Here's how a conversation might go between a columnist and the Obama campaign:
Q. I have a question about Obama's health care policies?But the act of picking up the phone and dialing a number? It's too much for our poor columnists and their overstressed dialing fingers? Which is why we get this type of stuff from Ruth Marcus:
A. Did you review the materials on our website?
Q. Of course. But I was hoping for a few more specifics on when the candidate might impose a mandate....
To read Obama's exams is to get a glimpse of the supple intelligence he would bring to the presidency and to be impressed by his lawyerly capacity - perhaps even compulsion - to see the other side's argument and mine the weaknesses of his own case.I dunno. Maybe it's just me, but if I were a Washington Post columnist and thought one of his exam questions was that pressing, I would call him up and ask him about it. Would that make for too short a column?
But it is also a reminder of Obama's essential elusiveness, and how little we understand about how the candidate himself would resolve these thorny problems....
Reading them buttressed my confidence in Obama's capacity to grasp the nuances of any question, no matter how complex. They also underscored my sense that, in the hardest cases, I'm not always sure where Professor Obama, or President Obama for that matter, comes down.