'Obama's appeal comes not from the things he says, but from who is saying them'...
Listen to Obama:Did you miss a Barack Obama Christmas? :-)
"There's not a liberal America and a conservative America, there is the United States of America." These unremarkable words, spoken at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, set off wild applause.
And here is the similar quote that got hearts thumping in New Hampshire: "We've got a series of very important decisions to make, and we have the opportunity to make them, not as Democrats, not as Republicans, but as Americans. And it's that promise that I'm most excited about."
Obama likes to say things like, "We can do better," and, "America is ready for a new set of challenges." He is all for "a spiritual recovery."
The senator dislikes the "either-or" type of debate and warns against "false choices." He's not too left, not too right. Sort of black, and sort of white.
Obama is humble in all the right places. Before a thousand swooning fans in New Hampshire, he says, Evita-like: "This isn't about me. This is about you." One gets the impression from his public appearances and book, "The Audacity of Hope," that he doesn't even get a haircut without first consulting his wife.
What Obama really thinks should be done about health care and the terrorist threat remain secrets that his book does not unlock. His two years in the Senate certainly haven't revealed any bold policy ideas.
This leave-them-guessing strategy slips out in the book's prologue. "I serve as a blank screen," Obama writes, "on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views." He notifies readers that "my treatment of the issues is often partial and incomplete." It takes some doing for a politician to write a 364-page book, his second volume, and skate past all controversy.
Obama does seem to have an impressive resume and polish. And it's not his fault that a mania for some new political face intrudes on every presidential election season. But one does wish, for the sake of democracy, that we could skip the crush and give less glamorous contenders who actually say something more of a hearing.
Or that Obama is More Pro-Choice Than NARAL?