Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Boring, boring Barack Obama
Were there any interesting nuggets at all? Let’s at least try.
* Is John McCain spending so much time with Sarah Palin that he’s turning into her?
Asked about the financial bailout, did he really say "I have a plan to fix this problem, and its to do with energy independence”
* Did six million Americans really email in their questions in the hope of getting them put to the candidates?
Another difficulty for the politics is broken brigade is that when we get unmediated politics (even on as flat a night as this one, then voters’ impressions of both candidates tend to rise. And that happens once large numbers of non-anoraks, about to undertake the solemn duty of electing a President, decide to pay just a little more attention for a couple of nights once every four years. Perhaps that’s because of the all too well hidden secret of national politics: it can be much more often about decent people thinking sincerely about how to solve difficult problems than anybody tends to let on.
* Does anybody really think that McCain’s “that one” comment cuts it as a historic debate “moment”?
This definitely won’t ever be there with Reagan and Dukakis on the tape of those famous debate moments in years to come; my guess would be that few people will remember it by this weekend.
Spin alley is very old news now that campaign press secretaries can simply ping over an email to reporters during the debate. But that also entails the risk of losing all perspective. I doubt this would have been much more than the briefest of footnotes to news reports twenty years ago.
Yes, McCain is getting snarkier. Like Ezra Klein, I didn’t spot any racist connotation – but McCain is pissed off that he is losing. And no, it won’t work while Obama maintains the contrasting Presidential demeanour which has served him especially well ever since the financial crisis broke, somehow seeming above the fray even as his bid to be President enters its critical final weeks.
This may still be more of a referendum on the Democratic contender than his party would like it to be – but he’s more than passing that test, And its enough of a referendum on Bush-McCain and the economy for him to be an increasingly confident as front-runner.
So he is now running down the clock from here until November 4th, I guess that means we’ll be hearing much more of nothing much new from this new, boring Barack Obama.
As long as he gets to take the rhetorical fireworks out of the box again on January 20th 2009, then what is there to complain about?
As the Washington clocks strike twelve on 20th January 2009, listen carefully and you might just hear a swooshing sigh of relief travel around the world. The Bush Presidency will not leave the legacy its architects intended. But a critique of what should have been done differently since 2001 is not enough. This blog is about the new ideas which can create a 'new multilateralism' to tackle the global challenges we face.