The latest poll from my state of New Hampshire:
If the Democratic primary were held today, Obama would be in a statistical dead heat with New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, according to a new Monitor poll. Last month, a Monitor poll showed Clinton trouncing her opponents, with Obama lagging 23 points behind.
Although Clinton commands considerable support among likely Democratic primary voters, she struggles in general election match-ups, according to the poll. If the contest were held today, both Arizona Sen. John McCain and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani would prevail over Clinton. Obama, in contrast, would eke out a slight win over both Republican candidates. Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards is neck-and-neck with the Republicans.
In other Obama news, Gary Hart reviews Obama’s book, and criticizes the fact that Obama’s policy proposals lack an overarching, unifying logic:
Truly great leaders possess a strategic sense, an inherent understanding of how the framework of their thinking and the tides of the times fit together and how their nation’s powers should be applied to achieve its large purposes. “The Audacity of Hope” is missing that strategic sense.
I think Hart misunderstands the nature of Obama’s appeal. Like many Americans, I’m tired of ideologies, strategies and doctrines. I’m sick of labels and parties and lobbies. I want liberals who are fiscally conservative, and conservatives who are socially liberal. I want foreign policy realists who aren’t afraid to stop a genocide, and foreign policy idealists who aren’t trigger happy. In other words, I’m suspicious of any politician that can be pigeon-holed into a neat little box. As far as I’m concerned, if your politics has an overarching “strategy,” then you’re just a partisan hack. The world is more complicated than that. What we need now are pragmatists, leaders who aren’t afraid to cross lines and mingle strategies. Obama’s allure is that he seems like this kind of leader.