interesting opinion



The Perfect Stranger
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 29, 2008; A15

Barack Obama is an immensely talented man whose talents have been largely
devoted to crafting, and chronicling, his own life. Not things. Not ideas.
Not institutions. But himself.

Nothing wrong or even terribly odd about that, except that he is laying
claim to the job of crafting the coming history of the United States. A leap
of such audacity is odd. The air of unease at the Democratic convention this
week was not just a result of the Clinton psychodrama. The deeper anxiety
was that the party was nominating a man of many gifts but precious few
accomplishments -- bearing even fewer witnesses.

When John Kerry was introduced at his convention four years ago, an honor
guard of a dozen mates from his Vietnam days surrounded him on the podium
attesting to his character and readiness to lead. Such personal testimonials
are the norm. The roster of fellow soldiers or fellow senators who could
from personal experience vouch for John McCain is rather long. At a less
partisan date in the calendar, that roster might even include Democrats Russ
Feingold and Edward Kennedy, with whom John McCain has worked to fashion
important legislation.

Eerily missing at the Democratic convention this year were people of stature
who were seriously involved at some point in Obama's life standing up to
say: I know Barack Obama. I've been with Barack Obama. We've toiled/endured
together. You can trust him. I do.

Hillary Clinton could have said something like that. She and Obama had,
after all, engaged in a historic, utterly compelling contest for the
nomination. During her convention speech, you kept waiting for her to offer
just one line of testimony: I have come to know this man, to admire this
man, to see his character, his courage, his wisdom, his judgment. Whatever.

Instead, nothing. She of course endorsed him. But the endorsement was
entirely programmatic: We're all Democrats. He's a Democrat. He believes
what you believe. So we must elect him -- I am currently unavailable -- to
get Democratic things done. God bless America.

Clinton's withholding the "I've come to know this man" was vindictive and
supremely self-serving -- but jarring, too, because you realize that if she
didn't do it, no one else would. Not because of any inherent deficiency in
Obama's character. But simply as a reflection of a young life with a
biography remarkably thin by the standard of presidential candidates.

Who was there to speak about the real Barack Obama? His wife. She could tell
you about Barack the father, the husband, the family man in a winning and
perfectly sincere way. But that takes you only so far. It doesn't take you
to the public man, the national leader.

Who is to testify to that? Hillary's husband on night three did aver that
Obama is "ready to lead." However, he offered not a shred of evidence, let
alone personal experience with Obama. And although he pulled it off
charmingly, everyone knew that, having been suggesting precisely the
opposite for months, he meant not a word of it.

Obama's vice presidential selection, Joe Biden, naturally advertised his
patron's virtues, such as the fact that he had "reached across party lines
to . . . keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists." But securing
loose nukes is as bipartisan as motherhood and as uncontroversial as apple
pie. The measure was so minimal that it passed by voice vote and received
near zero media coverage.

Thought experiment. Assume John McCain had retired from politics. Would he
have testified to Obama's political courage in reaching across the aisle to
work with him on ethics reform, a collaboration Obama boasted about in the
Saddleback debate? "In fact," reports the Annenberg Political Fact Check,
"the two worked together for barely a week, after which McCain accused Obama
of 'partisan posturing' " -- and launched a volcanic missive charging him
with double-cross.

So where are the colleagues? The buddies? The political or spiritual soul
mates? His most important spiritual adviser and mentor was Jeremiah Wright.
But he's out. Then there's William Ayers, with whom he served on a board.
He's out. Where are the others?

The oddity of this convention is that its central figure is the ultimate
self-made man, a dazzling mysterious Gatsby. The palpable apprehension is
that the anointed is a stranger -- a deeply engaging, elegant, brilliant
stranger with whom the Democrats had a torrid affair. Having slowly woken
up, they see the ring and wonder who exactly they married last night.


New member
And the answer will be one that the whole country will not like. Those that vote for him will get what they ask for. The rest of us will pay the price for their mistake also.
And the answer will be one that the whole country will not like. Those that vote for him will get what they ask for. The rest of us will pay the price for their mistake also.

Long read, but worth every minute. This is why we need to spred the word and educate our fellow Americans. I'm surprised that none of his cronies from Hawaii showed up. Only folks from PRHI speaking on his behlaf were the political folks. No high school classmates (There are many Punahou alumnus who have made a name for themselves), no people who knew him growing up.

I have a genuine dislike for the guy. He's a good example of someone who talks a lot, but says nothing. He didn't have much time to accomplish anything in the senate,after all he's been campaigning for the last 18 of the 24 or so months he was in the senate.


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