“I feel there are two people inside me - me and my intuition. If I go against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely.” --Kim BasingerI have always been a huge devotee of the value of intuition. All of my life I have had a powerful inner voice, a strong and focused something within me helping me to understand and react to my world. I have--almost always--respected it. On those occasions when I have failed to listen, I usually have found myself wishing that I had.
Intuition is, I think, at times simply a wonderful moment of clarity when we sense something beyond that which is possible in any physical way to sense. Sometimes, my intuition has worked that way. More often, though, I think intuition is simply the ability that many of us possess to look at the realities around us with clear and unambiguous eyes and see what is happening, and then to make the kind of creative leaps that unfettered imaginations make when confronted by blank canvasses.
It's this kind of intuition that makes me know that Barack Obama's victory in November will not be close, no matter what the pundits say. It will be a landslide.
The first kind of intuition is a rare one. Call it clairvoyance, but I don't know if I truly believe in that, and in any case it's only occurred a few times in my life and has never been something I control; it is a thing unto itself. And it has, on occasion, not been entirely accurate, so clairvoyant would be a difficult word to apply.
In May 1985, expecting my first child, I had a run of incredible intuitive power. A radio station was giving away what then were the just-released new Apple Macintoshes. Call in if your name is called and win. I sent in my post card and I knew they would call me. They did...but I was (sadly) not listening at the time. A second wave of intuition hit me: they would call again! They did, and I got the computer. That summer, so convinced was I that the child would be a girl that we never chose a boy's name; it was a girl.
These are small things, I know. But I think they are the first kind of intuition: the purer kind, the kind that some could call chance or serendipity and, hey, who could argue with them?
Regarding this election, though, I am talking about a very different kind of intuition. It is the kind that comes from clear observation. This intuition too kicks in, as I say, randomly. I do not get these absolute convictions all that often. In the late 80's I was in Seattle and had some coffee at a tiny kiosk. I had never had anything so great. I told myself that when this company went public I wanted in; it was going to be huge. There was no doubt in my mind that it would happen. Of course Starbucks did, but alas I had no money to invest, so I am still in debt up to my ears.
I have been a strong supporter of Senator Obama since he began his US Senate run here in Illinois in the winter of '03/'04. In a crowd of political hacks and wannabe's, he was something clearly different. He stood out for his honesty, for his message, for his clarity of vision, and for, among other things, the simple fact that he refused to talk down to the voters. Back then I was unsure he had a chance: he was a "skinny black guy with a funny name" fighting against a whole lot of more connected and better financed candidates (including a millionaire or two trying to buy their way into office). But there were a couple of scandals to eliminate a couple of the better known names, and suddenly he was more viable. And when he won the primary, it was not a great shock: he had earned it.
After Kerry's "defeat" by Diebold, it seemed a foregone conclusion to everyone that Senator Clinton would be the next Democratic candidate. But I was watching the skinny kid with the funny name. I note in recent "historical" diaries that I was not alone: Kos on DailyKos apparently had an eye on him too: evidence that this kind of "intuition" is the product of observation and imagination.
I began telling all of my friends in mid-2005 that the next President of the United States would be Barack Obama. The pundits, as Jon Stewart made abundantly clear on the day after Obama clinched the nomination, were saying something rather different. See this blog by kos as DailyKos to witness the fun.)
My friends thought I was nuts. Though there was always speculation that he might run, absolutely nothing pointed at the time to an '08 run by the freshman Senator. But he was hungry; that was clear. And he was smart; that was clear. And his ideas and enthusiasm and honesty and, quite simply, his freshness, would make him a very appealing candidate. I knew this, and (obviously) so did he. So I kept telling them he would win: Hillary, I said, would suffer the problem of the oversell: she is too familiar, she is too much associated with the past, she is too disliked by the GOP and even by some Democrats. Though she could be a potentially strong President, no one would ever allow her the chance to be. A new voice in the mix, a strong, idealistic new voice, would energize the base and would be exactly what this moment in time needs.
And Obama is smart enough, I said, to know one other fact: Senators historically don't win the White House. The longer he stays there, the more of an Insider he becomes. He will no longer be able to run, as he can right now, as someone who is out to change Washington. He will be too much a part of Washington.
So, I said, he'll run. And he'll win. When I saw his 50-state strategy, an extension of Dean's brilliant Democratic strategy that was at least as responsible for regaining control of the congress as anything Rahm Emmanuel did (though somehow Emmanuel managed to get all the credit), and I saw how he was using the internet, there was no doubt in my mind.
"Intuition comes very close to clairvoyance; it appears to be the extrasensory perception of reality --Alexis Carrell
Which brings us to now: why will he win in a landslide when all of the pundits keep telling us how tight this is?
Look at the trendlines. Not just now, in the polls, though the latest ones, and every new one every single day, continue to be pro-Obama. I'm talking about trendlines over a much longer period of time. We have an economy that is so deeply in the mire that you couldn't drag it out with a fleet of haulers, and even the staunchest Bushies have begun to worry out loud about it. We have an ongoing war that is costing America trillions of dollars and thousands of lives, a war that is nose-diving in support and threatens to rival Viet Nam in more than merely the waste and ineptitude, but the anger of the masses as well. We have an Administration that lies and obfuscates so readily that they cannot even see anymore that they are doing it, and how transparent their lies have become. We have congressmen openly talking about impeachment and novelists advocating for murder trials and generals accusing the President of war crimes. A President who once boasted of the highest approval rating in history now possesses the lowest one, and he has managed to drag international respect for America from its highest point to its lowest as well.
Look at the trendlines.
This is not the time for any Republican, let alone one who cannot seem to make up his mind whether he is or is not Bush III, to be elected President. But then examine Senator McCain, whose popularity peaked, apparently, eight years ago. In 2000, heck, I might have considered voting for the guy. In 2000, he was what he still claims to be: a true maverick. Since then, he has sold his soul. I don't need to sit here and list all of the ways he has done that; this diary is getting long already and we all know the many ways Senator McCain has pandered to the right wing in order to secure this nomination.
(BTW: his nomination itself was another example of my crazy random intuition. During a debate before Iowa, listening to the GOP idiots beating up on each other, I started wondering which of them could actually manage to win this thing and oppose Obama. I knew it couldn't be Giuliani with his stupid Florida strategy. Huckabee played well in the Bible Belt but even the GOP is more than the Bible Belt. Romney is too slick and too smarmy even for the GOP. And I started looking at how they were beating each other up and who was eliminating whom and I suddenly realized: no one was hitting McCain! They were just letting him play the statesman! His campaign had been deemed dead for so long that they had utterly forgotten about him. It was at that point that I knew he was going to win, and I have to say it shocked me to realize it. I told my husband, and he agreed with my reasoning, which was nice: he never agreed with me about Obama beating Clinton.)
McCain continues to make foolish mistake after foolish mistake, and I am reminded of Bush at this stage of the 2000 campaign. If you will recall, he sounded like a complete idiot at times as well. But there is a difference: Bush was a neophyte in the national and international spotlight. He had a long learning curve, and--though we often deride him as being stupid--he did at least know enough to know that he needed to learn a thing or two and listen to those folks who could teach him. Senator McCain, who never seems to be able to open his mouth without saying something that is either completely false, completely ridiculous, or completely contradictory to something he said a year ago, a month ago, or yesterday, is no neophyte. He does not learn. (Note that he repeated his "Al Qaeda in Iran" error only moments after Leiberman corrected him.) And something in his formerly maverick nature still exists: the part that makes him go his own way and do and say his own thing, which, given his decreasing ability to keep his thoughts straight, is a recipe for disaster.
I have no doubt that Senator McCain will have some excellent moments between now and November, but I cannot see him cutting into Senator Obama's base. Nor can I see him slowing Obama's momentum as the Illinoisan edges deeper and deeper into what has recently been "safe" GOP territory. So do not worry when you see Obama spending time and money in states he "cannot" win. I am not certain that there are any states he cannot win. (Yep, that includes Arizona.) And even if he loses a bunch of them, his presence will aid down-ticket candidates.
I take all of these early polls for what they are: early polls. They could say Obama by 25 or McCain by 25, and I'd say the same thing: it's June. Remember what the polls and pundits said about how hard it would be to unite the Democrats a scant two weeks ago? Uh huh. It's June. Nothing means anything. But...
Put this in the bank: Barack Obama will be our next President. And it is not even going to be close.
“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” --Albert Einstein