The Audacity of Obama
I thought I'd post a roundup of recent Obama items that I found interesting. I know I'm missing some things, so look for the post to grow in the next few days. Let me know in the comments if you have something worth adding.
This columm from Charles Krauthammer last week nails it:
There's no better path to success than getting people to buy a free commodity. Like the genius who figured out how to get people to pay for water: bottle it (Aquafina was revealed to be nothing more than reprocessed tap water) and charge more than they pay for gasoline. Or consider how Google found a way to sell dictionary nouns - boat, shoe, clock - by charging advertisers zillions to be listed whenever the word is searched.
And now, in the most amazing trick of all, a silver-tongued freshman senator has found a way to sell hope. To get it, you need only give him your vote. Barack Obama is getting millions.
A platitude salesman indeed. But you know the veneer is wearing thin when the Washington Post points it out.
I haven't read Robert Samuelson before, but Rush read his must-read piece yesterday aptly titled The Obama Delusion:
It's hard not to be dazzled by Barack Obama. At the 2004 Democratic convention, he visited with Newsweek reporters and editors, including me. I came away deeply impressed by his intelligence, his forceful language and his apparent willingness to take positions that seemed to rise above narrow partisanship. Obama has become the Democratic presidential front-runner precisely because countless millions have formed a similar opinion. It is, I now think, mistaken.
The contrast between his broad rhetoric and his narrow agenda is stark, and yet the media - preoccupied with the political "horse race" - have treated his invocation of "change" as a serious idea rather than a shallow campaign slogan. He seems to have hypnotized much of the media and the public with his eloquence and the symbolism of his life story. The result is a mass delusion that Obama is forthrightly engaging the nation's major problems when, so far, he isn't.
The last week has certainly been a different one for the Obama campaign. He's now the clear front-runner. McCain and Hillary are on the attack. The platitudes are becoming more transparent, and Michelle Obama certainly hasn't helped.
Karl Rove goes into more detail with Obama's new vulnerability:
... Perhaps in response to criticisms that have been building in recent days, Mr. Obama pivoted Tuesday from his usual incantations. He dropped the pretense of being a candidate of inspiring but undescribed "post-partisan" change. Until now, Mr. Obama has been making appeals to the center, saying, for example, that we are not red or blue states, but the United States. But in his Houston speech, (video part I, part II) he used the opportunity of 45 (long) minutes on national TV to advocate a distinctly non-centrist, even proudly left-wing, agenda. By doing so, he opened himself to new and damaging contrasts and lines of criticism.
He cannot proclaim his goal is the end of influence for lobbies if the only influences he seeks to end are lobbies of the center and the right.
Unlike Bill Clinton in 1992, Mr. Obama is completely unwilling to confront the left wing of the Democratic Party, no matter how outrageous its demands, no matter how out of touch it might be with the American people. And Tuesday night, in a key moment in this race, he dropped the pretense that his was a centrist agenda. His agenda is the agenda of the Democratic left. ...
We're being Obamboozled! Here's a video worth watching from Debbie Schlussel:
And here's Michelle Malkin's take on Michelle Obama:
...I believe it was Michael Kinsley who quipped that a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. In this case, it’s what happens when an elite Democrat politician’s wife says what a significant portion of the party’s base really believes to be the truth: That America is more a source of shame than pride. ...And here is a reaction from an Obama supporter... how's that for hope and pride!
Update 2/25 - Bill Kristol writes today that it's all about him: (funny SNL video of the last debate to the right)
...Barack Obama is an awfully talented politician. But could the American people, by November, decide that for all his impressive qualities, Obama tends too much toward the preening self-regard of Bill Clinton, the patronizing elitism of Al Gore and the haughty liberalism of John Kerry?
It’s fitting that the alternative to Obama will be John McCain. He makes no grand claim to fix our souls. He doesn’t think he’s the one everyone has been waiting for. He’s more proud of his country than of himself. And his patriotism has consisted of deeds more challenging than “speaking out on issues.”