Thursday, June 19, 2008

Already President

Seeing the contrast between Obama's response to the Midwest flooding (calling for volunteers, going there to help out) and the feeble and belated responses of McCain and Bush, it's hard not to wonder who the real President is. More...

And after I thought that, it occurred to me that this is how Obama is confronting the 'experience' issue: by acting like a President. Where Flight Suit Dress-Up Boy turned the presidency into a permanent campaign, Obama is running his campaign as an extension of his (hypothetical) presidency.

It's a smart strategy, and I think Obama is one of the very few politicians who can get away with it. It reinforces his 'unity' and 'new politics' themes, and it draws a sharp contrast with McCain's extension-of-Rove campaign.

Obama has a very sharp eye for the intersection of The Right Thing and good politics (see above re: Midwest floods). Being 'presidential' is a direct attack on a potential political liability, but it's also the right thing--a signal that he takes the job seriously, that he intends to be President of all Americans instead of running the office as a partisan political machine. In effect, he's appealing to everyone who looks at the last eight years and asks: wouldn't it be nice to have a real President again?

Sounds good to me.