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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Good stuff from Mark Schmitt at TAPPED

This is good:

[Obama] is falling into the tendency that many "wine-track" candidates do of talking about his candidacy as if it were some sort of other-worldly cause: "something happening,"…"it's about you," etc. Howard Dean's "people-powered politics" had the same flaw. That kind of language is inspirational in the moment, but quickly makes a campaign seem vapid and vain even if it isn't. It leaves a listener open to the sense that you're the candidate of process, feeling, and personality, which allows the hard-work-and-experience candidate to claim the mantle of substance by comparison.

But Obama didn't get through 15 debates without substance. (Which is why the Clinton claim that "he's gotten a free ride" is unpersuasive.) He's got an elegant, expansive pitch-perfect take on foreign policy that's markedly different from Clinton's; he has good proposals on poverty, climate change, and a defensible health proposal. (The specifics aren't important, but the commitment they represent is.) And he's got an argument about how he will actually get these things achieved that is distinctly different from Clinton's, and to my ears, more persuasive.

Last night, Obama put five solid paragraphs of pure substance into his speech, moving from health care to international issues in a smooth passage. He should do that all the time...

Interesting take, and when you add it to this interesting memo from campaign manager David Plouffe, further reason to support the idea that we have a real race on our hands.


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