Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Obama and Che

The rational mind can dismiss the flap over pictures taken inside an Obama campaign office showing a Che/Cuba flag hanging behind a desk. It was a bad choice by one person in a vast campaign.

But, surely, Obama doesn’t need to publicly weigh in on the decorating choices of every low level staffer? Let alone “renounce” affinities which he’s never shown?

Yes, afraid he does. If voters behaved in entirely rational and used nothing but logic in weighing candidates, we'd never have ... well, look at that wall chart of U.S. presidents through history.

This is a test for Obama. A small one, an early one, but it's a "Swift Boat Moment."

A certain number of people whose votes he'll need in November (if not in March) are going to be viscerally put off by that image. Especially for a candidacy like his, which relies so much on the instinctive feeling people have for him, rather than their thought processes, that picture is going to be a big block of ice in the room.

Plus it's a chance for us to see how well he can put out a fire. You want to know if a man can stamp out a trashcan blaze in his own office before you hire him as Fire Chief.

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