Sunday, January 27, 2008

But What If... He's Not?

When I read things like this:
I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president - not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.
I can't help but wonder, what if he's not? And for that matter, what's so great about being "inspirational"? If you have two candidates vying for the same job, one of whom is inspirational and the other of whom is competent and capable (but dry as toast), who can you trust more to get the job done? I'm not arguing that the two are mutually exclusive, but being "inspirational" does always correlate with being effective. There is no guarantee a President's words, no matter how inspirational, will translate into Congressional action. History also suggests that being "inspirational" won't stop a President from involving us in ill-advised, catastrophic wars.

Given the best of all worlds, I suppose we would have an inspirational President who is also extremely competent and effective. But until we're doing more than hoping that a candidate will be inspirational, my focus will remain upon the candidate'smeasurable attributes. To me, Obama appears intent upon, as much as possible, remaining a tabula rasa upon to which his supporters can project their own dreams and wishes for the country. What if he is the type of candidate who is inspirational only up to the day he enunciates a platform or implements specific policies?

1 comment:

  1. Big Tent Democrat provides an explanation of his support for Obama, which includes potential:

    Obama has more political talent than Hillary. The upside for Obama is clearly higher. If he can learn to fight partisan battles, he can be the best politician we have ever seen.

    Also, there's potential treatment by the media:

    Not much to choose from [in relation to their stand on the issues]. Except this. The Media HATES the Clintons. Obama is a Media Darling. There is a real chance that Obama will recieve the most favorable Media treatment a Democrat has gotten since John F. Kennedy.

    In terms of media treatment, we can look at what has been happening and conclude, "There's evidence for that." I don't know if the media's apparent infatuation with Obama will continue, but it is fair to assume that the media's many "Clinton haters" will continue to dog the Clintons. That's not a Fox News phenomenon, either - there are plenty of Clinton-hating columnists and pundits who are otherwise on the political left.