It has been a remarkable last 72 hours for the Obama campaign. According to several polls, Obama has pulled ahead of Hillary Clinton in Texas and is in a statistical tie with her in Ohio. Obama is also closing in on Hillary in Pennsylvania, with a Rasmussen poll showing Obama only four points back of Clinton with the Pennsylvania primary over a month away. At the same time, Obama has endured serious attacks from Hillary on various topics, McCain on Iraq, Huckabee on Obama's policy and spending initiatives, and, most laughably, from Bush on foreign policy and meeting with leaders of nations with whom the US has difficult relations.
After each attack, Obama’s momentum and popularity has continued to increase and the popularity of his attacker has decreased. The attack by John McCain, where McCain suggested that Al Qaeda was in Iraq was masterfully countered by Obama who said that the reason that Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups were in Iraq was because of the unnecessary Iraq war engineered by Bush and his GOP congressional cheerleaders like McCain.
Similarly, Hillary Clinton’s commercial about the three am phone call swung hard at the idea that she has more experience than Obama to deal with an impending crisis. Obama and his campaign expertly counterpunched with a commercial highlighting the fact that judgment is important in dealing with these crises and his judgment that the Iraq war was wrong from the beginning was correct and Hillary’s judgment in voting Yes on the Iraq War Resolution was wrong and that is a much more telling indicator of who should pick up that three am call in the White House.
Huckabee attacked Obama for his policy and spending initiatives, an attack that fell flat without Obama having to say much of anything. Apparently, people get that we may actually have to spend money to do something to lift this country out of the hard economic times in which we now find ourselves. We also may have to spend money directly to alleviate the suffering of those most brutally affected by these economic conditions. Why is Huckabee still in this race again?
The most amusing attack was Bush’s attack on Obama for Obama daring to suggest he would meet with the leaders of the countries with which the US has its most difficult relations. The obvious retort is, Bush is happily to engage in a knee-jerk war with a country on evidence that turns out to be false, but attacks someone else for wanting to try and talk with other leaders. In Bush’s alternate reality, just talking with someone is worse than lying a country into an unnecessary $600+ Billion dollar war that bankrupts our economy, kills hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and kills thousands of US Soldiers and maims and psychologically scars tens of thousands more of our brave young service people. To Bush, that is good, but talking, that’s bad.These latest attacks coming in rapid succession and Obama’s mastery at dealing with them has put to rest the last remaining knock on him from Hillary’s supporters. That knock and suggestion is that Obama would not be able to stand up to the kinds of attacks he will get from the GOP machine once he is the nominee. Obama has now stood up to nearly simultaneous major attacks from the four other most prominent politicians in the country, the President of the United States (even if he is George W. Bush), McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, the GOP nomination also ran, Mike Huckabee, and his main rival for the Democratic nomination whose last name happens to be Clinton. I think if Obama can absorb shots from the likes of those people and not only continue on without missing a beat, but then counter the shots so effectively that he brings to mind Ali’s famous Rope-A-Dope against George Foreman, he is ready for the GOP machine in the general election.