Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Obama Demonstrates Major Weakness

Hillary Clinton won big in West Virginia, bigger than many pundits expected. When I saw the numbers on TV this morning I thought I was suffering from sleep in my eyes. Hillary Clinton won 67 percent and Barack Obama has a mere 26 percent. I knew she was suppose to win big, but I was shocked. John Edwards, who has been out of the race since February, had 7 percent. Clinton's margin of victory over Obama was greater than Obama's numbers over a candidate who is no longer running. If that doesn't make him and his supporters nervous, nothing will.

Clinton won by margins of 2 to 1 and a full 75 percent in the exit polling wanted to see this race continue. The Senator from New York has given every assurance that she plans on accommodating her new favorite state. The message to Kentucky (one of two states, with Oregon coming up in a couple of weeks), a state very similar to West Virginia politically is "jump in, the water is still great" for those entertaining supporting Clinton.

West Virginia is a heavily Caucasian state. People in that ethnic group expressed serious concerns about whether Obama is trustworthy and electable. Is this parochial racism common only in this geographical area or is this an indication of serious weaknesses that needs to be over come? Obama's supporters have argued that Democrats can't win without enthusiastic black support. They are to the Democrats what the "Religious Right" is to Republicans, it is argued.

However, using the same analogy, is Barack Obama the Democratic equivalent of religious leader Pat Robertson? Robertson was a well educated (Yale Law School), son of a US Senator, and successful business leader in his own right. He too appeared to be the ideal candidate for many Republicans on paper when he ran in 1988 and was certainly able to move crowds. In the end his strengths ended up being his weakness. It has come later for Obama, but could Obama be unraveling?

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Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.


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