Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I've seen this Obama statement about the '00 and '04 elections bandied about on various blogs with the assertion that Obama is "slamming" Gore and Kerry for alienating half the country and for being divisive.

But I don't necessarily get that from this one statement that's been the object of so much attention. Little context for the statement is provided, much too little to infer that Obama is "slamming" Gore and Kerry for being "divisive" or "polarizing".

Truth is, I'm not sure what Obama is referring to here at all, beyond his evident perception that in some polls Gore and Kerry were opposed by up to half of the sample population at any given moment. And given the little context that's provided, it isn't immediately clear who Obama is blaming for that situation, if anyone.

That being said, as the election season draws near, I am having second thoughts about who I'd like to see win this thing. Maybe my new hesitation stems from ideas about what the media narrative would be after an Obama (or Clinton) win in Iowa. While there's a certain opportunism and superficiality about the importance such a concern should have in a presidential race, particularly at the nominating stage, the fact that it has surfaced for at least some of us is an indication, however rough, that too little genuinely bold and unorthodox things are being said in this campaign.

This isn't to say that Edwards or anyone else running is a suitable alternative. And I still think that, despite the narrative that is being played out in the media, Obama would be (among the Democrats at least) the most dramatic break with the past on the issues that matter most; but my reasons for believing that are dwindling.

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