Where's the Hope?

More

It's the day after the day after. And the punditocracy is still analyzing the off year elections. I thought E.J. Dionne had the most sober take--bad news for incumbents, Democrats, an annoyed electorate. If anything I think he may have underestimated the level of irritability out there. The defeat of Thomas Suozzi, the executive in Nassau County, should have been a real wake up call to Democrats. His election marked a big gain for the party in the land of D'Amato. Now it's gone. E.J.'s smartest take, I think, is the failure of the Obama base to be fired up and ready to go. A year's time has dampened some hope. That doesn't mean it can't and won't come back. The world will look different in a few months if we have 5 percent growth and something like universal health care.

But a few things have happened that are worth noting. One is that the high expectations of Obama's election were bound to run into the realities of Washington--the sluggish Senate, the culture of lobbying, the practicalities of problems as diverse as Guantanamo Bay to bailing out GM. That was inevitable, of course, and Obama supporters knew in their hearts it wouldn't be easy.

Something else happened, too. Somewhere along the way the inspirational language of the campaign got lost. There's a lot less hope in Obama's speeches than there once was. Some speeches still soar. That health care address did pretty well at putting him on the right footing. But his rhetoric and tone seems less moving and galvinizing than it once did. Am I wrong in feeling like something's missing? Let me know.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

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

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


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

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In