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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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December 11, 2007 9:32 AM

Obama here tonight

Posted by David Postman

Barack Obama makes a quick Seattle stop tonight. He will appear at a SODO nightclub for an event aimed at young voters. He did a similar event last night in Los Angeles. The Illinois Democrat shows up at an interesting point in his campaign. From Eli Sanders at The Stranger:

Obama is morphing from alleged wimp to all-around all-star, and beating Hillary Clinton in at least one recent Iowa poll. Again, the politics of peaking too early, and the length of the nominating process, are probably at play here — at least in part. Obama was a muted presence for much of the year, but conspicuously turned it on just as Democrats and political writers were tiring of the Clinton coronation narrative.

There's a new CNN poll that will add to a growing theme and means "Edwards and Barack Obama will make the argument, again, that they are more electable than Clinton."

The Clinton campaign has been responding by digging for dirt on Obama (when they should be investing in spell-check) and spreading some muck, too.

Locally, the Clinton campaign tried to grab a little attention from Obama's visit with the announcement Monday of its state steering committee. One of the members, political consultant Christian Sinderman, e-mailed this morning to say that Obama has been

dissing Microsoft on the East Coast while now he returns to Seattle to continue raising money from MSFT employees.

That is based on this, from Obama's appearance before the Boston Globe editorial board.

Obama also dismissed doubts that he lacks experience as a chief executive, saying launching his candidacy was akin to launching a $100 million start-up against the "Microsoft of Democratic politics" — the Clinton campaign — and raising more money than his main rival and creating a better on-the-ground organization.

I liked the Apple/IBM comparison better, but someone lost their job over that one.

Obama, of course, arrives here after a surge of publicity from appearances with Oprah Winfrey. All I can add to everything that's been written about this is "Oprah, Uma. Uma, Oprah." Thurman (at least in 2004) is a Clinton fan, giving $2,000 to the New York senator.

MORE: Sanders was in Iowa and just posted a story about Obama and Oprah. And I'd say he's spot-on about this:

It wouldn't normally be considered smart politics to fly a sophisticated black woman in from Chicago to tell the residents of Des Moines that they need to use their minds -- that they "better think," as the Aretha Franklin song that Oprah entered the hall to put it, rather bluntly. Most political rallies offer paeans to the innate wisdom of the American people, not challenges to them to get serious. But Oprah can go there. She's made herself into a transcendent figure in American culture and it gives her a certain license to push people.

The local Edwards campaign has also weighed in on Obama's visit. Attorney Jenny Durkan, just back from helping Edwards in Iowa, had a message for Obama:

As Edwards Washington State Chair, I honestly can say: Welcome to Seattle, and I hope you stay a long time. Every day he is not in Iowa, is good news for the Edwards campaign -- which is good news for America. Having just been there doorbelling and calling in a number of towns, I think it is a real gamble to think a one-time celebrity bash with Oprah is a substitute for meeting with people, answering their questions, and giving substantive answers on the issues. None of the undecided caucus goers I met seemed star struck by anyone.


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