August 11, 2008

Quote of the Day

Nate Silver, on the contradictions of the anti-Obama attacks:

How can someone being portrayed as "the biggest celebrity in the world" also be painted as radical and out of the mainstream? Either Obama is like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton: a fluffy, substanceless, mass-consumed but empty celebrity-for-celebrityís sake, or he is an unfamiliar and dangerous other with a hidden anti-American agenda.

Itís hard to reconcile the two. By trumpeting Obama's popularity, McCain is calling him Ė by definition Ė a safe, easily digestible consumer product, broadly acceptable in the mainstream. Thus, McCain boxes himself into a corner when he wants to make the argument not to elect Obama because heís so far outside the mainstream.

The problem with trying to thread the needle and have it both ways by making both messages stick simultaneously is that if Obama is a dangerous other with a secret America-hating agenda, itís hard to call him vapid. You canít be sharp enough to be cunning sleeper and also be an empty airhead.

Easy. If he can be both a Christian black separatist and a Muslim, Obama can easily become both a big celebrity and a dangerous far-left radical.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 11, 2008 04:52 PM
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