Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A little optimism never hurts - Updated

By Libby

Shaun Mullen reviews the international press coverage on the primaries and finds the whole world is caught up in the excitement about Obama. But Shaun rightly cautions against counting your candidates before all the votes are in.
Obama, in fact, is being elevated to sainthood far too prematurely.

This is because Obama has not yet articulated in tangible terms what he means when he speaks of change, moving beyond partisanship and building coalitions. And one or two victories early in the primary cycle do not a nominee make.

As I wrote in an essay that was picked up by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Down Under version of National Public Radio, the Democratic Party machines in states like California, New Jersey and New York will turn out Clinton supporters in droves. So the race is far from over even if Obama prevails in New Hampshire and in the South Carolina primary on January 26.
Not that anybody but me seems to be buying Shaun's caveats.
Nevertheless, commenters on my article at the Australian website and my own Aussie friends are pretty much of a like mind: Obama is like a soothing rain in the parched Outback compared Bush’s scorched earth leadership.
It's inevitable that in contrast to the Bush years, anyone who seems to offer a real change of policy is going to look like a savior. But while it's good to see the world in the grip of a new found optimism and anti-Americanism diminishing as a result, it's still a long way to November and lot can happen to change the dynamics of the race.

Still, leery as I am of putting too much stock in pretty rhetoric, as Sha pointed out in an earlier post, language is powerful and I have to admit I'm at least a little heartened that Obama has inspired so many new voters to join into the process. Perhaps the best we can hope for from this election cycle is record level turnouts at the polls and that at least will be improvement over the cycnicism and apathy that has plagued us for too long. If people start believing their one vote really does make a difference, maybe by the next cycle, we can see some real change in how business inside the Beltway is conducted.

shamanic adds: Yeah, the big states voting on the same day that I will throws everything off in my head. But hey, it's a very exciting race!

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