Tuesday, June 24

WHAT'S AT OBAMA'S CORE?

I've said it over and over, and now Richard Cohen says it too:

But here is the difference between McCain and Obama -- and Obama had better pay attention. McCain is a known commodity. It's not just that he's been around a long time and staked out positions antithetical to those of his Republican base. It's also -- and more important -- that we know his bottom line. As his North Vietnamese captors found out, there is only so far he will go, and then his pride or his sense of honor takes over. This -- not just his candor and nonstop verbosity on the Straight Talk Express -- is what commends him to so many journalists.

Obama might have a similar bottom line, core principles for which, in some sense, he is willing to die. If so, we don't know what they are. Nothing so far in his life approaches McCain's decision to refuse repatriation as a POW so as to deny his jailors a propaganda coup. In fact, there is scant evidence the Illinois senator takes positions that challenge his base or otherwise threaten him politically. That's why his reversal on campaign financing and his transparently false justification of it matter more than similar acts by McCain.

A presidential race is only incidentally about issues. It's really about likability and character. Obama is, to paraphrase what he said about Hillary Clinton, more than "likable enough" -- in fact, so much so that he is the most charismatic presidential candidate I've seen since Robert F. Kennedy. But the character question hangs -- not because of any evidence to the contrary and not in any moral sense, either, but because he is still young and lacks the job references McCain picked up in a North Vietnamese prison. McCain has a bottom line. Obama just moved his.
[Emphasis mine]

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Motherlode,

Even his so-called "charisma" comes across as tainted as his character in my eyes. Everything he says and does sounds scripted, like he was an actor on a stage. He plays to the audience very well and tells them what they want to hear. But anyone who takes a moment to look through the words and read between the lines, he is nothing but a con man selling the "idea" of hope and change to an audience who are so thirsty for anything resembling "change" that they will willingly drink sand because they no longer know the difference between sand and water.

I had the same reaction to obama I did to GWB when he was being marketed as the new and different "compassionate conservative".

All I see is the same horse, different color. (No pun intended).

Kathleen Wynne

9:23 AM  
OpenID ciardhapagan said...

He never seemed that likeable to me. Before he started throwing the smears around he just seemed scripted, I didn't feel anything geniune in his words, but that just made me shrug and think he was just your typical run of the mill politician. It was when he started throwing the smears and contempteous remarks around that I started actively disliking him. Then when he acted like he was the innocent injured party, while throwing around sexist, ageist, classist comments, and lying about his voting record and background, that's when I knew no way in heck would I ever vote for such a slimy person. He's the nastiest politician I can recall besides Cheney and no surprise they are cousins!

8:04 PM  

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