The losses last night sting. Once again I'm reminded of one of the reasons I don't like living in Ohio. Hillary's fear and prejudice campaign worked here. Amazingly, Obama did very well in my part of the state (the most conservative). It's ironic that some call Obama's supporters naive. Yes, he pulls in the young vote. But, he also pulls in the votes of those who have taken the time to study his record, his policies and to research the rumors. He hasn't been endorsed by several major newspapers based on naive hope. It's those who take the time to study both candidates rather than listening to whispers who are moving toward Obama.
Obama stayed on message in Ohio and lost. His ads (which were driving me nuts because there were so many) stayed positive. He was gaining ground until Hillary went negative. Everyone said it was a sign of desperation and it was. But, stupid us. We fell for it again! We saw it coming. But, we couldn't resist. Once again, we see that negative campaigning works. One of the things I like about Barack is he runs a campaign the way I think I would run a campaign. I've been called naive. I'm proud to remain naive. I'm still hopeful it'll actually work. But, it's much more difficult to win votes in this country based on hope and vision than based on fear. Just look back at the last several presidential elections. Who wins? The guy telling us he can keep us safe from the bad guys. Or the guy telling us his opponent will lead us down the road to ruin. Even in Obama's "concession" speech last night he remained positive. He has resisted the temptation to bring up a host of skeletons that are already out of the Clinton's closet. He has so much material to use against her. But, he has not. So far. Will he?
This campaign is more than just about Obama and Clinton, it's a study in how Americans respond to campaign strategies. As Barack said last night, the world is watching. I am almost as disappointed about the fact that once again we (Ohioans) went for the fear and negative campaigns as I am that the battle for the Democratic nominee has to continue and will further weaken and divide this party. Will we fall for the same old stuff again? People promising us more of the same and calling it "change"? People who prey on our fears and just promise to keep us afe rather than people who want to improve things? I'm somewhat naive. But, I'm also somewhat of a realist. What I fear is Americans doing the same thing this time around and expecting a different result. The very definition of insanity.
I think Pennsylvania will be tough. From my understanding, it's a lot like Ohio. Obama's campaign needs to figure out how we can get the average Joe Lunchbox to stop believing the whisper campaigns against Barack. Surprising numbers of people still question his religion, his commitment to America versus Africa and his patriotism (because it's been reported he won't say the Pledge of Allegiance). He may have to spend time on that on his next series of ads rather than what he can do for the country. Deep sigh...
Still fired up and ready to go. But, a little weary of seeing the same old patterns repeat themselves. I hope the American people are truly ready for a change and not just saying it (again).