Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another person in the media rooting for Obama

Stuart Taylor in the National Journal is another person in a long line of MSM pundits and journalists to openly root for Barack Obama. I've yet to see any one of the various storylines that could and should bring Obama down in the Presidential race placed in the infamous "echo chamber". That is where all of the media attack an issue or candidate on the same issue basically from the same point of view. It happens to everyone at some point. Not Saint Obama Yet. Nonetheless, the American people generally detest the press so Hillary should be well positioned to win big by Feb. 5th. Here's the latest rant:

Hillary Rodham Clinton's New Hampshire comeback was impressive. But I remain convinced that if Barack Obama can show he is tough enough and pragmatic enough to win the presidency and serve with distinction, it would be the best thing that could happen to America and the world.
Obama "radiates a sense of good judgment," in the words of former Bush White House official Peter Wehner.

The "if," of course, is a big one. New Hampshire showed that many Democrats see Clinton as a safer choice. This is understandable. Obama is relatively untested, making it especially hard to predict what he would do and how he would fare in the world's most challenging job. The big questions, in my view, are these:
Does this 46-year-old first-term senator have the inner steel to vanquish the Clinton and Republican attack machines; to drive hard bargains with foreign leaders; and to hit foreign enemies and nuke-seeking jihadists with the right mix of diplomacy, threats, and force?
Would this passionate critic of the Iraq war pull out so fast as to plunge the place into bloody chaos that might be avoided by the policy that the originally pro-war Clinton or the still-hawkish John McCain would follow?
Would this strong liberal with a voting record somewhat to the left of Clinton's be pragmatic enough for centrists like me? Would he resist pressure from his party's ideologues and interest groups to push protectionism, isolationism, unduly statist remedies for our broken educational and health care systems, more laws enriching multimillionaire trial lawyers, and judicial nominees bent on governing from the bench?
Subject to the answers, here's why Obama has more potential than any other candidate to be a transformative president.
His mind. In a welcome contrast with the current president, Obama has displayed both an exceptionally powerful intellect and extraordinary eloquence. He has done this in winning the presidency of the elite Harvard Law Review; in teaching law at the University of Chicago; in writing an impressive 1995 autobiography, "
Dreams From My Father"; and on the campaign trail.
To be sure, Clinton and several other candidates boast strong intellects, too. And her mastery of the issues is especially impressive. But Obama also "radiates a sense of good judgment," in the words of former Bush White House official Peter Wehner. This admittedly subjective assessment -- to be tested in the coming weeks and months -- may distinguish Obama from (among others) the rigidly uncompromising first lady who tried and disastrously failed to ram down the throats of the American people a gigantic, Rube Goldberg-style health care overhaul designed in secret by a closed circle of left-leaning policy wonks.
His heart. Obama has demonstrated a commitment to dispossessed people from the time when he passed up a prestigious Supreme Court clerkship to become a community organizer for the poor in Chicago. His eschewing of the race card and refusal to resort to attack politics -- even when his campaign seemed to be going nowhere last summer -- also speak well of his character. And although all presidential candidates sometimes bend the truth, Obama seems refreshingly honest, especially about himself.
His temperament. Obama's campaign-trail pledges about bringing America together and assertions that "we are not as divided as our politics suggest" gain credence from his history of building coalitions across party and racial lines. President Bush, who once spoke of being "a uniter, not a divider," has chosen time after time to deepen our divisions. Obama seems the best bet to heal them. He evinces more open-mindedness and interest in conciliation and compromise than any other candidate except perhaps McCain.
His race. At a time when America is still plagued by racial divisions and reviled abroad, especially in the Muslim world, Obama's half-black complexion is a precious asset.
At home, electing an African-American who preaches education and opportunity rather than grievance and reparations would provide the best imaginable
beacon of hope for black children who have been misled by bad leaders into thinking that America is still too racist to give them a chance at success.
Overseas, as
Andrew Sullivan writes in The Atlantic, Obama's "face [would be] the most effective rebranding of the United States since Reagan.... In one simple image, America's soft power [would be] ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy [would be the] most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology."
Obama's opposition to the Iraq war from 2002 on would also be a bonus diplomatically: More than any other candidate, he could give us a fresh start with a billion or more Bush-haters and -- if he chose -- use military force judiciously in Iraq and elsewhere relatively free from cynicism about his motives.

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