Monday, February 16, 2009
Despite media declarations, Obama holds his own
In the British Spectator, Clive Davis quotes David Axelrod on the "parallel universe effect" which has followed Obama from the days of Iowa and the campaign trail all the way to Washington and the Stimulus bill. The Washington and media thinking, says Axelrod, are at odds with the thinking of the American public, creating the feeling that there are two universes respective to them. He points out that after Iowa and then the New Hampshire loss, Obama had been declared by the media as a "shooting star". The same has been said about the Stimulus. These Washington and media declarations are always disproved by what comes next. It is something to think on: Perhaps it is the crux of Change, this veering away from big media and sweeping political declarations, toward pragmatic reality and empirical daily experience. It is true, that any real change and progress usually entails backsliding, disbelief, nay sayers, misinterpretation, and the like. The test of reality, the fire of pragmatism, is the sole voice of victory in the end. Certainly Obama has modesty and vulnerability, and these make him more flexible. A commentator on msnbc this morning spoke of his laying his head on Michelle's shoulder at one point during the Inaugural festivities. This made him appear sweetily wistful and vulnerable, and although these words do not describe the standard descriptions of "presidential", they are in tune with the times, and a counterbalance to the haste and hubris which the Bush years brought upon us.