Barack Obama is now an unstoppable train barreling his way to the Democratic nomination and on to the White House in 2009. I came to this realization the night of the Wisconsin primary. I was watching the election returns when the channel that I was viewing cut to Hillary Clinton giving a stump speech in Youngstown Ohio to a crowd of about 300 or 400 people. In the middle of her speech Barack Obama started speaking in Houston Texas. Clinton was promptly interrupted in favor of Obama. As I watched him speak I began to notice the venue that he was in. It was a basketball arena and it was packed to the rafters. I knew that night Clinton was in big trouble (and John McCain for that matter).
You see, Obama is no longer a politician seeking the presidency, he has become a celebrity. He has transcended the political arena and entered straight into the pop culture arena. In our celebrity obsessed country that is huge. When is the last time you have seen a politician fill the size venue’s that Obama can fill night after night? I don’t believe it has ever happened in this country. When was the last time you saw women weeping and fainting at campaign rallies? It boggles the mind. He is no longer a candidate, he is now a phenomenon.
The Clinton machine is clearly stunned by it. Hillary is openly shocked by the treatment that she is receiving from the news media, which is still mild compared to what Republicans have to deal with time and time again. Unfortunately for her, this is the end of an era for the Democrats as the Party finally rejects Bill Clinton and lurches even further toward the left to their perceived savior.
I cannot understate the fact that the GOP is in deep, deep trouble here. Once McCain and Obama appear together in a televised debate it will be Kennedy/Nixon all over again. To make matters worse, if Obama is elected President he will have a Democratic controlled Congress to do his bidding. With the numerous Republican retirements and Congressional members not seeking re-election Democrats will certainly be able to shore up their majorities in the House and Senate this election cycle. He will, in essence, have a blank check. No Democrat will dare stand up against him and his enormous popularity. That is scary.
Is Obama unstoppable? Maybe. The biggest mistake that the Republicans can make is to let Obama mythos continue to grow unchecked. He must be de-mystified ASAP. The GOP needs to immediately gather focus groups of Obama worshipers and find out what their perception of him is all about. Throw reality out of the window and find out what they think of him. How does he make them feel? Why is he so cool? How will he change the country? This is paramount because for most people perception is reality. If you can start to break down people’s perceptions of Barack Obama then you may have a shot at beating him in the general election. However, this will not be easy by any stretch of the imagination. The media is carrying his water big time and they will not stand by idly while he is attacked. When you can’t use Obama’s own middle name without taking serious heat in the press then you know it will be an extreme uphill battle.
Chad Miles was the 2006 Republican candidate in Michigan’s 14th Congressional District and is a veteran of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.