Thursday, February 07, 2008

Dear Sen. Obama: Knock It Off!

(This diary started off as a comment on this DailyKos diary about how Obama's campaign was unnecessarily pissing off Hillary supporters. Specifically in reference to his comment that Hillary supporters would easily switch to him but his supporters might not easily switch to her. It gelled in my mind some strong feelings I've been having about the Obama campaign in recent days.)

Dear Sen. Obama,

I really like what you have to say. I want to want to vote for you. I want others to want to vote for you. I want you to win. I want you to bring about the kind of change you are talking about.

But...

You are in real danger of sabotaging your own momentum if you encourage the idea that somehow people who support Obama do so simply because they are better people than those who don't support you.

I like you. There are many reasons I would vote for you. I even voted for you in the MoveOn primary. But there's a general tone in your movement that bugs the shit out of me. It's the tone that says, "If you aren't already swept up by Obama fever than there must be something wrong with you."

I have a real concern that you are undermining your own candidacy by relying to much on the "get on board the wave" approach. The emotional appeal can go a long way towards creating a movement, and lord knows that few Democratic leaders have been very good at the inspiration stuff of late, but if your entire argument becomes "vote for me because everyone else is doing it" than you are going to create a backlash.

This diarist brings up a similar point, but is talking specifically about the impact this approach has on Hillary voters. But I'm here to warn you that it will also hurt you among the undecided. And here's the thing: I don't want it to hurt you. I want you to succeed. We need you to succeed.

But you won't do it if the primary message of your campaign is "your dumb if you don't vote for me".

Please take this as the heartfelt plea it is meant to be.

Yours Truly,

Chris Andersen, Democrat

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