I’d argue the presidential candidate who runs with the most optimistic themes and tone usually wins. Compassionate Conservative/Uniter W ran as more of an optimist than Gore in his robotic phase or Kerry being Kerry. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow Clinton ran as more of an optimist than Bush the First stuck in a recession or Dour Dole. Bush the First in the after-glow of Reagan ran as more optimistic than technocrat Dukakis. Morning in America Reagan ran as more of an optimist than Jimmalaise Carter and mundane Mondale.
And Yes We Can Obama is running as much more of an optimist than Senator Hillary Clinton. This is not an especially difficult thing to do. Senator Clinton apparently doesn’t read the trend the same way, since her campaign now seems positively fixated on mocking Obama’s message of hope. All the while, her once huge lead in Texas and Ohio continues to shrink, just as it has in state-after-state.
The last few days have been truly bizarre, as memorialized last night in brilliant fashion by John Stewart. Stewart sums up Senator Clinton’s latest campaign message as being “The world is a shithole, people. No, we can’t.” Then he shows a satirical Clinton yard sign with a new tagline, “Hillary Clinton for President. Because a deaf God ignores our pleas.”
I submit this may not be a winning key message.