‘Barack Obama is improving rapidly as a presidential candidate. His showing at the Service Employees International Union’s spring health-care forum was so bad, an Obama adviser labeled it a "searing experience." But he was dazzling at an SEIU forum on Monday, putting to rest any concern that Obama is too cool and abstract to talk to regular folks. His Tuesday speech unveiling a middle-class tax-cut proposal demonstrated that Obama has moved past the uplifting, but vague, rhetoric of his early campaign and toward concrete policy ideas.
‘This is good news for Obama and his fans, but is it enough good news? While he’s been improving, Hillary Clinton has been improving faster. He was once the Democratic Party phenomenon, but she’s the one with the momentum in the polls. She now leads the national polls by 20 points. In the crucial states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, she’s way ahead, too. Obama, by contrast, is doing no better in national polls than he was in February, despite vast and largely approving press coverage. He has fallen sharply in New Hampshire and South Carolina since late summer. And the betting money is moving to Clinton, too: She is crushing Obama by 68 to 16 in the political futures markets. The only decent news for Obama comes from Iowa, where he is third in the polls, but very close to Clinton and John Edwards.
‘Is it time for Obama to panic?’ (Slate Magazine article).