March 30, 2004
Sometimes Polis contributor Reuben Siris takes issue with Scott Turow's Salon article on Obama:
"SJ is correct that there are no new real insights in the Salon piece by Scott Turow. There is however an emerging fallacy, which we might want to call underdog revisionism. Turow writes that Hynes' "apparatus was fully behind him throughout the campaign." This I think glosses over the real dynamics that brought Barack the nomination. First, the "machine" was fragmented three ways-- Hynes, Hull (Mell) and Chico. Second, each of these splinters ran into problems of their own and failed to follow through on election day. Obama never really had to face the full force of the vaunted Machine (though there are question as to what that currently is). Instead he ran an impressive campaign against three wounded opponents-- Hull by his own past and hubris, Hynes by his lack of charisma and a machine divided by Hull's money, and Chico because of a split in the Latino community (yes, believe it or not, Puerto Rican and Mexican, let alone El Salvadoran are not the same thing). Chico was further wounded by the dissolution of his law firm (Thanks for pointing that out PDC). Without his opponents crumbling I believe Barack would have still won on his merits, but it would not have been the landslide
victory it was. In the end Barack's victory is certainly something to applaud but lets not overstate his feat with this underdog revisionism."