vendredi, août 08, 2008

No Messiah

I'm sure that there are folks who won't vote for Barack Obama because he's black (see article by Charles Blow linked above).

I feel stupid even writing that, because to judge someone on their skin color seems so utterly ridiculous.

We don't know if this is a small or a larger group of voters, because it's so tough to correct polls for racial bias, or guilt, or simple lying.

That's challenging enough. But then it gets more interesting. Why else doesn't Obama feel "like us" to voters?

Because he seems elitist at times? I have to say, this is one of my pet peeves. The way John Kerrey seemed to talk down to his constituents drove me nuts. But I can't stand the down home hypocrisy of a George Bush, either-or maybe I don't like the idea that sometimes breeding doesn't tell.

I have a feeling that there are many white, working class voters who felt that Hillary, with all of her jagged edges, was much more "like them." That seems odd in itself, because Obama's the son of a single mom who succeeded on the power of his obvious intelligence and perhaps his faith in himself. It may be more a matter of demeanour than of fact-but demeanour counts.

Because he seems a little judgmental? I don't like to be told what to eat, either.

A bit full of himself?

And what about the experience factor?

John McCain has a lot more experience in the Senate.

But he seems very uninformed on some of the basic foreign policy and economic issues that are going to be critical as we try to figure out how to get out of Iraq, deal with Al Queda, negotiate trade agreements, cope with global warming---well, you get the idea. And off-shore drilling is just more of the same sleight of hand solution to immediate problems that the Republicans have been offering recently.

He doesn't have Obama's rock star charisma-although he has charisma of his own. And perhaps charisma is a legitimate factor to weigh in making decisions about a President. I mean, look at how good Carla Bruni has been for Nicolas Sarkozy.

I wonder what Barack Obama or John McCain is like in person. I wonder how much of what we think we know about them is simply wrong. Or I wonder if indeed, they are "like us"-complex, sometimes ignorant, often driven by emotions they can't quite parse.

I guess we don't get to choose a Messiah. But again, we didn't recognize him when he came the first time, did we?

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