Instrument of Hope, Or Political Hack?

Posted: Mar 07, 2008 1:39 PM

If you haven't seen it yet, this is the new cover of Rolling Stone Magazine.

The cover story is called, "Machinery of Hope" -- which is exactly how Obama wants to portray himself.

By the way, I agree with David Brooks' column today where he argues Barack Obama cannot be "a new kind of candidate" -- and simultaneously attack Hillary. 

He's also correct that the gut instinct of his consultants and advisors will always be to go on the attack.  As they say, if all you have is a hammer, you tend to think every problem is a nail... 

Speaking of nails, Brooks hits the nail on the head when he says: "... a candidate should never betray the core theory of his campaign, or head down a road that leads to that betrayal." 

Of course, Hillary wants Obama to wrestle in the mud, and the famous maxim that the pig actually enjoys it, is essentially true.

But while Brooks is primary argument is correct, he fails to address the point that Obama has lost the momentum, and that he can't regain it by doing the same things he's already been doing.   You can't overcome an opponent who has momentum by "out-nicing" them.  

In fact, the larger point is that Obama has essentially painted himself in a corner. 

He now faces a catch-22:  If he goes negative, he betrays his campaign.  But if he stays positive, Hillary will define him and "steal' the election ...