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A Message From An Independent Conservative.
This weekends PR stunt or "unity" fest underscores a problem for the presumptive Democratic nominee. The problem can be summed up in one word: PUMA.
Since the end of the Democratic primaries the DNC has been plagued by this growing group of Hillary Clinton supporters who have pledged to vote against Barack Obama and reform the Democratic Party that is clearly more interested in power than moving the country forward. In recent weeks Democratic leadership has bombarded the press with a message of unity and a fall-back to the talking points meant to divide this country such as abortion.
So how much of problem does PUMA and Just Say No Deal represent to the Obama campaign?
A huge one and here's why:
PUMA and Just Say No Deal are comprised of Hillary Clinton's most ardent supporters and represent what Richard Nixon once referred to as the "Silent Majority". They are middle class values voters, the "Reagan Democrats", who position trust, personal and religious beliefs, a profound love for their country, and political education at the forefront of their political decision making. The PUMAS embody the fighting spirit of our founding fathers, driven by a belief that our country, not our political parties, should come first.
Immediately following the Montana primaries, the Obama campaign, DNC, and Obama supporters immediately began their attempt to win back the votes of the Just Say No Deal community. Understanding that this group could lead to potential disaster for the "presumptive nominee" the Obama campaign turned the politics of "division and distraction" to win back their vote. With hours of the primaries Obama supporters websites lit up with stories viciously attacking John McCain as a womanizer who abandoned his ex-wife for petty reasons and pursuit of a more attractive companion. The stories manipulated the relationship between McCain and former Wife (who has supported McCain in every campaign) and focused on a relationship strained by horrible personal tragedies that would forever-change anyone in their positions. The stories quickly faded, but displayed a disturbing reality that the Obama campaign would stoop to the lowest levels to win back support of the Puma Community.
In the weeks that have followed, the Obama campaign and his supporters have bombarded Puma Network bloggers with messages and stories of "how a McCain presidency would overturn Roe v. Wade". Of all the campaign issues that the Obama campaign could have chosen, they chose to garner support from the PUMA campaign by launching a campaign of fear-mongering surrounding the most divisive political issue of our time.
The message of unity from the Democratic Leadership has unfortunately worked with a majority of Hillary's supporter, but has failed with the quarter of Hillary's supporters who hold the power to destroy an Obama candidacy. The media, with few exceptions, has ignored this group and overlooked their strength; but Barack Obama and Howard Dean know they are in trouble.
Mr. Obama and Mr. Dean understand that Obama needs the 25% of Disengaged Clinton supporter to win the general election; a group that represents 4 million voters who would have easily changed the outcome of every election since 1988. Obama and Dean know that they must find a way to bring in new voting blocks because his base of support is simply tapped out. This Democratic primary season has brought forth the largest turnout since 1972. But as we learned in 1972, the groups who overwhelmingly support Obama are not likely to produce growth in the general election. This reality is reflected in the Obama campaigns attempts to now shore up support with the gay community and evangelical communities at the same time (it will be interesting to see how he handles this pandering).
Why Does Obama Fear 4 million?
The PUMA Community represents the most ardent, values driven and politically educated of Hillary Clinton's supporters. They do not fall for the traditional talking points of the political parties that are meant to drive a wedge between the electorate. When McCain was attacked as a Womanizer and accused of not supporting equal pay; this community researched the issues and pointed out the divisiveness and fallacies of the accusations. When Obama and his supporters brought abortion to the forefront of their argument, the Puma community was quick to point out that historically speaking the "Overturning Roe" threat has been disproved simply by the fact that after years of Republican judicial appointments SCOTUS has shown no desire to take up the issue. Obama fears the Puma community because they are not the typical single-issue voters who will fall for rhetoric.
The Obama campaign fears the voices of these 4 million who understand the issues and fear an Obama presidency. The overlook the populist rhetoric spewed on the campaign trail and understand that Obama has offered criticism without solutions. The most dangerous threat to the Obama campaign is a large grass-roots movement intent upon educating the masses who have been mesmerized and hypnotized by the Obama's tongue. The understand the inquality and mainpulation within the Primaries and are understand the lack of solutions presented by the anointed Obama. Moreover, they have proven that they will not be silenced. They continue to show up at Unity events and have forced the media to recognize their strength. The Obama campaign and DNC has attempted to ignore their voices and not acknowledge their strength, but the PUMA will not go away.
The next problem for the Obama campaign is fundraising. The summer months are typically the doldrums of campaign financing with most donations flowing in after the conventions. Obama flipped on his commitment to public funding because of this reason. The Obama campaign expected growth in the fundraising in May, especially in light of the heated primary race. Yet, Obama's campaign donations dropped by 33% in May, while Clinton's and especially McCain's increased. The Obama campaigns understands that he must garner the support of Hillary Clinton and his donors must be willing to help her retire her campaign debt. If they don't, there will be a backlash from even more Clinton supporters. However, Obama has no intention of pushing for a quick retirement of Clinton's $20 million debt. He know that the PUMA community is still donating to the Clinton campaign and the sooner that debt is retired, the sooner their donations will flow to John McCain. Obama is banking on the fact that Clinton's debt will not be retired before the conventions, thus limiting contributions to the McCain campaign by Puma's and the spending of contributions by McCain who is taking public financing.
What Keeps Obama & Dean Awake At Night?
The fear that the PUMA community and their silent supporters will realize the power of their fundraising. If just half of those 4 million who do not support Obama were to immediately give $10 to both the McCain campaign and PumaPac, the influx of cash would spread the Puma message like a wildfire through the media while providing the McCain campaign with the extra resources they need to overcome the wealthy who have funded 60% of Obama's campaign. If the just half of this 4 million were to contribute the media would be forced to question a campaign that they have more often referred to as a "movement", than as the "political campaign" it is.
The Biggest Fear
In his farewell address, George Washington, highlighted and re-iterated the long time fear of Political Parties that our founding fathers shared. They understood that parties that remained unchallenged and unchecked would eventually subvert the power of the people to pursue the power of the party. This weekends love-fest of Unity and the formation of HOUND (an organization formed this weekend by Dem. Leadership to promote party unity) are representative of the very fears of our founding fathers. PUMA, whether you agree with their members personal positions or not, embodies the spirit of American Independence and the spirit of our founding fathers that our strength lies in the people, not in political parties. Dean and Obama, more than anything, fear that the PUMA and Just Say No Deal Community will renew this compact and profound idea that "We The People" not "We The Democrats or Republicans"control this nation.
The independence and liberties that this nation has embraced and embodied for 232 years will never survive if we allow party unity to overpower the American spirit. Pumas understand that and Howard Dean and Barack Obama hope that the rest of us don't. So this upcoming independence day, embrace the beliefs of our founding fathers and when you hear the call for party unity, JUST SAY NO DEAL.
June 29th, 2008
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