The dirty little secret from the last campaign is that two big themes of the Obama marketing scenario were debunked. The Obama campaign were quick to say that the youth vote would overwhelm the electorate and put Obama in office and that the Obama campaign was funded by legions of small donors. Both failed to materialize, certainly in record-breaking numbers, according to the final numbers.
According to Campaign Finance Institute (CFI), 26% of donors to Obama gave $200 or less. In comparison, President Bush in 2004 received 25% of this level of donations for his campaign. The truth is, the Obama campaign was funded by the much maligned fat cats. Obama set an all time high of money spent to attain the office of the President by first going back on his agreement to accept public financing and then to line his coffers by donations from the rich folks.
So, while Obama did receive small donations, he didn't set any records in that department. CFI concludes that 47% of the total of the funds raised by Obama came from large donors. By contrast, McCain received 60%, George Bush received 60% in 2004, and John Kerry received 56% in 2004 from large donors. Obama got 80% more money from large donors than those who gave less than $200. A large donation is defined at $1,000 and up.
On the youth vote - a Fox News/Opinion Data exit poll shows that voters under 30 years of age comprised 11% of the total turnout. That is the same level as in 2004. Edison Media Research/Mitofsky International shows a higher percentage of young voters (young is defined as 18-29 years old) at 18% as compared to 17% in 2004. Neither study found any real increase.
This explains much about the choices we see being announced for the new Obama administration. Remember that more than 46% of the voting public did not vote for Mr. Obama. You can believe he does not forget that fact. This is why the 'change' promised by Mr. Obama now looks like a team of entrenched insiders from Washington and Clinton people. Even Hillary Clinton, touted as the big name rival on the team, is in sync with the Obama vision of the world while maintaining some hawkish tendencies.
We are far from Abraham Lincoln territory. And, you may remember, Lincoln was a Republican.
Barack Obama has no intention of upsetting anyone with controversial nominations. This is a finely groomed politician from the south side of Chicago. The far left must be quite perplexed by the decisions made public thus far. Obama was proud to tout his anti-war agenda concerning the war in Iraq. After the election, he nominates a pro-war Secretary of State. He maintains the current Secretary of Defense and brings in a Marine who supported John McCain as his national security adviser. None of these decisions alarm Republicans.
In order to be re-elected in 2012, Obama has to be able to say he trusted Republican advisers on foreign policy and then go with the liberal agenda on social issues. You'll remember it was the label of socialist that applied to Obama's cultural and social agenda judgements. His economic team announced last week sheds light on that fact. Larry Sommers, for instance, still touts tax hikes in a recession despite acknowledging that historically that is the sure track to worse economic times. What?
Barack Obama is not a stupid man. He is a survivor. By placing Hillary Clinton in a high profile position he eliminates her potential nuisance factor in the U.S. Senate. She'll also be eliminated from a run against him in 2012. She won't be trying to grandstand a new Obama administration with legislation written to show any contrast in policy ideas between herself and him. And, Bill Clinton will do all he can to help Hillary keep her job as Secretary of State.
Barack Obama, in fact, is a politician. Just another politician. Take away the glossy marketing campaign, the silly campaign propaganda of fake presidential seals and haloed photos to imply a human of superior being, the nonsensical chanting by herd mentality induced crowds of voters so unaware that even the name of the Speaker of the House is illusive, and what is left? Barack Obama. From the south side of Chicago.
I hate to say I told you so, but I did.
I think Hillary Clinton is laughing all the way to her own special jet. She looked a bit tired and resigned yesterday at the announcement press conference - complete with the phony "office of the president-elect" seal on the podium, Obama style - but she'll be back to being a big time player instead of shuffling back to the Senate and being the junior Senator from New York having to fight for the microphone with Chuck Schumer. It's a plum gig.
And an added bonus to the American public is that in order for Hillary to serve, Bill Clinton has to disclose all the donors to his presidential library, since its inception in 1997. This means that while I type this, the Obama team is going through all the records and will now be fully aware of who gave what and any deals that were made for a donation. If the candidate of change is to fulfill his campaign pledge of full transparency in his administration, he will be obliged to make public these records. And, if this pledge is carried out, his nominee's husband will be outed for any compromising conflicts. So much for the line in the Obama stump speech that it is time to move away from the Clinton era.
Hillary Clinton calls all that job security.