Sunday, April 08, 2007

Double Effect of "Obama"?

Remember a few months ago when questions about whether Barack Obama's name was a campaign liability because it was too close in rhyme to Osama bin Laden's? I wonder if Obama's surging popularity and status as a campaign money magnet indicate a rather ironic twist: the rhyme of "Obama" and "Osama" might draw voters' attention to the greatest failure and the catch-all incompetence--beckoning to every other Bush failure at home and abroad--of the Republican-run federal government.

At the apex of all of the scandals (from no Iraq WMD to the Dubai Ports deal to Scooter Libby to New Orleans to Attorneygate) stands the Commander-in-Chief's abject failure to capture or to kill Osama bin Laden. The rhyme may remind voters that choices were made that did not include catching the terrorist mastermind of 9/11; it may also remind voters that they have a choice in 2008 to minimize each of the other failures for which a free and breathing Osama bin Laden is an overarching dark symbol, a stain on the Presidency.

Whether or not Barack Obama is the candidate voters choose to remove the stain, the rhyme of Obama and Osama may have had paradoxical effects for reasons that campaign strategists may not have ever considered.

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