January 8, 2008


Obama Is 'Intangible, Elastic, Hollow' (Der Spiegel, 1/08/08)

Center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: [...]

"Barack Obama ... would be a greater risk for the Democrats in the actual presidential election campaign -- against a Republican warhorse like John McCain, for example. Anyone who reads Obama's speeches, analyzes his political resumé, who studies his public appearances from the first minute to the last will acknowledge that he has great political talent."

"But the candidate is nevertheless unsettling because he remains strangely intangible, elastic and hollow. When Obama suffered a slump in popularity in the autumn, there was a reason: You can't grab hold of the man. But now he is enchanting the public with a canned speech that offers everything apart from the most important thing: political substance. That may be tactically clever, but one would prefer to hand one of the most important jobs in the democratic world to someone who does more than just spread feelgood sentiment, who has a few more scars, whose career was built on measurable decisions and who doesn't primarily tap into an outlook on life."

Here's an idea to consider: it may be that the Democrats' failure to reconcile themselves to Clintonism--the Third Way--requires them to nominate a hollow man. They don't like the ones who truly are New Democrats and know they can't afford to nominate true believers in the Second Way. So the best option is someone thoroughly insubstantial.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 8, 2008 8:13 AM

So the best option is someone thoroughly insubstantial.

That would certainly help explain Kerry.

Posted by: Brandon at January 8, 2008 10:51 AM

Watching BarryO play the part of President-in-Waiting for the next 10 months will be entertaining, too. Can he keep the act up all that time? But will the GOP find it in themselves to expose the fact that there's no there in there? The press sure won't, so the only other negatives he'll have to face will be St.Hillary! going begala on him for the rest of this month.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 8, 2008 11:29 AM

Kerry ran as not Dean, which was enough, and not W, which wasn't. Obama is running as not Hillary, which is enough, but it's doubtful not Maverick is a winner. So he may have to actually make a few proposals and then he's just a garden variety liberal hack.

Posted by: oj at January 8, 2008 4:25 PM