Monday Morning Comments (RW)

Obamanation: So, here's what I have to say about Saturday and the LA Times piece and all this Obamarama biznit. First, I LOVE that there is a national debate of whether or not BHO is black enough to be president. When did we enter Bizarro world? He should tour around with Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter and Halle Berry. And B, who may or may not be black enough to be president.

Now, what I have to say may sound overly critical. There have been a lot of discussions about BHO since Saturday and when I hear what comes out of my mouth, it sounds more critical than I intend it to be. So let me try and state this all carefully. I went to the speech on Saturday open to BHO closing the deal with me. I went in with an open mind and open heart and pretty much gave him an invitation to be my horse for the rest of this race. But he didn't close the deal. Granted, those are pretty high expectations and after seeing his speech in Selma, I expected his speech in Oakland to be some sort of Gettysburg Address-type lesson in oratory fireworks. It was not. He was charming, funny, passionate, but thematically and substantively generic.

Oh, you support universal health care? Really? Oh, and teachers and education too? You don't say. Oh, you care about the environment? Get out. Oh, you think politics-as-usual in Washington is a bad thing? You're going to change that? Right. Tell me something EVERY other Democratic candidate didn't also say during their own stump speeches today. Tell me something EVERY other Democratic candidate hasn't said since 1992.
"He's the new fucking Ronald Reagan for the 21st Century."

I'll say this, he did well on the war issue. If I'm going to support a candidate, he or she is going to have to be clear that this war was an enormous mistake. I'd like them to also say that we're going to jail the fuckers who lied us into it, but I'm a reasonable man and don't really expect that. Obama was clear that this war was a mistake. He called out the fake patriots who wrap themselves in flags. Easy applause lines while speaking in Oakland, yes, but this is on the record now. I heard him say it in public to thousands of people.

Now, let me raise the bar a little higher. What I expected from myself on Saturday was a visceral response to Obama's presence. In the run up to the 2004's I would see all the pinheaded Democrats on the TeeVee begging for votes. And without really knowing what any of them were saying or why, whenever Howard Dean came on TeeVee and started talking, I was like, "Yeah, that's my guy. That one right there." Without any attention to the words. I just knew, you know? And I didn't get that on Saturday.

I still like the guy. Like I said, he was charming and funny. And notice that he's 10-15 years younger than every other candidate in this race. That's the better part of a generation gap. Do you want to know why he's so good with the media, why is image is so relaxed and natural? Do you want to know why Hillary is so awkward and stiff? Obama's entire political career has been during the cable news era. He honed his chops entirely during the massive TeeVee politics onslaught. Politics is no longer about radiating charm and compassion one on one (Bubba) or handshaking, baby kissing, glad handling. Or knowing how to work the political machine (Hillary). It's about knowing how to work the media (Obama). National politics have changed in 20 years and while Bill and Hillary and Al and John Kerry and all the rest have done there best to go back and relearn how to be TeeVee people, Obama was raised as one. He gets it. It's natural. He doesn't even have to try. He's the new fucking Ronald Reagan for the 21st Century.

Let me be blatantly honest about something else. Ultimately, when we vote for a president, we're voting for the identity of the nation. Not who has more experience, who has better judgment, blah blah blah. But who is a better symbol. The president is a symbol to us and to the rest of the world of the American Dream. It was the best thing about Clinton. White-trash son of poor alcoholic single mother who made himself into a president. It's what I find most offensive about our current president. And frankly, Hillary's not much better as a symbol of the American dream. I have no doubt that she would make a great executive. But rich, white girl from the Chicago suburbs who's husband was president is only a hair better than rich white boy from the Connecticut suburbs who's daddy was president. Throw Al Gore into that same pot.

For whatever it's worth - and maybe our choices of presidents are so irrational and intangible as this - having Obama as president would go a long way to heal our division with the rest of the world. What better tonic for President Shithead the Wonder Crap, than a president whose father tended goats in Kenya. What better export of the American Dream. What could be greater about this country than to be able to tell the rest of the world to dream big - no matter what your squalor, your son or grandson could someday be president of the United States of America.

Your daughter's still screwed, though.

Barack 'n' roll.