You Might Call It "The Audacity of Hope"

Jon Chait and Harold Meyerson both nail down what, to me, is the fundamental political case for Obama -- that to pick Hillary Clinton would be to reconcile ourselves to playing between the 49 yard lines at a time when it looks feasible to open the game up and throw downfield. Harold even comes up with an appropriately nice to the Clintons analogy:

I've turned to a book Michael wrote 23 years ago -- "Exodus and Revolution," and its discussion of why the Jews had to spend 40 years in the desert before they could reach the promised land.

As Walzer noted, both Maimonides and Marx, in very different ways, argued that the Jews who had lived in bondage had to die out, and a new generation that hadn't known the habits of slavery take their place, before the people could cross over into Canaan and freedom.

It's hard to imagine more thankless tasks than organizing for George McGovern in Texas or bearing the torch of progressive politics in late-1970s and early-1980s Arkansas. And of course Bill Clinton really did take the lessons learned from winning in that inhospitable territory and put the Democratic Party back in the White House. From that vantage point, he governed well and proved to a country that had come to doubt it that Democrats could be trusted to run the federal government. But is 2008 the hour of Mark Penn? I don't see it.