Politics & Media
Nov 05, 2008, 09:39AM

Parsing Obama

The author picks apart what the campaign has obscured and what the President elect actually stands for.

A conservative less interested in what could have been than what is:

Who is Barack Obama?

John McCain has done his best to advance the idea that the electorate does not know, and reams of commentary have been written about his supposedly elusive identity and opaque character, despite his being one of the most intensively covered and unusually self-chronicled candidates in American history.

Keen to find the secret or code that will unravel the supposed mystery, his friends and enemies alike refuse to see what is in plain sight: that Obama means more or less what he says about himself and his policies. The real Obama is not terribly inspiring and may be rather dull, which is paradoxically why his administration could be far less polarizing than that of his predecessor, while being equally unsuccessful.

Why do so many revel in the notion that Obama's aloof "ambiguity" conceals either dastardly schemes or brilliant plans? This is partly due to his remarkable biography, cited by supporters and critics alike as a key to understanding the man. It is also due to the misinformation of viral e-mails portraying Obama as a Muslim or un-American

But a far greater part of it is denial.


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