The “Yuk” Factor

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Five years ago I explained why George W. Bush managed to sew up the GOP nomination so early in 1999, and to be elected in 2000.

He was virtually an unknown quantity, but he was the “non-Clinton.” Yes, the neocons and the money-men knew that he could be manipulated, through their Capo, Dick Cheney. But the country at large saw Bush as Clinton’s opposite. It’s hard now to recall just how many people were fed up with Bill Clinton in 2000, but that’s why Bush won.

Fast forward to 2008, and the San Francisco Chronicle reports “Why some conservatives are supporting Obama.” Very much worth reading in full, here is the article’s last paragraph:

“David Friedman, economist at Santa Clara University and son of Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman: ‘Bush was elected on a pro-market, small government platform and proceeded to greatly expand the size of government – and not only in the form of military spending. His view of the legitimate power of the executive branch, including the authority to deliberately violate federal law, I find frightening. Perhaps, if we are lucky, Obama will turn out to be the anti-Bush.'”

As usual, Karl Rove is stoking the “fear Obama” fires, the tactic that beat Kerry in 2004. But I think the “Bush Yuk” factor will play a stronger role this year, and that Obama will benefit from it.

7:09 am on July 8, 2008