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December 08, 2010

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I like this analysis, but I have a quibble/some confusion w/your argument.

You describe Obama as unknowable and not interested in the personality stuff of politics, but then you attribute his election in part to the Party's desire for more charismatic politicians. How does President Abstraction remotely fulfill this characterization? It reads like you're contradicting yourself...?

I don't think the two ideas are necessarily in conflict: how many arguments did you or I have with people in 2007 and 8 with people who found Obama so moving, yet were flummoxed when we pointed out that "hope and change" were vague, non-specific ideas that few could disagree with? I think Barack Obama's success was built entirely on seeming charismatic and personally exciting, while avoiding any clear indication of who he was or where he came down specifically on most key issues (all the "I'm sure he thinks that..." followed by the writer or speaker saying basically that Obama shared whatever POV the speaker held). I found - and still find - 2008 to be a surprising lesson for myself in that I always thought I'd be one to fall for a pretty face or a charismatic voice. How heartening to discover that what I really yearned for was a thinking person with specific ideas. How depressing to discover that it's not a quality I share with most people who are supposed to be on my side.

spot on post, depressingly so

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