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It's been a high-profile week for social issues. Current events have brought both gun control and abortion to the forefront of political discourse.
It is these hot-button issues that I anticipate being the greatest obstacle for Obama as he tries to pull registered Republicans into the fold. Many red-state Republicans are one-issue voters and will not be able to look past the fact that the Senator is pro-choice and pro-gun-control.
So the latest favorability numbers are out today, 4/18, from the Gallup Poll.
This is the question that was asked:
"We'd like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these people -- or if you have never heard of them."
I can't say I blame Obama for speaking out against Imus' remarks two weeks ago. On Monday, though, the Senator took it even further, comparing Imus' "verbal violence" to the Virginia Tech murders.
We have a lot of problems, but I'm not sure if you can compare racism, job outsourcing or substandard education to a very sick kid murdering 32 innocent people. We're capable of a lot as a nation, but ensuring the mental health of every last lonely and troubled kid may never be possible.
Obama has done the refreshing thing of sincerely conveying that he would like to be a president for ALL of us. Not just for his special little base, or to "get back at those guys", or any of the other partisan lingo that has depressed so many millions of us, this past decade.
Republican Mayor Mike Bloomberg has a 72% approval rating among New Yorkers.
Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has a 60% approval rating among Californians.
What explains their success? Simple-- they are competent and they realize that some things are just not partisan issues anymore. By "competent" I mean that when they get into office, they start solving the problems that all voters want to have solved-- keep people safe, balance budgets, make government more efficient.
At some point during Easter dinner last night, where about 14 of the 15 adults were Republicans, Obama became the topic of conversation. We probably got there by first discussing Giuliani, McCain and Fred Thompson, and I know we all had our usual gripes about Hillary, but when we hit Obama and his fundraising totals, nobody had any serious criticisms of him, the way we did with some of the other candidates.
I don’t care where you stand on the war or on the Bush administration’s handling of post-9/11 foreign policy, it’s hard to not admit that the Islamic world, especially the Arab and Persian Islamic world, is backward beyond belief, and shows no hope of being able to turn things around.
Time to be critical. Tonight Senator Obama suggested a deadline for withdrawing from Iraq, proposing to have all combat brigades out of the country by March 31, 2008.
For what it’s worth, Obama better hope the troops are out by then. If Bush has his way, it may end up being Obama’s job to remove us. If Bush has his way (and it looks like he will), this is going to become Obama’s, or McCain’s, or Hillary’s war to lose.
Proposing an Iraq exit is a lot easier for Senator Obama in ‘07 than it will be for a President Obama in ‘09.