17 April 2008

Why He Can Win

UPDATE: Responding to comments about last night's debate, and a question about how he'll respond to the Republican smear machine in the general election, Obama offered this:

“That was the rollout of the Republican campaign against me in November. It happened just a little bit early, but that is what they will do,” Mr. Obama said. “They will try to focus on all these issues that don’t have anything to do with how you are paying your bills at the end of the month. There’s no doubt that I will have to respond sharply and crisply, then pivot to talk about what exactly are we going to do for the economy and what are we going to do about the war in Iraq.”

Until the nominating fight ends, Mr. Obama said, he is “trying to show some restraint.” He added, “I won’t have as much restraint with the Republicans."

This is part of Obama's effectiveness. He doesn't have to say "Clinton went over the top." All he has to do is suggest that he's holding back a little, demonstrating the new politics he says he can bring to Washington, and, all the while, doing his share not to shred the Democratic party in the process.

All that aside, it's not enough to say you're taking the high road and leave it at that. You've got to project that you're taking the high road, and Obama does. If he looked worn and wearied last night, he sure looked a whole lot more rejuvenated today. That, I think, stands to carry the message far.

If electability is indeed the issue, then I think Obama made the right answers today. This is why he can win.