Allow me to expand on my notion that Obama is the Mirror of Desire (Mirror of Erised to you Harry Potter fans out there) in which people see what they most want to see.
Obama's basic message is that he is a smart and reasonable guy who will reach out to people representing a wide range of views and bring them together to bring about "change".
But what people actually hear is something somewhat different, namely, "Obama is smart and reasonable and he will listen to me; since my ideas are smart and reasonable, he will ultimately embrace them as his own".
This creates a very different dynamic from the typical political campaign. Rather than trying to convince a majority of voters (primary or general election) that his ideas are superior, Obama simply needs to convince a majority that their ideas are superior. Should be doable!
And how has Hillary been combating this? Not effectively. Her basic approach has followed the traditional campaigner's plan of marshaling programs tailored to appeal to 51% of voters. By and large, the upshot will be that folks who agree with her will figure they will get their way with either candidate; folks who disagree with her will favor Obama. Not helpful.
Ms. Clinton has also argued, in admirably straight-faced fashion, that Obama lacks the experience to actually deliver on his ethereal "agenda" but that she, as one of the most polarizing and hated politicians in America, is poised to deliver on a sweeping range of programs. As if.
What Hillarity needs to do, if Obama is foolish enough to oblige her, is trap Obama in a morass of specificity - "Where's the beef?" worked for Walter Mondale against Gary Hart in 1984; time has nearly run out for Ms. Clinton but it may yet work here.
To accomplish this work Ms. Clinton needs to enlist the press; she needs to emulate John McCain and talk their ears off, with the hope that the press will switch to fawning on the "New Hillary" and turn against Obama as lacking substance.
If the result is to goad Obama into delivering a briefcase (or boxcar) of details about a million programs, he may lose his central appeal as his supporters are forced to reconcile his vision with their own. If Hillary, allied with the press, can transform Obama into just another programmatic politician with ideas that attract some and alienate others, she will at least be playing a game she has a chance of winning.
MORE: If I were advising McCain, this tactic of Obama's wouldn't worry me much - McCain has a track record of actually doing what Obama is just talking bout.