Give him credit


It's about time we Obama supporters start giving the guy credit for running what has been perhaps the best political campaign in a lifetime. Even in cases where I questioned his strategy and/or response, after the dust has settled I inevitably have come to the conclusion that Obama was right all along, and that my concerns were either baseless or based on incomplete information. Look at the first debate, for example.


My analysis was similar to a lot of Democrats, I was wishing that he had gone after McCain a little harder and I was puzzled as to why he kept acknowledging that his opponent was right on specific points he was making. However, much as that frustrated those who were already sold on Obama, it turns out that this was exactly the right tone to win over those who were either undecided or were soft supporters of Obama. A few week later, can anyone doubt that the real "soundbite" from that debate turned out not to be a soundbite at all, but rather McCain's refusal to look at or engage Obama in a respectful manner? Those who identify themselves as independents rather than with either political party consistently express their frustration with hyper-partisanship in Washington, and whatever his rhetoric, McCain's body language in that debate (as opposed to Obama's) gave them a clear indication about which candidate would be more likely to reach across the aisle to work with the other side.


Obama also seems to have struck almost EXACTLY the right tone relating to his "Commander in Chief" bona-fides, showing himself as a strong leader without bringing to mind the "angry black man" issues that would likely tank his campaign. It's easy to seem strong, and it's not at all difficult to seem conciliatory, but a performance that simultaneously does both is really nothing short of a triumph.


When you think about it, it's astounding. A first term African-American Senator with an Arabic middle name who is descended from and still related to Muslims in the post-9/11 era is on the verge of being elected President of the United States. If you submitted this script to Hollywood, they'd laugh you off the lot.


This thing is by no means a done deal. Three weeks before the elections is a life time in politics. However barring a catalytic, earth shattering mistake on Obama's part (which will be out of character for him), the nation is posed to elect for the first time in the history of the western world a man of African descent to the most powerful position on the face of the earth.

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