Peggy Noonan Considers Obama The Bulletproof Candidate

I’ve noted before, including in this post last night, how Obama would be a much stronger candidate against John McCain than Hillary Clinton. Democrats remain evenly split on their choice, but Republicans appear united in realizing which Democrat would pose the greatest threat to them. On the way to the office this morning I heard Matthew Dowd interviewed on NPR as he discussed how Republicans realize that Obama would be a more difficult candidate to run against. Now looking at The Wall Street Journal I see that Peggy Noonan is writing the same:

He is the brilliant young black man as American dream. No consultant, no matter how opportunistic and hungry, will think it easy–or professionally desirable–to take him down in a low manner. If anything, they’ve learned from the Clintons in South Carolina what that gets you. (I add that yes, there are always freelance mental cases, who exist on both sides and are empowered by modern technology. They’ll make their YouTubes. But the mad are ever with us, and this year their work will likely stay subterranean.)

With Mr. Obama the campaign will be about issues. “He’ll raise your taxes.” He will, and I suspect Americans may vote for him anyway. But the race won’t go low.

Mrs. Clinton would be easier for Republicans. With her cavalcade of scandals, they’d be delighted to go at her. They’d get medals for it. Consultants would get rich on it.

The Democrats have it exactly wrong. Hillary is the easier candidate, Mr. Obama the tougher. Hillary brings negative; it’s fair to hit her back with negative. Mr. Obama brings hope, and speaks of a better way. He’s not Bambi, he’s bulletproof.

The biggest problem for the Republicans will be that no matter what they say that is not issue oriented–“He’s too young, he’s never run anything, he’s not fully baked”–the mainstream media will tag them as dealing in racial overtones, or undertones. You can bet on this. Go to the bank on it.

The Democrats continue not to recognize what they have in this guy. Believe me, Republican professionals know. They can tell.

Win or lose, it would be an improvement if the election remains based upon issues as opposed to a repeat of Rove style attack politics. We already saw Clinton resort to trying to Swift Boat Obama, but her dishonest tactics failed. During the process Clinton showed both why she is the poorer choice to be president. Obama remains a better choice both on character and because he has shown that he can respond effectively to diffuse Rove style attacks. Obama might not really be bulletproof as Noonan says, but a candidate like Obama can finally force Republicans to get out of the gutter or pay the consequences.


  1. 1
    PD1981 says:


    I presume you included this article from Peggy Noonan to correctly illustrate the widespread appeal that Obama has among conservative and moderate Republicans. But Noonan is probably not the best choice to illustrate this point given her past history

    This is the same Peggy Noonan whom
    • Wrote Poppy Bush’s line on “no new taxes” during the 1988 Republican National Convention
    • Wrote article after article (and I think even a book!) gushing over President Reagan for restoring honor and dignity to the White House while criticizing the Clintons for allegedly disgracing the White House through their antics –conveniently ignoring the fact that, while she was working in Reagan’s White House, he was next door approving the sale of weapons to Islamic fundamentalists and despotic regimes across the globe
    • In the aftermath of the right-wing driven controversy and hype over the Wellstone memorial service, wrote an article pretending to be Senator Paul Wellstone looking down from the afterlife and admonishing his supporters for their conduct during his funeral
    • Wrote a biography of Hillary Clinton that was essentially a right wing hit piece. There is much to criticize Hillary Clinton about –and trust me I do so on a regular basis –but Noonan was part of the unfair and baseless right wing smear campaign against the Clintons in the 1990s

    Are you sure you want to quote such a right wing accolyte on your site as a reason to support Senator Obama?

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    If we are looking for an example of conservative opinion, you only demonstrate that her views are representative of conservative thought. This makes her a good choice to illustrate this point. Besides, while Noonan has written a lot of nonsense, she has also written some good material, such as her criticism of George Bush.

  3. 3
    markg8 says:

    In the county proclaimed by the local Repub machine the “reddest county in the country” DuPage County IL they agree with Noonan:


    “State Sen. Dan Cronin, chairman of the DuPage Republican Party, pointed out that some of the Democratic ballots may have been cast by Republicans hoping to select the Democratic candidate easiest to defeat.

    “I know Republicans who voted for Hillary because they would prefer her as the Democratic nominee since the common position is she would be the easier one to beat,” Cronin said.”

  4. 4
    markg8 says:

    BTW Cronin is wrong. For the first time in history more Dem ballots than Repub were taken in this primary (132,000 to 109,000) and Obama beat Hillary
    in DuPage 61.43% to 36.93%. There was no surge no Hillary votes, it was all Obama and the indies and Repubs came over in droves to vote for him.
    He got 81176 votes and McCain 57428.

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