The Continuing Search for the Anti-Obama

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 28 2010 4:33 PM

The Continuing Search for the Anti-Obama

Stacy McCain writes up/promotes the longshot congressional campaign of Charles Lollar, who's challenging Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) with a 20-1 disadvantage in cash on hand. Lollar scored an endorsement from Mitt Romney today; he's previously been supported by FreedomWorks PAC and profiled by Politico , which is stellar treatment for a candidate no political handicapper thinks is actually in the position to score the upset. What intrigues me about McCain's post, however, is how the convoluted electoral math (Lollar can win if he scores the typical GOP vote with extremely low Democratic turnout!) is an excuse to post video of Lollar on the stump.

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One of the smartest critiques of Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008 -- up through today, really -- was that he was good at giving speeches and not much else. The reaction to Obama's stumbling performance in office has been the Tea Party movement, where political candidates thrive on... their ability to give soaring speeches. Ask Sarah Palin, ask Marco Rubio, ask Ron Johnson, ask Allen West, or ask Carl Paladino -- the surest way to get taken seriously is to give a barnburner of a speech.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.