PALMETTO STATE ROLLS OUT RED CARPET FOR OBAMA’S FIRST VISIT
And while we’re not quite sure it was as big a deal as La Socialista made it out to be, we did get a sense something major was brewing when people started calling us last week looking for tickets.
But therein lies the difference between Obama and the vast majority of his competition – he’s a phenomenon and they aren’t. Imagine for a second Duncan Hunter or Tom Tancredo turning people away from a packed ballroom (let alone a room the size of a shoebox) – hard to do, isn’t it?
Of course, Obama’s standing room only crowds, telegenic looks, teleprompted rhetoric (i.e. “the audacity of hope”) and rock star media fawning will amount to little more than a pile of recycled newspapers months from now unless the Illinois Senator can demonstrate there’s some substance behind his soundbytes, something that won’t be easy considering he’s by far and away the most inexperienced of the top tier candidates.
Right now, what’s fueling Obamamania is the very thing that could undo it – the question of whether or not America is ready for a black president.
What if the answer is ‘No?’
Sure, Obama’s saying all the right things in responding to that question (portraying his candidacy as a natural progression of the civil rights movement), and let’s be honest – he’s not the one driving that debate, that would be the media.
And putting questions of race aside, as Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas and Wesley Clark will tell you, it’s a long way from Flavor-of-the-Month to the Democratic Presidential nomination, let alone 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Judging from his press clips, there’s no doubt Obama is the Flavor-of-the-Month right now. But it’s how he steps up when Hillary Clinton’s campaign suffers from the inevitable “Frontrunner Fatigue” that will define him – here in South Carolina and across the country.