Curiousity as a motive for voting

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2189/2279253649_e571f2b7ec.jpg?v=1203541910This article by Charles Krauthammer seems cruel but fair to me. Obama is pursuing a ‘small target’ strategy against his opponents.  John Howard did this – and Kevin Rudd.  But Obama has an additional reason to do it on top of the fact that the incumbent is on the nose – he’s a candidate with real charisma and inevitably in our hysterical times a superstar.  So playing ‘me too’ leaves his opponent no place to go.

That leaves curiosity as the main reason to vote for Obama. I’m curious to see how Obama turns out. I’m also very down on my own ability to predict how good politicians will be as leaders.

I expected Gough to be much better (though I was a bit too young to make the prediction, that’s probably what I would have thought, I thought Bob Hawke would be pretty bad – a bit like Mark Latham was – but he was easily the best of my lifetime, I thought Keating would be much better than he was, and I didn’t think Howard would be as bad as he was. (I think it’s a great pity that Hewson didn’t win in 1993 and I predict he would have been a good PM – and I also predict that I would have been wrong).  So much for my abilities to predict.

BTAIM, I expect a presidency a bit wishy washy like Bill Clinton’s but still a tad leftish of centre without the overactive fly zip problem that emerged towards the end of the last centre left incumbency.  And it won’t be too hard to be better than the extraorinary Bush Administration.  Like Paul Krugman says, we’ll have grown ups in the White House again. If he wins that is.  If he’s not successfully swiftboated.

And since I’ve never subscribed to the idea that policies are everything in politics – that ‘symbols’ are meaningless, the fact that a black man is the President will be just great as far as I’m concerned.  It will give me as big a thrill as I can imagine in politics (this isn’t as big a claim as you might think, because I don’t think politics is a good place to get your thrills).

I would have felt exactly the same way about Colin Powell and regretted his decision not to run. So I hope Obama wins, and I’m curious to see what happens then.  And I hope, I really hope that the Great Republic doesn’t plunge another dagger into its heart and have some nutter shoot the guy.

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Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

That leaves curiosity as the main reason to vote for Obama. Im curious to see how Obama turns out.

That is actually my strongest reason for Obama as well. Not, in my case, strong enough.

If hes not successfully swiftboated

If you are ‘swiftboated’ you are unfit for the Presidency. Swiftboating is what happens when you take one of your biggest strengths, make unsubstantiable boasts in relation to it, and are subsequently unable to offer a skerrick of evidence in your support when a whole swathe of contrary allegations emerge from those who might ordinarily have been expected to support you.

And I hope, I really hope that the Great Republic doesnt plunge another dagger into its heart and have some nutter shoot the guy.

Republicans seem statistically far more likely to be targets than Democrats, so you can breathe easy here :) After all conservatives aren’t the ones maintaining the rage are they? In any event Obama seems to have pals who could advise him on this kind of thing.

JC
JC
13 years ago

And I hope, I really hope that the Great Republic doesnt plunge another dagger into its heart and have some nutter shoot the guy.

How would “the republic” be at fault if that unfortunate event we to happen? Why would a US citizen need to feel any guilt?

TerjeP (say tay-a)
TerjeP (say tay-a)
13 years ago

Why is Obama considered to be a black man? People seem to assume that he is a black man that is a bit white. However surely he is just as much a white man who is a bit black. Wouldn’t it be best just to consider him as a man and decide on his merits. Which in my view don’t amount to a whole lot. Much like the other white man that is running.

JC
JC
13 years ago

Nic

I know, I was joshing around. I should been a little more obvious.

Obama could be an interesting presidency if he wins. McCain is a rotten choice.

Terje

Why is Obama considered to be a black man?

Because he looks black.

It would be good to have a color blind view but race filters through most things in America and this election is partly about race.

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

“Wouldnt it be best just to consider him as a man and decide on his merits.”

And while we’re at it, why don’t we bring peace to the middle east and all just learn to get along?

And would it kill you to throw in a Fremantle Dockers Premiership? Next year would be fine.

Here’s a clue for you Terje – the fact that you feel you need to assert his whiteness is an elegant proof of his blackness. He IS black because he is CALLED black and enough people agree with the label. A turnoff for some, a turnon for others.

Would you agree that a country built significantly on past slavery, but now capable of electing a black president has demonstrated democratic progress?

It is significant.

swio
swio
13 years ago

“Why is Obama considered to be a black man?”

Because if no-one knew who he was and he walked down a street in NY dressed in casual clothes he would be a 100 times more likely to be killed by the police than a white man. I don’t mean to be flippant but people are going to treat him as black because that’s how he looks. Some white people will be voting against him because he’s black. Black people will be voting for him because he’s black. And other white people will be feeling good about voting for him because he’s black.

On another note, I too am looking forward to Obama’s presidency on grounds of curiosity. I am wondering how he is going to disapoint. I have followed him long enough to understand he is no messiah but almost certainly just another politician, although a very very good one. Better than even the cynics guess which is why I am quite confident he will win in November. But Democratic supporters have fallen love with him so hard that it will be several years into Obama’s presidency, perhaps not even until a second term before they realise they’ve been had. Or there is a 1% chance that they’re right and the establishment will be in for a rude shock but I doubt thta. I have this theory that Obama’s most lasting acheivement will be the privatisation of social security. Either way it will be very interesting.

Brendan Halfweeg
Brendan Halfweeg
13 years ago

I think you’ve missed Terje’s main point – which is that based on policy and rhetoric, neither Obama or McCain are good candidates. If these best thing about Obama is that he is a black Bill Clinton and the best thing about McCain is that he is war hero, then American politics is very shallow indeed.

If it was a Obama v Rice run off, would lefties vote for Rice to get the first woman into the White House?

Hillary Clinton v Powell? How about a Hispanic candidate versus an African American candidate? There are more Hispanics in the US than African Americans.

Backing someone because of their race is racist.

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

“I think youve missed Terjes main point”

Sheesh, looks to me like he nearly did too!