January 10, 2008


Lack of Policy Detail Raises Doubts About Obama (Mort Kondracke, 1/09/08, Real Clear Politics)

Welling tears may have helped "humanize" Clinton, especially with women voters, but I think she also made a dent with her updated version of Walter Mondale's 1984 taunt of his "new ideas" challenger, Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.): "Where's the beef?"

Obama delivers thrilling speeches about "hope" and "change" and ending the poisonous partisanship that consumes Washington.

His crowds love the message, as do I. But they seem to cheer him most when he refers to what can be done if the partisanship ends -- 47 million people can get health insurance, the planet can be saved from global warming, teachers will be better rewarded, youngsters will have early-childhood education, etc.

But it's a litany of objectives pretty much devoid of details. And Obama rarely engages in question-and-answer sessions with voters to give them a chance to draw him out -- or him, to show how thoughtful he is.

Right now, he's a national Rorschach test, with voters reading into him their fondest hopes for what America can do and be.

When you try to run as an ink blot your opponents get to describe you to the voters.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 10, 2008 8:28 AM
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