Again this week, we see the importance of the photo-op in politics. Barack Obama, a capable basketballer, was on the court showing his prowess for all to see in Indiana, Hoosierland USA. This contrasted with his poor showing in Pennsylvania, where we now know Barack Obama is not a good bowler. The significance of this photo-op has everything to do with identifying with working class voters in Indiana and attempting to close the deal with super delegates. Obama may be leading in all categories but his difficulties in the past six weeks, including the Wright controversy, have raised doubts about his electability. The fact Hillary has gone negative has only reinforced a ‘wait and see’ attitude on Obama’s chances to seal the nomination at the end of primary season.
The next five days become very important. No state touching Illinois has gone to Clinton. Granted, Obama’s recent difficulties have transformed his lead into a five point deficit in recent polls taken in Indiana. His decision to break with his pastor, his credible stand on the gas tax holiday and his down-to-earth campaign style do provide him with the possibility of rebounding. A close defeat in Indiana will make it difficult for him to close the deal in May. Another month of campaigning could increase doubts about Obama’s electability and make a showdown in Denver inevitable. If that’s the case, Democrats risk jeopardizing their chances in November. A close victory, seemingly the only potential positive option for Obama at this stage, would put him back in the driver’s seat and build the needed momentum for him to close the deal in May or June, nearly three months before the Denver Convention.