Barack Gets AdviceAiriheadda Huffington
As part of this process, I looked at the Obama campaign not through the prism of my own progressive views and beliefs but through the prism of a cold-eyed campaign strategist who has no principles except winning. From that point of view, and taking nothing else into consideration, I can unequivocally say: the Obama campaign is making a very serious mistake. Tacking to the center is a losing strategy. And don't let the latest head-to-head poll numbers lull you the way they lulled Hillary Clinton in December.
Isn't that amazing? Arianna looked at Obama's campaign with cold eyes, and saw the same thing that she would see with the warm eyes of a progressive. What an amazing coincidence!
Of course, inevitably Arianna is going to be disappointed. Obama's already begun flip-flopping on some of the issues he ran on during the primary, like NAFTA:
In an interview with Nina Easton in Fortune Magazine, Obama was asked about having called NAFTA "a big mistake" and "devastating." Obama's reply: "Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified."
Overheated? So when he was campaigning in the Midwest, many parts of which have been, yes, devastated by economic changes since the passage of NAFTA, and he pledged to make use of a six-month opt-out clause in the trade agreement, that was "overheated?" Or was that one "amplified?"
The key is that we have to make sure that the people don't buy Obama's run to the center as a legitimate expression of his real thoughts.