Supposedly Barack Obama’s not playing for Kentucky. You could have fooled me. He’s got 16 offices in the state next to Hillary’s 5. Hillary has no office west of Louisville. Barack Obama’s offices go from the West Virginia border to the Mississippi River. I visited one of Barack’s offices today.
So how is Barack trying to appeal to Kentuckians?
As a religious candidate.
In Kentucky, he is making a direct appeal to Evangelicals with flyers that mention his conversion experience and they highlight a big old cross. Remember Mike Huckabee’s supposed subliminal cross in his Christmas campaign ad? Well, the Obama campaign ditches the subliminal and goes for the in your face cross. Look at the flyer here.
The Obama campaign has consistently believed that their candidate can compete for the “religious vote”. A lot has been made about how Obama hasn’t done as well with Catholics compared to Clinton. But let’s remember one thing: Obama has a story to tell about how Jesus came into his life. You can bet we will be hearing more details about it on the stump in the fall. (if Obama is the nominee)
Meanwhile, John McCain won’t be partaking in the “Evangelical speak” or handing out these types of flyers in the south which makes you wonder if Huckabee could help McCain shore up the Evangelical base and at the same time play to the Independent middle with his populist streak.
I know the conservative policy purists will say that Obama is liberal and therefore Evangelicals won’t buy his “Evangelical speak”. Not so fast. Remember, many people vote based on an emotional connection to a candidate or if they can relate to that person. Obama may need to work on this perception that he is “elite” but when he talks about Jesus and the Bible and the fact that he’s a sinner, it makes him more real and in the process, more electable too.