Monday, March 03, 2008

Winning on Hope

Advice to Clinton (and to Obama who already knows it): "Keep Your Sunny Side Up" - Paul Finkleman @ Balkinization

A very interesting post by guest blogger Paul Finkleman about the promise of hope in a presidential campaign leads me once again to the conclusion that Sen. Obama would whip Sen. McCain in a general election. It's not so much based on the organizational structure Sen. Obama has built that will work in his favor (although it certainly will), but the televised debates that will seal the deal for the American electorate I think. The image of the young, proming, animated and hopeful Sen. Obama debating the merits of the war, taxation and universal healthcare with the old, hardly mobile and quick to anger Sen. McCain will naturally favor Sen. Obama. For all of the times that either Sen. Clinton or the moderators of the Democratic debates tried to goad Sen. Obama into an angry response, you would witness a person who tempered his anger with smart, considered replies that, often times, allowed Sen. Obama to come out of the moment looking and acting presidential.
The sense of hope that Sen. Obama has based his campaign around isn't a false hope either. It's not uncommon to find Sen. Obama chiding parents for not taking a more active role in their children's lives, or pointing out how, while being the president affords him a great deal of power, the changes he wants to bring about in America rely just as much on the American people as they do on his leadership. Unlike Sen. Clinton who claims she is in the 'solutions' business, Sen. Obama's solution is to raise people up and offer them a promise of hope that is contigent on the American public taking a more active role in politics and governance. To me, it is the difference between a nanny-state of Sen. Clinton's doing and a self-governing state of Sen. Obama's making.
When it comes to a general election between Sens. Obama and McCain, you only have to look at how Sen. McCain has responded to criticism and how he has lead in the Senate to give you the sense that, while a great legislator he may be, a leader of a nation, of domestic and foreign policy, he is not. It's that promise of hope for a better future that Sen. Obama offers while Sens. Clinton and McCain offer only promises that they will try but if they fail then it's of no fault of their own. They will claim the American people were duped while Sen. Obama will personally admit momentary defeat and then go out to re-energize the American public. I get the sense that an Obama administration will see great victories and great failures while a Clinton or McCain administration will only see the same patterns of governance of the last twenty years.
I'm 27 years old now. The last twenty years of politics is not what I want. So, to put it simply, fuck McCain and Clinton.

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