Memo to the Cult Members

This is a very funny piece by Joel Stein in today’s LA Times.

If you’re an Obama supporter, read it and reflect.

I do think Obama needs to engage people in the details of his ideas and plans over the next month. He has a better record in the Senate than Clinton, despite being there less than half as long. He should tout that. He is as thoughtful and detailed — if not more so — when it comes to the issues. One small bit of evidenced of that here if you want it.

If you’re an Obama supporter, you should be very worried and working your ass off, too. The pundits are playing it like it’s his race to lose. They’re setting up the expectation he’ll cruise through February with a passel of wins. You should be worried that the images of the candidates are hardening in peoples’ minds: Hillary as the substantive, detailed, experienced figure (if boring), and Obama as a shallow figure who gives good speech. This is, if you look hard at the evidence, false. And Obama supporters and the Obama campaign needs to reverse it.

So, if you’re an Obama supporter, stop sending the "Yes We Can" video around and bone up on the issues. Learn about Obama’s record in the Senate — it’s good and arguably better than Clinton’s. Think about why his message of "change" is actually very much substantive; understand why it’s not just a slogan, and look closely at what he’s proposing. And, if you think Iraq and the misjudgments made there are important, make sure you fully understand in a detailed way how Clinton botched this, the most important decision of her career, and how it reflects on either her  lack of moral courage in this instance, or incredibly bad judgment. That, combined with her disastrous mismanagement of the health care task force in 1993, raise serious and significant questions about her proclaimed readiness to "lead day one."