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April 15, 2008


Obama shows trust and respect for voting public: Hillary not so much

Obama has embarked on a profound sociological and political gamble. He gambles by offering the electorate a deep respect by quietly and firmly telling truths. His campaign, to a degree unparalleled in normal campaigning, constantly and repetitively gambles that voters of all stripes, indeed, can handle the truth. It must be at times agony to watch the 'gotcha' spin from opponents and the press while waiting to see if the American citizenry can make intelligent decisions faced with a cacophony of spin.

So far the voters have proved Obama's respect for them to be well placed. They have showed their common sense by ignoring mindless spin battles and continuing to vote increases in Obama's winning lead primary numbers.

Hillary has made herself into the politician's worst nightmare, a caricature of the pandering politician. This week I am against trade deals says she as she enters a post-industrial state. This week I am a bird hunter she advertises. Last week I was a policy wonk and before that Mrs. Experience and whoops I find myself in rural hinterlands so fetch me a shot and a beer.

Obama was thoughtful, honest and a bit perhaps too cerebral last week. He was thoughtful, honest and trusting of the electorate and a bit perhaps too cerebral the week before. He said his white Gramma distrusted black people and that she said bigoted things, which was honest, thoughtful, respectful of his listener's intelligence and a bit too cerebral the week before that. Pennsylvania's rural voters in the majority accept that there is bitterness and a penchant to be angry over race, guns and religion but Barack's delivery would have been better couched in more palatable down to earth terms.

It must be agony for Barack and Michelle to watch and listen to twaddle gossip cast as news, waiting and waiting to see if common folks respond with common sense to not particularly revelatory truisms, that widespread unemployment encourages bitterness and that racism at varying levels is part of America's culture.

I'd like to think that the Obama family is actually in a "win-win" situation. They will continue to rise above pandering political showmanship and tell truths, although perhaps in a voice a bit too cerebral. They will ask and tell the electorate that their understanding is required to define and tackle America's open sore problems in health care, job creation, a dollar driven Washington culture and the USA's international posture. If Americans in a majority can actually "handle the truth" we/they will stand with the Obamas when they inherit the White House and begin a brutal slog to "change." If, on the other hand, voters revert to distraction over race, religion, sexuality and Annie Oakley panderings then Barack's quest for truthful definitions to guide America will be seen as a bridge too far of an endeavor; a bit perhaps too cerebral.

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