Friday, August 08, 2008

Obama's Moving Goalposts

Commentators keep moving the goalposts on Obama.

Newly converted to the Obama cause out of his disgust with McCain, Joe Klein of Time is worried that "the zeitgeist of the race is headed toward sewage and mockery" Obama "has been [too much] on the defensive since he returned from his overseas trip."

Hey, I'm worried about that too.

Klein also wants Obama to do a series of townhall meetings with McCain and claims that "if Obama is going to win, he's got to demonstrate, in the most dramatic forum possible, that he has the brains and disposition to be President."

But all that adds up to is moving the goalpost for Obama.

Most commentators assumed that Obama couldn't beat someone with Hillary Clinton's name recognition, reputation, and organization. But Obama out-organized her, outhustled her, and won.

A lot of people were worried that Obama would be derailed by the revelation of Jeremiah Wright's incendiary sermons. But Obama's landmark Philadelphia speech on race showed that he had tremendous crisis-management skills.

McCain started abusing Obama for not having any experience and not traveling to Iraq for two years. But Obama was so successful with foreign leaders and had such a huge event in Berlin that McCain had to start abusing Obama for being a "global celebrity" instead.

Everytime someone has set up a new goal post, Obama has kicked the ball through. Now Joe Klein's setting up townhall debates as another new goal post and claiming that Obama has to crush McCain if he wants to show that he's got what it takes to be president.

But here's the injustice of it all.

Klein's right. Obama's relatively new, relatively inexperienced, and relatively African-American. If Obama wants to "prove" that he's qualified to be president, he should not only agree to the townhall debates, he should seek out every opportunity possible to prove himself against John McCain.

In other words, Obama has to make up his mind that he's going to kick the political football through the goal post every time McCain and the media move it.

It's not fair and it's not a good way to be chosen president. But it's the only way that Obama is going to make a cautious, aging, majority white nation feel "safe" with him as president.

No comments: