March 30, 2008

The Speech[Pt. 3]: Obama's oratory appears to have paid off big-time, according to the polls:
More than eight-in-ten supporters of Obama (84%) who have heard about the controversy over Wright's sermons say he has done an excellent or good job of dealing with the situation. Reactions from Clinton supporters, and Republicans, are on balance negative; however, 43% of Clinton voters and a third of Republican voters who have heard about the affair express positive opinions about Obama's handling of the situation.

The survey finds that, in general, Obama has a highly favorable image among Democratic voters, including white Democrats. But while Obama's personal image is more favorable than Clinton's, certain social beliefs and attitudes among older, white, working-class Democratic voters are associated with his lower levels of support among this group.

In particular, white Democrats who hold unfavorable views of Obama are much more likely than those who have favorable opinions of him to say that equal rights for minorities have been pushed too far; they also are more likely to disapprove of interracial dating, and are more concerned about the threat that immigrants may pose to American values. In addition, nearly a quarter of white Democrats (23%) who hold a negative view of Obama believe he is a Muslim.
The same poll, done by the Pew Foundation, shows him increasing his lead over Hillary Clinton and maintaining a steady margin over John McCain. The road to the White House is still bumpy for the Senator, as the last paragraph shows, and as I discovered when I appeared at a 341A Meeting of Creditors in a bankruptcy I was handling on Friday.

While my client and I were waiting to be called in by the Chapter 13 Trustee, I overheard another attorney tell his African-American client that he couldn't vote for Obama, since he had heard from an unimpeachable source that one of his "best friends" was a former member of the Weather Underground who continued to support terrorism. The person he was no doubt referring to, William Ayres, is a "best friend" of the Senator's in the same sense that someone whom you met once more than ten years ago, or who once contributed the grand total of $200 to a past campaign, is your "best friend." Whispering campaigns concerning Obama's religious and political leanings are going to play an increasing role the closer we get to November, so it's incumbent on the presumptive nominee to be as aggressive in batting back each attack as he was on the issue of Rev. Wright.

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