Barack, Beware the Wave


President Gary Hart would tell you, beware the wave!
Hart, the 1984 candidate of “new ideas,” rode the crest of popular, new generational appeal. After four years of Reagan, Hart offered something new against the establishment candidate Walter Mondale. He offered “new ideas,” however vague.

Keep in mind, after Hart rode high during primary season, Mondale came away with the nomination by hording supedelegates, and by asking a simple question– “where’s the beef?” that appealed to the public’s lingering doubts about Hart’s “new ideas.” (Hart later came away with Donna Rice).

Lesson for Barack? Beware the overconfidence that can follow sudden “rock star” status on the eve of what looks to be another big primary night. Beware cocky arrogance that will turn a now fawning press against you–instantly– and beware the clinton version of the mondale question that will no doubt be asked in some upcoming debate, “where’s the beef?” For Mondale, that question was all it took to reclaim the lead and for the Hart campaign to unravel quickly and unglamorously.

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2 responses to “Barack, Beware the Wave

  1. Pingback: Barack Obama » Blog Archive » Barack, Beware the Wave

  2. The one thing I didn’t like from Obama was that he said, by looking at the Polls, he would be McCain. I think his point was that he is, afterall, electable. But I don’t care for poll watching (which Hillary Clinton has been accused of). And he, Obama, should know most of all that polls are highly unreliable (hello New Hampshire). He should keep reiterating his message and the people will follow. Leave the polls to the press. Good point.

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