December 11, 2006

"I think to some degree I’ve become a shorthand or symbol or stand-in for a spirit..."

It's appealing to concede that, isn't it? Though eventually Barack Obama will have to be something specific, won't he? Wouldn't it be funny if he didn't?

ON FURTHER THOUGHT: It's actually rather embarrassing for him to campaign for the Presidency openly admitting that he's doing well because he's a blank screen upon which people project their hopes. Even purely for the sake of appearances, he needs to get some substance.

27 comments:

Ultimate_Lawyer said...

Isn't it enough that he's the closest thing in American politics to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy? What more do you want?!

Plus it's about time a constitutional law prof gets elected president.

Anonymous said...

Ultimate Lawyer: Well, it is enough for the moment that people are able to project that idea in his direction. Time, and exposure, will tell.

Fritz said...

"Mr. Obama said he believed he had become a symbol of the voters’ desire for new faces and a new tone in Washington. “Whether it’s me or someone else, what is most important — and over the long-term most newsworthy — is that desire on the part of the voters.”

I voted for Obama and Bush. He promised to work with President Bush. He also recognized the million others like me in Illinois that did the same. His first floor speech condoned Boxers unprecedented protest of the Electoral College, some change in tone, more of the same. He could have stood up in the caucus and condemned it, it was nothing short of protesting our Democracy. He couldn't even vote for a classmate, Chief Justice Roberts, that was pure partisan vile. He's a good talker but a Daily Kos leftist. He could have come to Washington to change the tone, but he aligned himself with the Durbin left.

SteveR said...

In some ways, he reminds me of John Edwards when he first emerged into public view, several years before his presidential run. A young, well spoken, fresh face whose politics was second to his personality. Like Edwards, I see Obama as a VP choice for the nominee, which at this point is Hillary.

Anyway pay no attention to his record, even he is honest about what's going on.

hdhouse said...

Ann Althouse wrote:

"It's appealing to concede that, isn't it? Though eventually Barack Obama will have to be something specific, won't he? Wouldn't it be funny if he didn't?"

After 6 years of an empty suit I don't think it would be funny to endure any further 'stand for nothing' president.

Obama appears to have values and a brain. Talk about a 180.

Rowena Hullfire said...

He's pretty much a blank slate.

Do Americans vote for blank slates? Shorthands? Symbols? Standins for spirits?

I prefer substance.

We'll see how he can stand up to becoming particular and specific over time.

AJ Lynch said...

150 media members were credentialed to see this "stand-in for a spirit".

1- Did he say anything notable from a policy or new idea perspective?
2- I will remember number of media in attendance the next time I hear the MSM bemoan budget cuts.

Joe Baby said...

If BO is lucky he'll come close in a few primaries before being solidly put away by Hillary, Inc.

If he's unlucky, his veneer will be stripped away swiftly and brutally, in Lee Atwater style.

Ultimate_Lawyer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

Did I swear I'd never vote for anyone who voted against John Roberts? I'll have to look that up.

Anyway, I agree that he's smart, but I know a lot of smart people, and I'd be afraid to trust most of them with any real power. Smart people can have terrible judgment. (Not claiming Bush's judgment is first rate... I'm just saying...)

RogerA said...

I am not sure what this Obama phenomena says--but the day an empty suit, with 3 years of State Senate experience, and two years of service with no significant record in the US senate now becomes the second coming--this doesnt say anything good.

It may be the Mr. Obama may become a distinguished Senator; that remains to be seen. Can we at least see what he has done, and who he is based upon some record of performance?

I would rather have Ms Clinton than such a cipher as Obama.

American politics is the vast wasteland.

Anonymous said...

Given all that has happened since 2000, I think it's easy to forget that Bush was somewhat of a "he's-whatever-you-think-he-is" candidate. For some, an alternative to Clinton sleaze. For others, a "compassionate conservative" -- which many of us took to mean "sane liberal." For others, a new Reagan. For others, the mayor of Jesusland.

Part of the reason we can project these contradictory images on a candidate like Bush or Obama is because they lack a "paper trail." But for the far more sober year that 2008 is going to be, I sense it might be a liability to seem like someone who's going to learn foreign policy, military policy and international diplomacy on the job.

Anonymous said...

Given all that has happened since 2000, I think it's easy to forget that Bush was somewhat of a "he's-whatever-you-think-he-is" candidate. For some, an alternative to Clinton sleaze. For others, a "compassionate conservative" -- which many of us took to mean "sane liberal." For others, a new Reagan. For others, the mayor of Jesusland.

Part of the reason we can project these contradictory images on a candidate like Bush or Obama is because they lack a "paper trail." But for the far more sober year that 2008 is going to be, I sense it might be a liability to seem like someone who's going to learn foreign policy, military policy and international diplomacy on the job.

Anthony said...

I seem to recall Clinton being kind of a blank slate. Remember, he wasn't even a blip on the radar before his mega-speech at the 1988 convention (I think it was). I recall wondering who he was and what the heck he ever did. Well, he was a governor of a small southern state. Um, okay. Turned out he got elected having done nearly nothing, just talking a good game.

Anonymous said...

Given all that has happened since 2000, I think it's easy to forget that Bush was somewhat of a "he's-whatever-you-think-he-is" candidate. For some, an alternative to Clinton sleaze. For others, a "compassionate conservative" -- which many of us took to mean "sane liberal." For others, a new Reagan. For others, the mayor of Jesusland.

Part of the reason we can project these contradictory images on a candidate like Bush or Obama is because they lack a "paper trail." But for the far more sober year that 2008 is going to be, I sense it might be a liability to seem like someone who's going to learn foreign policy, military policy and international diplomacy on the job.

Anonymous said...

Given all that has happened since 2000, I think it's easy to forget that Bush was somewhat of a "he's-whatever-you-think-he-is" candidate. For some, an alternative to Clinton sleaze. For others, a "compassionate conservative" -- which many of us took to mean "sane liberal." For others, a new Reagan. For others, the mayor of Jesusland.

Part of the reason we can project these contradictory images on a candidate like Bush or Obama is because they lack a "paper trail." But for the far more sober year that 2008 is going to be, I sense it might be a liability to seem like someone who's going to learn foreign policy, military policy and international diplomacy on the job.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the double-post. Blame the new Google blogger beta thing.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the double-post. Blame the new Google blogger beta thing.

PatCA said...

Hype, hype, hype, for a future VP slot.

I suspect as well that all the "Kerry's own party can't stand him" stories are planted by Hillary/Obama partisans.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Are you a stand-in for the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to me?

dick said...

The difference with Bush and Clinton is that both of them had their experience as a governor to tell us a lot about them and their judgment. In the case of Obama and Edwards neither one had a background and neither one did anything while in officer thus far. For that matter Hillary has made a lot of speeches but what has she accomplished thus far. If a senator is going to run for president I would hope that he (or she) has executive experience or a proven record while in the senate. In the case of these people we don't have either.

Jacob said...

Patca,
I think Kerry does a pretty good job of discrediting himself.

This puts Obama in a pretty good light.

babuilder said...

Surely as a former constitutional law prof he has a few positions we could look at now. A woman's right to choose. The second amendment.Etc., Etc.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Did I swear I'd never vote for anyone who voted against John Roberts? I'll have to look that up.

You said you hoped he wouldn't even run, let alone win.

al said...

Surely as a former constitutional law prof he has a few positions we could look at now. A woman's right to choose. The second amendment.Etc., Etc.

BO is all for a womans right to have an abortion - even if the child is born alive. As for the 2nd Amendment - he's no friend of those of us who choose to exercise this right.

My own opinion - sooner of later someone is going to really look at his past, including his shady real estate dealings, and he'll be political road kill.

Mellow-Drama said...

I would have considered voting for Obama until he went onto Monday Night Football tonight and put on a Chicago Bears hat right before the game. Seriously, show some sense, man! True that Southern Illinois seems far away from Chicago, but it is full of Rams fans, and just because we're not happy with the current state of football in St. Louis doesn't mean we'll forgive a politician who picks against us!

Mortimer Brezny said...

Well, if he's just reflecting mass desires, he'd have to be white. So he must be absorbing the substance at some rate, because he's black.