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February 19, 2008
David Brooks on Obama's "Change"
There are some liberal commentators who fear that Obama's bubble is about to burst. They point to several factors including a natural inclination by the press to prove they are not taken in by Obama's magical oratory or feel good candidacy.
They may have something there. One theme that has been mentioned in the last few days by a few pundits is Obama's curious avoidance of the press - to the point that he rarely interacts with them at all. The question arises of what he might be afraid and the answer, if you saw his appearance on 60 minutes the other night, might be that he would be exposed as something less than the smooth, urbane, polished politician he shows on the stump.
But clearly, what eventually will bring Obama back down to earth is...Obama. David Brooks explains:
Obama says he is practicing a new kind of politics, but why has his PAC sloshed $698,000 to the campaigns of the superdelegates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics? Ultimately, what will doom Obama is that the reality will eventually set in that he's just another liberal pol with an agenda full of big ticket spending items and who's a slave to the same special interests as any Democrat. Once that becomes clear - probably after the primaries - McCain will be able to compete on a level playing field.
Is giving Robert Byrd's campaign $10,000 the kind of change we can believe in?
If he values independent thinking, why is his the most predictable liberal vote in the Senate? A People for the American Way computer program would cast the same votes for cheaper.
Does The Changemaker have the guts to take on the special interests in his own party — the trial lawyers, the teachers' unions, the AARP?
The Gang of 14 created bipartisan unity on judges, but Obama sat it out. Kennedy and McCain created a bipartisan deal on immigration. Obama opted out of the parts that displeased the unions. Sixty-eight senators supported a bipartisan deal on FISA. Obama voted no. And if he were president now, how would the High Deacon of Unity heal the breach that split the House last week?