You’ll remember that last week, Oprah hedged her bet on Obama in an interview with ABC News : “Well obviously, Obama’s great because I’m believing that the person that I’m speaking up for is gonna take it all the way,” Winfrey said. “And then if that doesn’t happen, I might readjust my thinking.”
Looks like this is the real Oprah effect: Public commitment to Obama colored by persistent, lingering doubts about his ability to win–even as his poll numbers rise. David Postman at the Seattle Times reports on his blog that Obama supporters in the Pacific Northwest share Oprah’s ambivalence:
Barack Obama played to a sold-out crowd last night in SoDo. His stump speech may have been familiar to those following the presidential race. I’m sure that hardly mattered to the smitten. But I was struck by this passage in Ralph Thomas’ story on the event in this morning’s paper.
Farther back in line, Monique Duluoz, of Kent, was wearing an “Obama Mama” T-shirt and a pin that read, “Mommy make the scary Republican go away.”
Duluoz said she would be happy with Obama or Clinton as president.
“I think she’s going to take it,” Duluoz said of Clinton. “But I’m hoping she’ll ask him to be her VP [vice president]. I think together they could really rock it.”
What does it mean to Obama’s campaign that a woman willing to stand in line and deck herself out in Obama-wear has already given up on the candidate’s chances to win the top slot? Obama is surging in the polls, particularly those that match him up against potential general election Republican opponents. But yet even Obama’s fans remain unconvinced that he can beat Clinton. And it’s not just Duluoz. I heard the same thing from others when Obama was here in June. And I hear it from friends and others who say they like Obama best but figure someone else, usually Clinton, will win the nomination.
Maybe the Hillary campaign should spend less time freaking out and more time exploiting this weakness.
Or she could just keep freaking out and melting down.
It’s certainly much more entertaining.