What now, Obama?

He took Iowa, but is he too polite to go the distance? Salon's reader community Table Talk sounds off.


Salon Staff
January 5, 2008 1:00AM (UTC)

White House

SENATOR BARACK OBAMA(D-IL)

Ken Erfourth - 07:42 am Pacific Time - Jan 4, 2008 - #2956 of 2971

Do I really think that Obama believes the likes of John Boehner will sit down and honestly work for the better of America?

No, I don't. That would be silly.

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Then why does Obama keep bringing up this non-partisan feelgood stuff?

Because it sounds good and makes people hopeful for change, which is what they really want. It sells. And what an election comes down to, in the end, is a selling job. Obama is selling himself to America, and so far, doing an outstanding job of it.

But why doesn't Obama just stand up and tell that John Boehner and those Pharmaceuticals and Neoconmen to just go to hell like some of us are do desperate to hear?

To quote Lyndon Baines Johnson, another amazingly effective politician, you never tell a man to go to hell until you can send him there yourself. Obama is smart enough to know that.

With Pelosi, and more so with Reid, we've had a whole lot of of telling people to go to hell without being able to back it up. Reid ain't got the votes to beat a filibuster, and he ain't got the balls to run one hisself. So he can say "Go to hell" all day long, and deliver nothing in the end.

I find that a little crazy-making myself.

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Right now, Obama is selling hope to America. If he closes the sale, we might get enough coattail Senators and Representatives out of the effort to make breaking some Repugnicon filibusters in the Senate possible (especially with a master salesman like Obama behind the effort). We might see the emergence of some national leadership from Hillary, Dodd and Biden. We might even see a new Senate Majority Leader.

We might see all that, and see it delivered with a smile, and pat on the back, and a firm grip on some wavering congresscritters' cojones.

Detailed campaign platforms are, frankly, meaningless. Big ideas have power (Dean's antiwar stance and focus on healthcare come to mind), but details just mire people down into arguing about minutiae.

Elect the human, not the position papers. Position papers are non-binding and only appear at four year intervals.

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Obama is the Human!

Best of Table Talk is an ongoing feature of Salon's vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week may be found in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up here.


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