This question has acquired a negative connotation recently, with Joe Sixpack, Mac Cro-Magnon, Palin God-Freak Igno-ramus et al asking it repeatedly, in useless contexts. But the question remains valid in the context of governing philosophy and vision. Obama, at best, seems a studious arbitrator-lawyer capable of reaching deals and communicating his case as the best. The studiousness, apparently, is used to find evidence for his case and win it, rather than on acquiring knowledge and finding the truth. He comes across as an extraordinary politician (the last couple of years into presidency out of nowhere stands for it) but he has no original vision/philosophy wrt governance. As Cro-Magnon rightly pointed out yesterday, he doesn’t seem ‘mavericky’ – often, going with his party’s flow (unlike Palin who is so mavericky, she goes against the flow of reason!)
CroM seems to have lost it already though, in his mind. It sure must feel really painful to see some kid emerge out of nowhere and pluck his thunder out of thin air by sheer hardwork and composure and not so much susbtance. (Hillarious Crybaby, anybody?) Afterall, the “real” Mac Cro-M, if he still does exist in some parallel multiverse, is a principled man who has seen it all and has gathered so much data in favor of his philosophical stance in governance. (that it no longer makes much sense to anyone but himself 😉 ) It sure doesn’t help that he is not as great in composed communication/argument. That he has voted so much with Mr.God-Knows-How-He-Got-There Texan hasn’t helped either. But as much as there is a case against Mac, so there is, against Obama. He has just waxed eloquent and marketed change effectively, given the huge anti-incumbency. If there is a case for Obama, its the case of the democratic party & the socialist populism it has come to stand for. But why should the choice of the President be influenced by party politics? (The country sure needs a relief from the Republican stranglehold but the Democrats have had the Congress for two years now, anyway.)
The economy, ofcourse, is the most relevant issue at hand. I don’t see why the electorate should prefer Obama to McCain here. Every time Obama has been pushed on his stance on the economy, of spending, of more taxes, he has reverted to his talking points. He has offered no serious debate in defence of his philosophy or questioned the merits of McCain’s stance.
It is likely that this stems from a complacency, a cockiness, of having come this far and being most likely to win now. All he does is come to the debate and defend using his cleverly constructed talking points with composure. It can also be called lack of passion. What this vetting process has primarily accomplished for him, is making him a better politician, adept at winning more votes using his populist stance and sticking to it. “Change”. This is the real Barack Obama. What is also likely, is that he doesn’t have any stance at all. I wonder why the electorate is ignoring this uncertainty in vision/leadership.
On the other hand, is the old man who chose Sarah God-Freak Igno-ramus for VP. His judgements have been so-so too. Its also uncertain how much of a maverick McCain really can be, given the fundamentalists that rule the GOP (market and, religious) & will eventually, have a say. But he’s also one of the best candidates that moderates and independents can hope for from the GOP.
Given the uncertain times ahead, America faces a tough choice. Whether this is a choice worth all this trouble is also a question, given the other difficult & more important questions that face her and the rest of humanity, in a century that will be a testing one. Outsiders like me, just watch to see if the promised hope and change will hold to fruition. Atleast, approximately.
PS: To the market fundamentalists, why is socialism so bad, anyway?