Dr. Helen, quoting Dick Meyer, compares Obama to a Rorschach test. His positions, his philosophy, and his strategies for governing are at this point so vaguely defined that people look at him and see what they want to see. Mostly, that seems to be something new and different.
Actually, I think Obama is a throwback, a politician picked by powerful insiders to be front man. The first time I ever heard of him, he was presented as a rising superstar, even though he was then in the Illinois legislature and had no notable accomplishments. Someone had selected him for the role he is now playing. His “present” votes in the legislature indicate that he was already positioning himself for higher office.
This is not necessarily a bad thing—I think the old system of letting political insiders vet, select, and prepare candidates had something to recommend it—but it’s not the image that most people have. Obama isn’t a fresh face; he’s the face of the Democratic machine, the old one, the one pushed aside by the Clintons in 1992 and forced into the background by their victories.
UPDATE: I’m not the only one to start having these thoughts:
But isn’t it a bit odd that the leading candidate for ‘change’ is a Chicago Democrat?
Chicago … Democrat … Change.
Pardon me for noticing the incongruent nature of that particular grouping of words.
Not only is Sen. Barack Obama a Chicago Democrat, but he started his career by having all of his Democratic primary opponents — including the incumbent — thrown off the ballot in a race for an Illinois Senate seat in 1996.
I know I can’t be the only person that thinks it’s more than a bit ironic that Sen. Barack Obama is now marketed by the Chicago Boys as the candidate of “change.”