A Politician We Can Believe In
I loved her husband. I loved his 2004 campaign. I loved his convention speech. I loved his resume. Four candidates, four reasons why I liked them, four reasons why I remained undecided in the 2008 Democratic primaries.
Ok, truthfully, I pretty much ruled Hillary out when she started to pander to the Left with a fake/revisionist line about being against the war in Iraq. I don’t trust her – she’s too calculating, too divisive. And she’s made it worse recently by saying we shouldn’t believe in “false hopes” but accept her 35 years of experience (which included some two decades of being little more than Bill’s wife.)
And Richardson lost me in the debates when he sounded goofy, love-dovey (“let’s end all the negative attacks”), and his all-diplomacy approach to foreign policy.
I liked what Edwards had to say from time to time, but he is much more strident in 2008 than in 2004, when he sounded both populist and unifying (the “two americas” concept). And I wasn’t sure about Obama because I had seen him campaign on an off-day (and he has plenty of those) where he’s more like Fred Thomspon than Edwards in energy, plus I didn’t think his experience was genuinely enough to make a good president.
But here we go – he wins Iowa by essentially doubling Democratic turnout from the highs of 2004. And he tops it off with the best speech of Caucus Night. While Edwards sounded the doom and gloom and Hillary reiterated her stump speech, I heard the kind of inspirational message we only hear once in a generation from Barack Obama.
Will he disappoint? Will the GOP not give him or his agenda the time of day? Does that matter? He beat a faux-resident of Iowa in John Edwards and the party establishment in Hillary Clinton on Caucus Night. And now he’s about to do it again in New Hampshire and South Carolina. That ought to be worth something.
He is reshaping the Democratic Party, by energizing the youth vote, independents, and even a few ex-Republicans. We’ve seen this stuff before, with Kansas Gov. Sebelis (sp?) and soon-to-be Virginia Senator Mark Warner being good examples. And he’s doing it be selling the idea that we can move past the gridlock and embrace a bold, inclusive agenda.
And for this once uncommitted Democrat, I think that’s an agenda I’m willing to buy.
Barack Obama. A Politician, An America, A Change We Can Believe In.