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If we are really honest with ourselves we know that issues are not really the most important things that people vote on.  Yes, we will give lip service to the "issues" and how important they are for us, but the very fact that the country voted for Bush over Kerry turns back this notion quite soundly.   To be honestly, it should have never even been that close to steal as with Gore if it was all about the issues.

No, most people who vote, vote on the power of the person they are voting on.  Whether they trust them.  Whether they think the person can protect them.  Whether or not they are totally going to screw them over or only partially.  How much money they are making while this person is running.  And most importantly that person's personal narrative and the archtype it represent.

Which is why I believe if Barack Obama makes it to the GE, he will have one of the most powerful presidental narratives that have been seen in years, if not decades.

Back in 2007, Paul Waldman wrote an article in The American Prospect on campaign narratives. It was a very good article but the part that stuck out to me was this:

Successful presidential candidate stories have three parts. Part one of the story describes the state of the country and its government, clearly defining what is wrong. Part two describes the place the candidate wants to take us, the better day being promised. Part three explains why the candidate is the one and only person who can deliver us from where we are to that better day.

All sucessful president's have a sucessful narrative and play into certain archtypes of what a leader should be.   The more a candidate fits into a leadership narrative, the better they do.  They more they hone a great story, the more they win.

Bill Clinton was the Horatio Alger story come to life in his campaign.  Reagan was the Grandfather from the past reminding us of how the country was great once and could be great again.  FDR was the Great Man who would lead the way to a new season.  JFK was the King of Camelot, someone who renewed the electorate to dream again in the face of a new world.

Which brings me to Barack Obama and his narrative. For many years, Democratic contenders have tried to get that Excalibur from the rock of JFK's Presidential Camelot.   Many have wanted to wield the sword that JFK had that made him seem somewhat invinsible. Bill Clinton showed that picture of him shaking JFK's hand in his youth all throughout his candidancy to just touch Camelot. The only person close to getting the Excalibur out of the stone was Bobby and he died before he could wield it.  It was the Holy Grail of Demcratic hopefuls, to hold that power in the imagination of the nation.  To be heir to the legacy in much the same way Republicans fall on their swords to be Reagan.  

Barack Obama's story literally begins with the Kennedy's.Jonathan Alter story about why Caroline Kennedy endorsed Obama has her many reasons, but the one that is less well known is the story of how her father helped bring Barack Obama Sr. to America.

One intriguing element of Obama's family history that resonated with Caroline was a long-buried story that was brought to her attention last summer. It drove home for her how history replays itself, how two generations of two families—separated by distance, culture and wealth—can intersect in strange and wonderful ways, and how people have no idea that their good deeds may come back to them someday....

Their son, born the following year, arrived in the United States Senate in early 2005 and found that the antique desk he had been assigned on the Senate floor had once belonged to JFK, whose initials were carved inside. Obama learned only recently how his father's dream of studying in the United States had been fulfilled. A "young senator from Massachusetts" made an effort, Obama told the crowd at American University. "And because he did, I stand before you today."

Now really, that's straight out of Hollywood.  Barack Obama literally would not be here if it wasn't for JFK and him standing up for something he believed in and the American dream.  And it makes Kennedy endorsement all the more touching and special and at the same time plays into the narrative of being heir of Camelot.  There was a reason why that moment overshadowed the State of the Union, why the press was so choked up over it.  Obama had pulled Excalibur from the rock after many men and women with more exprience had tried and failed.  

Obama's archtype is the Prince of Camelot and in Part 2 I'll explain why that is the winning formula for November.

Originally posted to Niwind on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:34 PM PST.

Poll

Does Barack have the perfect narrative?

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16%20 votes

| 120 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think that ultimately, (5+ / 0-)

    most "average" (i.e., not political gereks like we are) people vote for the candidate they like the most.

    People will like Obama more than they like McCain.

    Game over.

    I don't mind straight people as long as they act gay in public.

    by internationaljock on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:37:10 PM PST

  •  I was convinced until Tuesday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ivey476

    But I'm now concerned that the American people is not seeing Barack Obama, inspirational change leader, but too many are buying the media spin that Obama is a Muslim.

    If Obama doesn't want to see his candidacy end, Obama needs to talk about being a Christian, and needs to repeat it over and over again.  He needs to repeatedly identify himself as a good Christian man, not only will this help counter the smears about him being Muslim, it may also sway some moderate evangelicals to him in the bargain.  
    Obama has talked in the past about the Dems appealing to religious people, now is his chance.

    "The era of Scooter Libby justice, Brownie incompetence and Karl Rove politics will finally be over this year" Reject Marc Rich justice and Mark Penn politics.

    by IhateBush on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:53:04 PM PST

    •  I disagree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yomberto, Ericwmr, Philoguy, Ivey476

      with the concern.  I don't see the issue with legs as it's kind of a leap to link the two, and if it would, I'm glad it happened now instead of november.

      •  Rasmussen's data (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        revgerry, UU VIEW

        had his strong disapproval numbers go from 28% to 36% from yesterday to today.  

        Guess why it jumped by 8% in one day?

        http://www.rasmussenreports.com/...

        "The era of Scooter Libby justice, Brownie incompetence and Karl Rove politics will finally be over this year" Reject Marc Rich justice and Mark Penn politics.

        by IhateBush on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:58:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a temporary backlash (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yomberto

          It'll go on for a while, as he's being beaten on from lots of sides. But it's normal, and when we settle into GE mode, it'll be on Obama to frame the debate with McCain in a way that's more advantageous to him (Obama). He will.

          •  The question is whether this (0+ / 0-)

            will give Clinton the bump on 3/4 to win Texas.  If it doesn't, then you're probably right.

            "The era of Scooter Libby justice, Brownie incompetence and Karl Rove politics will finally be over this year" Reject Marc Rich justice and Mark Penn politics.

            by IhateBush on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:05:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think it will (0+ / 0-)

              at least not as much as the Clinton teams hope it will.  

              Obama is very likable.  Very likable.  Bill Clinton likable in as so much that people like him despite of themselves.   I wouldn't be surprised if as soon as he locks down the nomination he starts talking about how much his Christianity is a part of his character he'll be okay.  

              Obama's team has a good learn curve, the adapt quickly to the situation at hand and go on.  I think they'll get it out their how much of a Christian Obama is.

            •  With early voting (0+ / 0-)

              and caucusing at night, I'll be very surprised if Obama doesn't win Texas. His ground organization there seems to be incredible and the Clintons didn't even know Texas' rules until recently. I don't know that anything could happen this weekend to change all of this. Especially with the February fundraising numbers, anything that gets said about Obama will look like a desperate, pathetic grasp to many undecideds.

        •  I would wait for a trend before I (0+ / 0-)

          saw this as anything more than a typical news cycle bump.

    •  Watch Obama turn it around (0+ / 0-)

      and connect faith with his progressive vision for America. I'm Catholic but there's nothing Christian about the conservative right's "movement." He'll call them on it, as you say, he's proven his willingness to go there in the past.

    •  He has... (0+ / 0-)

      If Obama doesn't want to see his candidacy end, Obama needs to talk about being a Christian, and needs to repeat it over and over again.  He needs to repeatedly identify himself as a good Christian man, not only will this help counter the smears about him being Muslim, it may also sway some moderate evangelicals to him in the bargain.  
      Obama has talked in the past about the Dems appealing to religious people, now is his chance.

      From Salon:

      Oct. 26, 2007 | Sen. Barack Obama's decision to tour South Carolina with gospel entertainer Donnie McClurkin, a self-proclaimed "former homosexual" who believes it is his mission to turn gays straight, suggests that Obama can't live without the support of the homophobic contingent of the black community and the black church in particular. But African-American politicians have already proved that black support is not contingent on homophobia. Few people remember that in 2004, the only presidential candidate besides Dennis Kucinich to support gay marriage was the Rev. Al Sharpton -- both a mainstream black leader and a minister. Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Obama have all spoken out in favor of gay rights and against black homophobia. So does including McClurkin on his "Embrace the Change" tour signal a retreat on Obama's part? Can tacking on an appearance by the openly gay Rev. Andy Sidden make up for McClurkin? (And wouldn't you love to be backstage on this tour?)

      Senator Obama throws GLBT people under the bus.

      Your candidate sucks and if they win, I'm going to vote for that Nader guy. So there!!!

      by usedmeat on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:28:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He is already too liberal there (0+ / 0-)

        The truth may be hard to accept, but this is a very conservative country.  The letter that he wrote to GLBT group today might be enough to cost him the election, if the Muslim smear wasn't already there.

        Obama is the most progressive candidate we have had since McGovern.  There is decent chance he may lose in a landslide due to this.  If he wins, this country is likely to make a huge left turn in the next 10-20 years, similar to the New Deal years or the 1960s and 1970s, and much more than anyone on this blog expects.

        "The era of Scooter Libby justice, Brownie incompetence and Karl Rove politics will finally be over this year" Reject Marc Rich justice and Mark Penn politics.

        by IhateBush on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:35:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Obama is smart enough kill this bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

          Any claim that Obama is Muslim is utter right-wing bullshit.

          Obama has already shown that he can nuke bullshit attacks with a smile.

          If mcbush dares to try that, Obama will make mcbush look like an utter moron.

          Obama simply needs to point out that the repugs are not only unfairly painting him with a religion that he has no part of, he can add that whatever piece of shit repug that he is running against knows for a fact that the claim that Obama is muslim is utter bullshit.

          mcbush was near last in his military college class. (Just like all of his ancestors).

          Obama was near the top in a far more rigerous school.

          Anyone who thinks that mcbush can challenge Obama in any venue, and win, well, welcome to the world of senile dementia where mcbush lives.

          I watched a repug right wing moron on a TV show claim that Obama is a USA traitor because Obama didn't wear a USA flag pin.

          The host of the show pointed out the fact that the right wing moron was NOT wearing a USA flag pin...

          The repugs will roll out such moronic bullshit, and Obama will force even the moronic bushlovers to question what limpbaugh force fed them.

          The repugs can't win this one.

          Game, set, match.

           

         

  •  It's not Obama's narrative that's important... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predictor, joustchr

    it's the medias narrative that counts.

    Spears/Hilton '08

    by cosbo on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:03:36 PM PST

  •  He dosen't need a soring (0+ / 0-)

    narrative, when he got this:

    After several weeks of swooning, news reports are finally being filed about the gap between Senator Barack Obama's promises of a pure, soul-cleansing "new" politics and the calculated, deeply dishonest conduct of his actually-existing campaign. But it remains to be seen whether the latest ploy by the Obama camp--over allegations about the circulation of a photograph of Obama in ceremonial Somali dress--will be exposed by the press as the manipulative illusion that it is.

    From the New Republic and even if it isn't entirely true it is disturbing.

    Your candidate sucks and if they win, I'm going to vote for that Nader guy. So there!!!

    by usedmeat on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:16:37 PM PST

    •  So Drudge got the picture from the Clinton camp.. (0+ / 0-)

      Obama's camp got upset.  And it's Obama's fault?  This from the land of "Jesse Jackson won it too," "Bill Clinton's dated more black women," "He went to a secular Madrassa, Barack Hussein Obama, and that's great!!!" "He was doing something on the corner...that I don't want to talk about."

      With all the dirty shit the Clintons VERIFIABLY pulled and you're upset that he may have gone manipulative by pretending to be a Clinton staffer (supposedly by putting on a "Hi, I'm a Clinton Staffer" shirt) and then condemning himself?

      It's not even close to true and it requires a huge suspension of disbelief.  Or stupidity.

  •  For all the cool-aide drinkers... (0+ / 0-)

    out there...take a look at this poll....McCain is leading on 4 of 5 key issues against Obama...

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/...

    I am all for whoever wins just want to have some reality here

    Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

    by dvogel001 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:28:35 PM PST

    •  I guess I'm not in reality? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sick of it all

      I think this is going to be a tough fight and in my next post I am going to explain why I think his narrative helps him out in a big way and why it is important to have one in order to sell yourself to the American people.

      I understand all of this, but I guess since I want to look at it from  different perspective I drink Kool-Aid and kiss my Obama poster at night dreaming of unicorns and rainbows and knowing that nothing will ever go wrong.

      I'm reality based and I know how the game works.  Presidental narrative is a big part of that game which is why you see John McCain wearing his Maverick gear or see Clinton talk about how she's the Fighter and Republican Killer.  Most losing candidates have something in common, they don't have a convincing narrative that has Americans voting for them, especially low information voters.  It's a political reality.

      •  So why... (0+ / 0-)

        with all of the 100's of speeches and press coverage of his narrative does the perception of the American people that John McCain is so much better on the issues?

        Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

        by dvogel001 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:11:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  obama has been behind (0+ / 0-)

      in virtually every state against hillary
      but when he actually gets to campaign, those numbers change dramatically

      i expect the same in November
      i expect a landslide

  •  Obama's "narrative" is not nice. Nor democratic. (0+ / 0-)

    We've all heard the stories about how many African Americans are under huge pressure to support Barack Obama. My former mayor, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Kansas City had this to say about the heat:

    "African-American superdelegates are being targeted, harassed and threatened," said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), a superdelegate who has supported Clinton since August. Cleaver said black superdelegates are receiving "nasty letters, phone calls, threats they'll get an opponent, being called an Uncle Tom.  "This is the politics of the 1950s," he complained. "A lot of members are experiencing a lot of ugly stuff. They're not going to talk about it, but it's happening."

    Leading the charge is Jesse Jackson Jr., who famously threatened Cleaver that there would be consequences for black superdelegates who continued to support Clinton.

    In an interview, Cleaver offered a glimpse of private conversations.
    He said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois had recently asked him "if it comes down to the last day and you're the only superdelegate? ... Do you want to go down in history as the one to prevent a black from winning the White House?

    "I told him I'd think about it," Cleaver concluded.

    •  Let's call it what it is. (0+ / 0-)

      African-American superdelegates are being told that if they don't vote for Barack Obama they will have another candidate run against them.  Anyone who considers representative democracy a "threat" loses any sympathy.

    •  it's about being accountable (0+ / 0-)

      to your constituents. I find this fascinating. no other community would accept their elected representatives supporting someone that an overwhelming majority of their constituents voted against.

    •  It's accountability (0+ / 0-)

      It's called being held accountable. The Congressional Black Caucus are some of the LEAST accountable politicians in America.Incumbency works well in America in general - it works SUPER WELL for Black politicians.

      It's mostly the Black Community's fault - I admit that. But, sometimes, issues become very clear, and you can latch onto one issue, and 10 others can be under it.

      Supporting Clinton AFTER she's race-baited Obama is one of those crystal clear issues that has no wiggle room.

  •  I believe his narrative is what America needs (0+ / 0-)

    not being hokey.

  •  Honey, he's half as white as I am (0+ / 0-)

    So what on earth is your point?

    Narrative, schmarative, he doesn't need a story to be half white. He's already there.

    He's half white, but he's a mix of about 5 cultures. Cauc American, Hawaiian, Indonesian, bit of Kenyan, black American.

    See?

    Be good to each other. It matters.

    by AllisonInSeattle on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:08:41 PM PST

    •  It's not about his race..... (0+ / 0-)

      it is the narrative of his story and how that plays to the electorate.  Every campaign has a narrative story as a part of their strategy.  McCain is the Maverick.  Hillary is the Tough Pro.  I am laying out that I think his narrative is much powerful than either of theirs in this cycle because of where the voters and the nation is.

      Voters have always liked a good story and the candidates who tell it the best are the ones who win.  It's not that he's black, white, or blue, although that's a part of it.   It's the fact that his unprobable story, where the situation of his birth was the direct influence of one of the greatest presidents in the nations history is nothing to laugh at.  It's the reason for the Caroline ad where he was superimposed over JFK and Caroline telling people how much like her father he is.  It is totally political in terms of what JFK was, what he meant to this country, and what it means in this election where people are looking for a new hope.  

      That's my point.

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