Friday, February 22, 2008

If "We Are the Change We Have Been Waiting For," Why Did We Wait?

Overall, it isn't the most original analysis of the presidential campaign. But New York Times columnist David Brooks manages to get in some great one-liners, and a bit of insight, about the two Democratic contenders.

He observes that as time goes by, Obama's most dedicated supporters have needed "more and purer hope-injections just to preserve the rush. They wound up craving more hope that even the Hope Pope could provide, and they began experiencing brooding moments of suboptimal hopefulness."

As the faithful began to come down from their initial mania, some began wondering if Obama's "stuff" actually makes sense. Giving his pronouncements calmer scrutiny, Brooks suggests, they might wonder, for instance: "if we are the change we have been waiting for then why have we been waiting since we've been here all along?"

And this even causes some Obama devotees to "experience slivers of sympathy for Hillary Clinton. They see her campaign morosely traipsing from one depressed industrial area to another--The Sitting Shiva for America Tour. They see that her entire political strategy consists of waiting for primary states as boring as she is."

Then Brooks gets to the true heart the Democrats' quandry. Doubts that Obama's preaching has any substance beyond the inspirational might lead people "to the question that is the Unholy of the Unholies for Obama-maniacs: How exactly would all this unity he talks about come to pass?

"How is a 47-year-old novice going to unify highly polarized 70-something committee chairs? What will happen if the nation's 261,000 lobbyists don't see the light, even after the laying on of hands? Does The Changemaker have the guts to take on the special interests in his own party--the trial lawyers, the teachers' unions, the AARP?"

Hillary's supports think they know the answers. They believe she has a better chance of cajoling these stubborn forces into cooperating than he does. But it appears that the majority of Democratic voters have stopped listening to them.

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