The opacity of Obama

I was moderating that panel which Ross and Matt take on, in which Shelby Steele argued that Obama somehow hasn't told us who he is. I should have spoke up about that, but again I was moderating. From a policy perspective, Steele's claim is patently false--in the past month alone we've seen debates about Obama's stand on FISA, Supreme Court decisions, black absentee fathers and Israel. It seemed like half of every debate was spent on the differences between Hillary and Barack's health care proposals. I really think if you don't know where Obama stands on policy now, then your just lazy.

I think Ross's argument that Obama the person is more a mystery than most presidential candidates doesn't quite get it either. Obama wrote an incredibily revealing memoir long before he was a presidential candidate which, to my mind, detailed his inner workings pretty well. Obviously, I don't know him personally and it could all be lies. Still, I can't think of a single serious candidate for president who's admitted snorting coke. Moreover, I'd bet that a lot of voters thought the George Bush that was running in 2000 was a different man than the president they ultimately got. That's not to imply duplicity, as much as a healthy skepticism for assuming we understand people whose very livliehoods depend on them selling themselves to us.