I get twisted up when I think that a professional candidate, a man who has run for three and held two offices in a period less than three presidential terms, may be president. It just has an air of deception to it -- not on Obama's part, while his being disingenuous certainly has a hand in it.
It is a shame that it comes down to him and a long-time leader and individual-thinker -- McCain (I can still hope for the maverick to be there, in his soul, can't I?), because Obama is no dummy and I have genuinely liked him, in hits and misses, during the campaigning. His smug language, and his smug grins, I can do without; his glib brushing off of credible criticisms, and refusal to take a stand on any number of things, I do not appreciate. He is no world-class leader, in short.
Obama has enjoyed the crudest of attacks on McCain, Palin, and even "Joe the Plumber" by surrogates who are falling all over themselves to be insulting and outrageous and insulting for him, so he need not say anything controversial. The media is doing it for him. By contrast, where's the attack machine that makes fun of Biden the flake, and Obama the indecisive and naive? Not on TV, folks. Not even on Fox News!
That Obama avoids anything controversial is nothing new. How he will avoid candid and awkward face time when the heat gets turned up if he becomes president, I cannot be sure. If he wins, perhaps he will redefine the job an elected honorable chairmanship: staff and surrogates would do all of the tricky work and make all the statements he thinks might dirty his reputation, or he would simply move to something less controversial (just like the old days in the state senate). Won't miss those great chats at the podium, though, with foreign leaders. Just what those will be about -- who knows! Redistribution of wealth? Eek!
It seems, based on what people who worked with him have said, that the party gave Obama lots of protection, going all the way back to his first state senate run. He didn't only cover himself with it, he didn't bat an eye to use that cover against anyone to get where he wanted to be. That's called blind ambition. Ambition is admirable to a point, but me-thinks Obama has taken it too far. Politicians who are given too much coverage to travel within without the friction usually given are not generous in their leadership, they are often autocratic. Hitler was given a role in government, and then some added power, then he took more. I am not trying to say he is in other ways similar to Hitler, such as ideologically or in mental stability, most people understand that Hitler came to power because they were trying to shut him up. Obama is not the same deal, but I lack another example of such a sheltered political rise, frankly. He takes a position, then changes it, and has not even got a voting record to fall back on. He is a perfect candidate in one sense: he has little shame and is not bothered by not having a long record of consistency or of voting, period.
Obama has been given a lot of latitude in his political career. He used it, calculatingly, and coolly, and he is handling this campaign with excellence. He has also been given some golden advantages. The economic crisis, while hardly the fault of the GOP, nor GW Bush, and certainly not McCain, is like the final gift for Obama in his campaign against GW Bush. Too bad McCain cannot also campaign against GW Bush, however inaccurate it is in any case.
Obama talks of how the election is about all of us, that it is not about him. Well, it seems to be about him an awful lot. He cannot even define the change he made the center of his campaign. Sadly, change from eight years of GW Bush is all a lot of people care about. But for what? Spreading the wealth? No thanks. I know how business works, and good businesses want to expand, not sit on their butts, so they will invest back into their business, which means more jobs. In his world, that investment would instead go to the government, in the form of taxes, for all but the smallest of small businesses. That's bad economics.
This campaign, such as it is with this giant financial "gift", is only the prologue, though. What about after the campaign? Where is the sign of the excellence while in office? He lacks a record of doing much other than campaigning and speaking and writing books about -- himself. But this campaign is not about him, it is about "us."
Barack Obama is going to make things change. Because change is always good. Just ask 1977-1980 what they thought of Jimmy Carter's work as president. That was quite a change. Twenty-one percent loan rates and Billy Carter. Change, change, and more change. And less change in your pockets.