The Question the Vice-President Answers

Dale Kuehne, Ph.D.

On Sunday I head to Denver to attend the Democratic National Convention, but if Obama picks his VP as expected on Saturday, the convention begins on Saturday. Hence it is time to begin blogging the convention.

Provided the Clinton's don't engineer an overthrow on the floor of the convention, Obama will be the first nominee of the Democratic Party to be elected via a coalition of elite progressives and African-Americans. Moreover, he will be the first nominee of the elite wing of the party since George McGovern.

So what plan does he have for avoiding the fate of McGovern (which in 2008 means not winning)?

By almost every historical reference point, the Democrats ought to win in November. Given the economy, the war, and Bush's approval rating, 2008 should be to the Democrats what 1980 was to the Republicans.

Accordingly, Obama ought to have a double-digit lead in the polls.

But he doesn't. Statistically it is a dead heat, even though Obama also has a huge advantage in money and received enormous publicity during his recent tour of Europe.


His problem may not lie with winning independents, but with winning the white working class voters that have been part of any winning Democratic Presidential coalition in recent history.

There is little statistical evidence to suggest he has made any headway in "closing the deal" with this heavily Catholic group ever since the media declared him the nominee.

This is a group that are loyal to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Does he believe he can win this group without Hillary as the VP?

We will find out Saturday.

Dale Kuehne, Ph.D., is executive director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

Dale Kuehne Blogs From DNC and RNC Conventions

Follow Dale Kuehne, Ph.D., NHIOP executive director, as he blogs on location from the Democratic and Republican national conventions. First up are the Democrats in Denver (Aug. 25-28) followed by the Republicans in Minneapolis-St. Paul (Sept. 1-4). [Read more…]

Azar Nafisi, Author of 'Reading Lolita in Tehran' to Speak Sept. 10

Azar Nafisi is best known as the author of the national bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which electrified its readers with a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students.

Dr. Nafisi is a Visiting Professor and the director of the Dialogue Project at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. She teaches courses on the relation between culture and politics and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New Republic.

This event will be held in the NHIOP auditorium on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Funding for this event generously provided by a gift from BAE Systems of Nashua.

Additional support provided by the Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation, and the Distinguished Scholar Series at the NHIOP.