The heart of conservative affection for Barack Obama is that he "never brings race into it," by which they mean that he doesn't make them feel guilty about race. Don't count on the affection continuing forever.
Many different kinds of people listen to Barack Obama and get a little weak in the knees. Young people are enraptured by him, political independents are attracted to him, African-Americans are proud of him, progressives are inspired by him. But the praise is also coming from one corner one would least expect: conservatives.
As observant Prospect/TAPPED readers know, I've written a lot about the importance of narrative in presidential campaigns, and I can't help but see Barack Obama's win in Iowa as evidence of the key role storytelling plays. It has been clear for a long time that Obama had the most carefully constructed and coherent story to his campaign. To put it simply, if you cast a vote for Obama, you know what that vote says about your beliefs about the country, your beliefs about him, and your beliefs about yourself.
It would be grossly unfair to charge that Hillary Clinton is endeavoring to stir up the same kind of fear that George Bush did four years ago. But there is little question that she is trying to make voters feel unsettled.
It seemed like this day would never come: Americans are about to actually start voting in the presidential primaries. And as the clock wound down, the policy differences, small as they were to begin with, receded into the background. While the Republican race is a factional contest pitting different arms of the GOP coalition against each other, the Democratic race has become, as Mark Schmitt so astutely argued, the "theory of change" primary. Hillary Clinton's talking point -- "Some people think you hope for change. Some people think you demand it.
A few weeks ago, we mused on whom each of the leading presidential candidates would most like to face in a general election. Since nothing pleases a political junkie more than wild speculation, it's time -- before the actual voting begins and candidates quickly begin to be knocked out of contention -- to make some guesses about what will a few months from now briefly consume the political press: the vice-presidential choices.