hope, change

from Bill Boyarsky @ Truthdig


Obama’s fans invoke the name of Robert Kennedy when they are talking about their candidate. There was, however, a big difference between Kennedy and the way Obama has campaigned so far.

Kennedy was an edgy, high-risk politician who wasn’t afraid of confrontation. In speeches and in symbolic gestures he told the world he was on the side of the poor and the middle class. He visited Cesar Chavez, a powerful gesture that proclaimed his support of the farm workers and his opposition to the powerful growers who ran California agriculture. As U.S. attorney general, he went to impoverished Southern areas and sent his aides south on dangerous missions to enforce the law against segregationist opposition.

So far, Obama has offered a gentler approach, everyone around the table, drug companies, doctors, health care reformers, lawmakers, presided over by a compassionate Obama who believes in the power of hope and change.

As John Edwards has pointed out, that won’t work. Yes, Edwards is still in the race, although he has dropped from the attention of the national political media after his third-place finish in New Hampshire. Perhaps another reason Edwards has lost coverage is that two-person narrative is much easier for reporters to handle.

And remedies are complex, as Clinton points out, to the boredom of the press corps.

MORE: A Vagueness in Obama’s Message

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