September 22, 2008

Not ready for the majors?

An interesting thought from Christopher Hitchins...
..By the end of that grueling campaign season, a lot of us had got the idea that Dukakis actually wanted to lose---or was at the very least scared of winning. Why do I sometimes get the same idea about Obama? To put it a touch more precisely, what I suspect in his case is that he had no idea of winning this time around. He was running in Iowa and New Hampshire to seed the ground for 2012, not 2008, and then the enthusiasm of his supporters (and the weird coincidence of a strong John Edwards showing in Iowa) put him at the front of the pack. Yet, having suddenly got the leadership position, he hadn't the faintest idea what to do with it or what to do about it.

Look at the record, and at Obama's replies to essential and pressing questions. The surge in Iraq? I'll answer that only if you insist. The credit crunch? Please may I be photographed with Bill Clinton's economic team? Georgia? After you, please, Sen. McCain. A vice-presidential nominee? What about a guy who, despite his various qualities, is picked because he has almost no enemies among Democratic interest groups?...

It would explain a lot...

One of the problems with politics is that people often run for office because they are psychologically needy, not because there is something they want to accomplish. The first President Bush is a classic example. And he's also an example of why words like "accomplishments" and "qualifications,"which everyone is using right now, are misleading. Bush senior was a very "qualified" V-P candidate. And he had "accomplishments," in the form of having run various organizations successfully.

But he had zero accomplishments in the sense of dreaming of building something, or changing something, and then sparing no effort to do so. Sarah Palin is the exact opposite. From the PTA onward, she always ran for office because she wanted to fix something. (And has always succeeded, so far.)

Posted by John Weidner at September 22, 2008 5:57 PM
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