face, yes, but business as usual.

Of course the Republicans will have only themselves to blame should McCain lose the election. George Bush has been largely ineffectual in his leadership during his second term, and perhaps has been too focused on Iraq and Afghanistan, and not enough on domestic issues here at home. His economic stimulus plan, though well-intentioned, was too little, too late. And if the housing crisis continues to worsen, and gas prices continue to spiral upward, George Bush is going to cast a huge shadow over McCain’s campaign that will make it near impossible for him to step out from under.

Regardless, Obama is not going to fold or collapse mid-way. Whatever statements made about him as inexperienced or incapable of leading this country are contrary to the image of a man who is poised and confident in his message and is skillful in his tactics. He’s on the move, and he’s going to be hard to stop—not because he is convinced he will win; but because he has envisioned himself as already won.

During the election of 1980, Bush declared he had the “Big Mo,” but Reagan, who had to tough it out a couple of times had the real momentum from the beginning and was able to sustain it throughout his campaign. He won the GOP nomination and the presidency. If Obama continues to move forward as he has been, then he will be the next President of the United States.

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About S L Cunningham

S L Cunningham is a freelance writer and has poems and feature articles published in several small press magazines and newspapers. His column, "Unburned Pieces of the Mind" has been featured in the Village Soup Citizen. A former resident of Belfast, Maine, he now lives in Houston.
  • jacksmith

    I hope that all of us that can will do our best to help Hillary Clinton pay off ALL of her campaign debt quickly. She deserves that. You all knew Hillary, and Bill would go out on a limb for us if they felt they had too. That’s what they do. :-) As I said before Hillary Clinton was STUNNING!!!

    You witnessed the greatest political campaign struggle in American history. One for the textbooks, and the history books. Hillary Clinton fought her heart out against all odds to win for all of the American people. While at the same time doing her best to prepare Sen. Barack Obama to win in November if he was the nominee. STUNNING!!! WELL DONE HILLARY CLINTON. WELL DONE! Your AMAZING! :-)

    Sen. Obama could not have had a better opponent than Hillary Clinton. Nor could he have had a better opponent to prepare him for the battle royal to come against John McCain and the Republicans ahead of the November elections. Hillary Clinton was like a big Mama cat determined to teach her kitten how to hunt, and hang with the big dogs for the fights ahead. The Clinton’s have won the Whitehouse twice before. They know what it will take.

    Hillary Clinton took Sen. Obama to every brawl, and cat fight she could find for him to develop his fight, and his chops. She even let her men (President Clinton, Governor Rendell, and many others) loose on Sen. Obama a little bit. So as to give Sen. Obama a taste of just how rough, and tough the big boys will be to do battle with. :-)

    From sea to shining sea and US territories Hillary Clinton took Sen. Obama to see all of America. To meet, and greet all it’s people. And to ask for their votes and support, which he will need if he becomes President. She took him to see what he will be fighting for. And to see what she and President Clinton have fought so heroically for over so many years. Sen. Obama could not have ask for any better. Nor had any better teachers.

    Bill Clinton, Chelsea, Mrs. Rodham, and the whole Clinton team were magnificent. They really showed their metal. BRAVO! TEAM CLINTON… BRAVO!

    And YOU! my fellow Americans. I’m so proud of you. And proud to be one of you. You showed what you are made of. And what makes America so great. You never gave up on your Champion Hillary Clinton. Time, and time again you eagerly waited your turn to vote for Hillary Clinton. To raise her up and pass her along down the line to the rest of your waiting fellow Americans.

    You never gave up on her. Just as Hillary Clinton never gave up on you. No matter how many times they counted her out. No matter how many times her detractors, and attackers brutally knocked her down. You knew she would get back up and get after it. And when she did you were ready to support her. This is your role model America. AMERICA LOVES A FIGHTER. AMERICA UNDERSTANDS A FIGHTER. AMERICA IS A FIGHTER. I’M PROUD OF YOU AMERICA!

    Sen. Clinton looked a little tired her first day back at work in the senate after her history making heroic campaign. She has good reason to be tired. Doesn’t she America. But with time and good attention to the basics she, and you will recover. The basics are good well balanced nutrition, hydration, rest, exercise, recreation, POSITIVE! emotional support, and time (the greatest healer of all).

    Y’all be good to President Clinton. I never saw a man fight so hard for a woman, and the American people as President Clinton fought for Hillary Clinton, and you. It’s going to take Bill a while. No one except Hillary Clinton could have fought any harder than President Clinton did for you.

    I imagine President Clinton still remembers how the American people wailed, reached, and cried out for him as he took that last flight home as your President on Air Force One after the 2000 elections. Yes, many of us knew back then what was coming for the American people under a republican administration. Back to living like dumb animals again. Fighting over territory, and scraps of meat. You are dieing like fly’s now. Republicans too. But it’s ok because some people are making a lot of money off of your needless deaths. :-(

    As always, Hillary Clinton, and President Clinton did their best for all of us. It was an EPIC!

    YOU MADE US VERY PROUD HILLARY CLINTON! HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH :-)

    WE LOVE YOU. AND ADMIRE YOU…

    jacksmith… Working Class :-)

  • http://www.slcunningham.com Scot

    Certainly was one for the textbooks. . . Thanks for the commentary.

  • BA

    That was a good campaign, I hope Obama keeps the momentum going.
    My only issue with the left now, is all too often being considered racist just because I’m white, from people who I don’t even know.
    But there’s no way on earth I’d vote for McCain, anyway. Even in the last few campaigns when he sort of tried to swing left, I knew what we’d be getting. And I don’t think he would’ve won the republican nomination had he kept trying to do that. So, like all all the good little republicans he decided he’d play by their rules and actually try to get the nomination.
    Moderates in the republican party may try to seek the nomination but they fail because that’s not part of the genuine republicans’ agenda.
    Sorry for pointing out the obvious, I’m just hoping any undecideds might see this and think twice before submitting to keep being the working poor. And all the other hazards that come from the right wing.

  • Baronius

    Seriously, Jack? Seriously?

  • http://www.libertyrepublican.com Dave Nalle

    I think that first comment must have been some sort of parodic performance art.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    I want some of what Jack is smoking…

  • Lee Richards

    #1: “Hillary Clinton was like a big Mama cat…”

    I won’t say ‘who oughta be fixed’ because that would be cruel. But Jack does give us some insight into those who obliviously rave over their partisan favorites.”

    ***

    I do know Dorothy Rodham and she’s a champ–funny and gracious. And Chelsea can’t be blamed for her parents.

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