Paul Loeb at HuffPo has the commentary. What if what Obama is galvanizing in the youth vote ould cement itself into a long-term Democratic majority?

Commentators are talking, and rightly so, about how young voters are flocking to Barack Obama. Their overwhelming support gave Obama his Iowa margin, kept him just a few points behind in New Hampshire and Nevada, and contributed to his massive South Carolina victory. Young voters haven’t always turned out historically, but they’re responding to Obama’s message, and together with his equally massive support from African Americans and strong appeal to independents, their passionate enthusiasm could help him expand the Democratic base enough not only to win in November, but to win decisively.

Obama also offers the chance to make this new generation part of an enduring Democratic coalition — because once young voters support a particular party a few times in a row, they’re likely to gravitate toward that party for the rest of their lives.

Loeb cites historical precedent and studies showing this youth vote is important especially when it is sustained support for the same party over time.

What would happen if Hillary gets the nomination?

But if Hillary Clinton is nominated, this momentum will likely crumble. The young women and men who’ve been flooding the Democratic primaries and caucuses will feel betrayed by a candidate who’s just finished doing her best to destroy the person they’ve invested their hopes in. And as a result, they may simply stay home. It’s not just that Hillary is running against Obama. That would be fine. It’s that she and Bill and their surrogates have relentlessly assaulted Obama’s character, in a scorched-earth style worthy of Karl Rove.

Those are big stakes and the chips are all in the middle. I’ll tell you like I tell my buddies who have made it to the late stage of a poker tournament: Don’t fuck it up!

I think Loeb is on to something, and it might well be the reason for all the excitement. Imagine 4 years ago we were talking about a “permanent Democrat majority”. Yeah, I’da laughed too. Obama has the goods. He needs to get the nomination and we need to get about turning that page…

  • Modern Esquire

    Boy, I hear this argument practically every four years. It was said the same thing about Jerry Brown in 1992. I remember advocates for Dean saying it in 2004. And it never turns out the way the doomsayers claim.

    Count me as one of the Obama skeptics.

  • How would we know? They never won. The premise of the argument is that there are a few victories in a row. If Obama doesn’t win we’ll get to say the same thing. If he does, we’ll get to see.

    Count me as an establishment Democrat skeptic.

  • Modern Esquire

    LOL… Obama isn’t part of the establishment? The 2004 DNC keynote speaker isn’t part of the Democratic establishment? Really? You’re serious, right?

    A guy who got elected to the Illinois State legislature, then to the U.S. Senate has done it all without being part of the “establishment.”

    It’s outlandish comments like that about Obama that don’t make me optimistic that he’d be any better than a one-term President.

  • Susan

    ME, dude, you and I must be watching the same reality show.

  • #3: Yeah. Establishment here is probably a bad choice of words. I am typically not down with the establishment set. Never been a big party guy either. Of course Obama has a bit of both – has to in order to be viable. I never was really saying he wasn’t by that comment, btw. But I doubt you’ll argue that he’s as or more entrenched than Hillary will you?

    Maybe the right choice of words would be “old school”. That any less outlandish? You feel me? I’m an Old School Democrat skeptic as it relates to Obama and Hillary.

    Now back to your regularly programmed Hill Shillin’. Not too late to join, ME. All the cool kids are. 😉

  • …or maybe we could discuss the long-term benefits of bringing in so many new voters, both Democrat and Independent.

  • Modern Esquire

    Believe it or not, I’m undecided and have been for some time. I’ve just taken up the Hillary mantle to have some balance on BSB and elsewhere.

    Still, any campaign touting Kennedy and Kerry endorsements still has to have some trouble claiming it’s “New School.”

    I like Obama, and I like his rhetoric. But I’m increasingly uncomfortable with the “cult of personality” that has become his campaign.

  • Feh. Kennedy is just trying a little fountain of youth (plus he sees honestly what alot of others see) and Kerry is just trying to be one of the cool kids.

    With Clinton touting all the “experience”, it’s actually very easy to make the argument that Obama is new and fresh. Hell, they framed it that way! Actually, if you can’t see the fresh new approach and Obama’s ability to lead us into a new chapter in American history you simply aren’t paying enough attention.

    I think there is a cult of personality, but I also think there is some substance and ability to lead and inspire. Clinton has a bit of that as well. Hell. When you look at it objectively, either has the opportunity to make history. I just think Obama’s is the kind of history I want to make at this precise time in our country.

    I think the Lessig arguments are pretty strong. You should check them out.

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