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Updated: 5:41 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, 2008 | Posted: 5:40 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, 2008
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ROCK HILL, S.C. —
Dr. Scott Huffmon is a political scientist at Winthrop University in Rock Hill. He said Obama made the most of his moment in the national spotlight Thursday night by introducing himself to America.
"Much of the public is going to base their vote on who they trust, and they can't trust someone they don't know," Huffmon said.
Huffmon said Obama answered critics who accused him of being too soft on his Republican rival John McCain.
Thursday night, Obama hit McCain hard, calling him a man who may care about the American people, but doesn't understand them.
"He went hard negative on John McCain a couple of times," Huffmon said.
Many people are reacting to the spectacle of Obama's speech. The Illinois senator has been labeled as a "rock star" celebrity with no real experience.
Huffmon said Thursday night's massive crowd cuts both ways, showing Obama as someone popular enough to bring out that kind of crowd, but also playing into the hands of critics.
As for McCain's pick of Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, Huffmon said the ticket is a gamble for McCain, but was a clear move to get votes from Hillary Clinton supporters.
"I think they must have polling numbers that show Hillary Clinton voters are not satisfied with Barack Obama, and they hope to reign them in," Huffmon said.
McCain's choice of Palin, however, makes it difficult for him to continue to try and paint Obama as someone who lacks experience to be president.
"It's going to be hard to criticize Barack Obama for lack of experience, when your own VP has very little," Huffmon said.
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