Of the two DNC candidates for President, neither of which can possibly be the best foot forward, even for the DNC, Obama is actually the least likely to bring "change" if elected President.
He will more likely he will bring rancor and stagnation. He's no bi-partisan.
Yet govern how and to what end? This is the Obama Americans don't know. For all of his inspiring rhetoric about bipartisanship, his voting record is among the most partisan in the Senate. His policy agenda is conventionally liberal across the board – more so than Hillary Clinton's, and more so than that of any Democratic nominee since 1968.
We can't find a single issue on which Mr. Obama has broken with his party's left-wing interest groups. Early on he gave a bow to merit pay for teachers, but that quickly sank beneath the waves of new money he wants to spend on the same broken public schools. He takes the Teamsters line against free trade, to the point of unilaterally rewriting Nafta. He wants to raise taxes even above the levels of the Clinton era, including a huge increase in the payroll tax. Perhaps now Mr. Obama will tack to the center, but somehow he will have to explain why the "change" he's proposing isn't merely more of the same, circa 1965.
There is no telling what his outspoken and undeniably hateful spouse, as first lady, would bring to the White House. She may actually be the best thing that ever happened to Bill Clinton as her antics are sure to overshadow the shame Bill Clinton brought to the darker corners of the White House.
While John McCain, not unlike Obama of late, has shown some restraint in the personal attacks department, there is no doubt the GOP, once they actually resign themselves to the fact that McCain is in fact their candidate, are going to have a field day with Obama's voting record, personal life, radical religious affiliations, gaffes and outright lies told on the campaign trail.
There is also the matter of judgment, and the roots of his political character. We were among those inclined at first to downplay his association with the Trinity United Church. But Mr. Obama's handling of the episode has raised doubts about his candor and convictions. He has by stages moved from denying that his 20-year attendance was an issue at all; to denying he'd heard Rev. Jeremiah Wright's incendiary remarks; to criticizing certain of those remarks while praising Rev. Wright himself; to repudiating the words and the reverend; and finally this weekend to leaving the church.
Most disingenuously, he said on Saturday that the entire issue caught him by surprise. Yet he was aware enough of the political risk that he kept Rev. Wright off the stage during his announcement speech more than a year ago.
The point is not that Mr. Obama now shares the radical views of these men. The concern is that by the Senator's own admission they have been major moral influences, and their views are starkly at odds with the candidate's vision as a transracial peacemaker. Their patronage was also useful as Mr. Obama was making his way in Chicago politics. But only now, in the glare of a national campaign, is he distancing himself from them. The question is what in fact Mr. Obama does believe.
And what will the DNC have on McCain to counter?
The former has already been disarmed. The latter may be a challenge.
Fact is, you may not like McCain's politics, but he has lived a pretty clean, patriotic and honest life. He will be difficult to assail, especially for Obama who is not given to specifics as we all well know by now.
...and they will talk about the war, but that won't have the traction it would have had even just a few months ago. We all want out of the war, the differences between us mostly relate to time frames. Truth is, the war has fallen out of the public consciousness as "Things are Going Relatively Well" doesn't sell papers and ratings these days, especially for a predominantly liberal media.
I think it will come down to the economy and even the most ardent liberal must know that the GOP (save GWB) are the ones you want in office if its the economy you want to fix.
In the end, I think Obama will obviously snarf up the far left; McCain the far right and significantly more of the center than Obama will get. McCain will get enough of Hillary's people to push him over the top. How that will translate into electoral votes, I can't say.
In any case, as hard as it is to believe after the last couple Presidential elections, this will prove to be a very interesting few months for those who love to follow politics.