This story was written by David Thigpen, Daily Mississippian
On Tuesday, Barack Obama secured enough of the elected delegates and superdelegates to wrap up the Democratic nomination. It is a historic moment not only because he is the first-ever black presidential nominee, but also because he comes into the general election with a fundraising machine unlike anything that has ever been seen.
Obama has been running a campaign in the Democratic primary in which he and Hillary Clinton received a record number of votes. That primary also kept Obama and Clinton in the news for several months, while John McCain was wandering through the wilderness giving sparsely attended appearances in random spots throughout the country.
As a consequence of that protracted primary battle, Obama has a better organization on the ground in all 50 states than his Republican counterpart. If the presidential election came down to caucuses, then McCain might as well gracefully bow out of the contest. Luckily for him, it doesn't come down to caucuses; it comes down to three debates and a bunch of glad-handing leading up to the November election.
The only downside for McCain is that Obama is a better communicator than McCain. If any Republican watched McCain's speech on Tuesday, they were probably wondering how their party always ends up with candidates who can't give a speech. It's like they lined them up and chose the one they felt sorry for.
Obama, on the other hand, came out and gave his usual good performance. He gives a better speech than anyone else running in the general election and is probably going to thrash McCain in the debates. The only hope McCain has of winning the debates is if the media sets expectations for him so low that McCain can't help but meet their expectations, but that is unlikely.
More than likely, Obama is going to come out there and use his speaking ability to woo the crowd over to his side. I still remember watching a woman standing behind Obama break down and cry during one of his speeches earlier in the campaign. There is no denying Obama's ability to sway a crowd.
In addition to Obama's communication skills, he must be made of Teflon because every single time a major issue has come up with his religious leaders, campaign fundraisers or associates that would have buried mere mortals, those issues have been unable to stick to him. I'm sure that on Saturday, when Clinton pulls out of the presidential race, her husband is going to ask Obama where he can get some of that magical stuff that Obama has used to evade attack, because the Clintons have been more like superglue to Obama's Teflon.
Whether it was snipers in Bosnia or some stupid comment by Bill Clinton, the Clintons couldn't catch a break. Every time Hillary tried to go on the attack against Obama during one of the debates, Obama just seemed to sidestep the issue through some fancy verbal footwork and make her look silly for ever bringing up the issue. It was amazing.
To put it simply, this campaign is Obama's to lose. All of the chips are stacked in his favor. If this wave of good luck continues, he could be the first-ever presidential candidate to win on a platform of raising taxes and pulling out of a war.
If you are among the retired people who have already made their money, then this isn't that big a deal to you because you can just sit back and put your investments in municipal bonds to avoid the hike in capital gains taxes. For the rest of us looking to slowly become wealthy in the future by investing in the stock market, however, Obama is the worst thing that could happen.
Here's to hoping that history repeats itself and we don't elect someone who pledges to raise taxes and pull out of a war.
Let's hope McCain wins. It isn't loking too promising right now.