Anatomy of a Loss
The Audacity of Defeat
What if the impossible happens and Obama loses the election? Among Democrats, expect a rash of rage, depression, angst and finger-pointing at the media.
It’s three a.m. on Oct. 31 and a frantic broker awakens you. He’s advising making substantial investments that day in the stocks of Lilly, Pfizer and other manufacturers of anti-depressants, as well as high-end booze, say Grey Goose vodka and Hillary Clinton’s whiskey of choice, Chivas Regal. The calculations buzzing through your head are not insignificant. Barack Obama holds a two-point lead over John McCain in the Gallup poll for the Nov. 4 presidential election, and that slender margin suggests—given the undeniable factor of racism when Americans retreat to the privacy of the ballot booth—that for the third straight time a Democratic candidate will be defeated. Your own preference in the contest is irrelevant: there’s money lying on the table and only a fool would ignore the market’s indications.
A month ago, as any honest Democrat will tell you, this scenario was nearly inconceivable. The Republicans had nominated an elderly and inarticulate candidate in McCain, who was marred not only by his association with George Bush, but distrusted by the critical conservative base as well. He was expected to choose an equally dull running mate—maybe Gov. Tim Pawlenty (who?), the robotic Mitt Romney, or even Sen. Joe Lieberman, the onetime Democrat who’s distrusted by both parties—and though Obama had tapped longtime Sen. Joe Biden, whose bouts with sometimes indelicate verbosity were well-known, that was of little concern. Obama’s campaign was a fund-raising juggernaut and the candidate promised to campaign in nearly every state, especially “red” ones, not only demonstrate to he’d be a president of “all the people” but also help Congressional Democrats expand their majorities. It was payback time for the “stolen” elections of 2000 and 2004 and the revenge promised to be rich indeed.
I was reasonably certain that Obama would win convincingly, and perhaps by a landslide. In fact, although favoring McCain, I’d resigned myself to at least four years of the charismatic Illinois one-term senator, despite the nervousness that he’d turn out to be a less pious Jimmy Carter or, a latter-day Adlai Stevenson. What the hell, it’s not as if the Republicans have distinguished themselves in the past four years, McCain included. Besides, one benefit of a turnover at the White House would be the resumption of political conversation with Democratic friends; too many personal and professional relationships have been fractured in the past eight years. Read the rest HERE.
When Obama wakes up on 11/5/08 and realizes he blew it he will have no one to blame but himself. It was his to lose. Had he picked Hillary he would have been unstoppable, but pride got in the way, he bought into his own messianic hype.