J Walking

Even though I’m a Mac guy, here’s a Windows take on Barack Obama.
He is the ‘ctrl-alt-del’ candidate.
He is the guy people are looking to restart, reboot, Washington DC and all that it has come to symbolize.
It is ultimately something that he cannot really accomplish and unless those expectations are lowered – or he sets out clear milestones for success – he may well win in November but then find himself unable to make much headway.
After all, George W. Bush came into office on the heels of the Clinton scandals, pledging to to do for Washington what he had done in Austin – bring Democrats and Republican together. Recall his speech the night the Florida vote was finally decided by the Supremes:

Tonight I chose to speak from the chamber of the Texas House of Representatives because it has been a home to bipartisan cooperation. Here in a place where Democrats have the majority, Republicans and Democrats have worked together to do what is right for the people we represent.
We’ve had spirited disagreements. And in the end, we found constructive consensus. It is an experience I will always carry with me, an example I will always follow.
I want to thank my friend, House Speaker Pete Laney, a Democrat, who introduced me today. I want to thank the legislators from both political parties with whom I’ve worked.
Across the hall in our Texas capitol is the state Senate. And I cannot help but think of our mutual friend, the former Democrat lieutenant governor, Bob Bullock. His love for Texas and his ability to work in a bipartisan way continue to be a model for all of us.
The spirit of cooperation I have seen in this hall is what is needed in Washington, D.C. It is the challenge of our moment. After a difficult election, we must put politics behind us and work together to make the promise of America available for every one of our citizens.
I am optimistic that we can change the tone in Washington, D.C.

The tone, obviously, wasn’t changed – it actually changed for the worse. While it is easy to blame that all on Bush, to do so would be to miss the reality that Washington was invested in his failure to change the tone. For to change the tone would have meant changing the way that Washington does business – how speeches are given and lobbying is done, how careers are advanced and TV news shows are spun, how debates take place and lives are lived. That is massive change. For better or for worse, Barack Obama is seen as the who can change all of that. Ahh, the audacity of expectations.

Previous Posts
Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus