Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Obama Boomlet, Oprah to Come

As in Iowa, there are small signs of momentum for Barack Obama in New Hampshire.

In a new CNN poll today, he has narrowed the gap behind Hillary Clinton to 36-22 percent from 43-20, but more significantly, only 24 percent of likely voters tell pollsters they have made a choice. Another 29 percent are leaning toward one candidate, 47 percent are undecided.

Now the campaign is poised to bring out their big weapon. Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, a close Obama watcher, reports his telling voters that Oprah is coming to New Hampshire and will probably stump for him in Iowa, too. One of his supporters points out, "Oprah can say to women ‘You don't have to vote for the first woman president. Vote for what you need.'”

Even Rudy Giuliani is pitching in (for his own obvious reasons). After Obama told high-school students today not to emulate his own experimentation with drugs and alcohol at their age, America's Mayor expressed admiration:

“I respect his honesty in doing that. One of the things we need from our people running for office is not this pretense of perfection. The reality is...we’re all human beings. If we haven’t made mistakes, don’t vote for us, because we’ve got some big ones that are going to happen in the future.”

After that validation, it would be churlish of Obama to point out that Giuliani has kept making some big mistakes long after high school. At the moment, however, they are both busy chipping away at Hillary Clinton's image of perfection.

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