Obama & Huck: The Next Generation

Posted: Jan 04, 2008 8:13 AM

Clearly the political establishment was shocked last night on both sides of the aisle.  If I had to sum up what happened last night -- and why a lot of predictions were wrong -- I would do so in 3 words:

... Inspiration beat Organization.

So what do these two, seemingly different winning candidates have in common?

Both Obama and Huckabee are younger than the other candidates, and I think the significance of this has been a bit overlooked.  Just as Barack Obama wants to put aside the issues we've been debating since the 60s, Mike Huckabee represents a newer, hipper, kinder and gentler form of Christian conservative -- one that is just as comfortable at a WHO concert as he is in the pulpit...  

Essentially, both candidates said:  "We can't win by the old rules, so we will just reinvent the rules."  Both represent a paradigm shift. 

Another interesting thing they had in common was the use of celebrity endorsements.  Mike Huckabee got a tremendous amount of juice out of the Chuck Norris endorsement.  And obviously, Obama was endorsed by Oprah.  These celebrity endorsements often don't work, but in this case -- because of the sincerity and reputations of the endorsers -- both of these surrogates were important to the campaigns.