Listened to it this morning, and as always, I was impressed. So was Sarah Palin:
"Wow, that really sounded familiar," said Palin, a frequent Obama critic. "I talked, too, in my book about the fallen nature of man and why war is necessary at times."
I'd like to pair this with something I'm hearing a lot these day. After an entire campaign season where Obama was dismissed as a far-left radical, the new meme became that he was actually firmly entrenched in the "right wing of the Democratic party." Now I'm hearing people say that Obama's speech could have been made by Bush, or some such.
There are people who think presidential politics--from a voter's perspective--is about electing someone who will do exactly what you say and enact every single one of your priorities in exactly the same manner as you would.
And then there are people who think presidential politics--from a voter's perspective--is about electing someone who shares many of your priorities, but not all of them, who may not enact them as you would, and yet whose wisdom you trust. That, for me, is the point. Barack Obama is wise. Sarah Palin is not.
In that vein, I didn't object to George Bush because he claimed that there was "evil" in the world. I objected to George Bush because there was so much evil that he didn't see, and he was awful at prosecuting the evil he did see. I objected to George Bush's foreign policy because it married a freshman's view of idealism (Big talk on human rights) with a profane, dishonest take one realism (We don't torture.) It's weak to look two presidents, see them both use the word "evil," and then conclude that they're the same.
I expect Obama to be who he campaigned as. But more than that, I expect him to actually think about the world. I expect him to be curious, deliberative, and cool-headed. That's who he is. I often disagree with him. But I don't regret a thing. I don't understand these people. It's like they thought he'd go to Oslo, hand over
the launch codes, and offer twenty Texas virgins in exchange for a pledge from Al'Qaeda to stop
being mean to us.