Is This Obama's Moment?

More

Joe Klein channels my own thoughts:

A few days before the debate, I spent a day with Obama in Iowa, and the most striking thing to me about the Senator's performances was the scrupulous honesty of his answers, his insistence on delivering bad news when necessary. A woman asked if he believed that stay-at-home moms should be eligible for Social Security. There is a way most politicians answer such questions: a moving tribute to the virtues of child-rearing, then on to the next question without ever making the commitment. Obama did the moving tribute with a joke about his ineptitude as a parent but then he told the woman no. "We can't extend those benefits without huge financial implications," he said.

The very next question was about global warming. Obama laid out his rigorous cap-and-trade plan for reducing carbon emissions, but then he said, "One of the themes of this campaign is to tell voters what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear ... So I've got to tell you there will be a cost to this and the utility companies will pass it along to consumers. You can expect a spike in electricity prices," although, he added, the new technology should ultimately bring those prices back down.

I don't know if this sort of quiet, unsolicited honesty can work in our rude, noisy politics, but it certainly is far more presidential than the dodging and fudging that you get from most candidates...He assumes a maturity in his audiences, and in the press, that simply may not exist. But given the stakes in 2008, perhaps it's time for all of us to grow up and meet the challenge of a difficult moment for our country.

That's what some of us sense in a "transformational" candidate.

Jump to comments

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

When Will Robots Take Over the World?

"In a sense, we're already becoming cyborgs."


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Video

The Origins of Bungee Jumping

"We had this old potato sack and I filled it up with rocks and dropped it over the side. It just hit the water, split, dropping all the stones. And that was our test."

Video

Is Trading Stocks for Suckers?

If you think you’re smarter than the stock market, you’re probably either cheating or wrong

Video

I Spent Half My Life Making a Video Game

How a childhood hobby became a labor of love

Writers

Up
Down