Sunday, November 02, 2008

Backpost: Obama's "Luck"

From September 1, 2008; I sent this email to Mark Kleiman of Background: many people have asked why Obama seems to have luck that all his opponents, from the Senate on down to the primary and now general, seem to self-destruct. It sounds like luck! As Kleiman wrote:
Apropos the many developing Palin scandals, an observer of the Chicago political scene reminds me of Obama's "noted eerie knack for finding self-destructing opponents."

There was Alice Palmer, the incumbent State Senator who didn't submit enough valid signatures. There was Blair Hull, the apparent frontrunner in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, accused of wife-beating. There was Jack Ryan, the Republican Senate nominee, whose kinkily erotic side spilled out into the newspapers through his divorce proceedings. And then there was the comic carpetbagger Alan Keyes.

I try to keep theology separate from politics, but it's hard to escape the thought: If Obama didn't make a pact with Satan he must be on a special mission from God.
So my response:
re: Obama's Luck

Dear Prof. Kleiman,

While I agree with you that supernatural forces should never be discounted in any scientific inquiry, I think the reason Obama's opponents self-destruct is a combination of (a) the old adage that "fortune benefits the well-prepared", and (b) his ability to maintain his cool, which drives his opponents batty, to the point they self destruct.

Hillary self-destructed (Bill started first, though), then even Edwards (and he had already dropped out!), and now McCain.

all the best,
And, true to his gentlemanly nature, Kleiman quotes me in an update: "Update: Or perhaps, a reader suggests, this may merely be a case where 'Fortune favors the prepared mind.'"

Now this analysis of mine has become conventional reason. But I was an early advocate of the theory that Obama's opponents self destruct because they can't handle his skill. Basically, because Obama is unflappable, his increasingly desperate opponents up the volume of their attacks, trying to rattle him, and all they succeed in doing is self-destruction.

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