Monday, January 7, 2008

The Aquarian Politician?

Barak Obama's decisive win in last week's Iowa Caucus has discredited the notion that Hillary could stroll into the Democratic nomination with little real competition. Barak polled nine points ahead of John Edwards, and ten points above the third place Hillary Clinton.

The success of a black man in a rural, overwhelmingly white state suggests that the American people may be more desirous of real change than otherwise thought.

Obama's message relies largely on a rhetorical shift away from fear mongering. Bickering is the favored form of communication in Washington, with defensive posturing against a menacing world the chief foreign policy. In her 15 years in DC, Clinton has come to embody the Washington establishment in her initial support for the Iraq war, and her bellicose words on the Iranian threat. She has so established herself in this way that in showing a drop of humanity in her suggestion that the issue of drivers licenses for illegal immigrants in New York is complex, she was maligned for breaking from rank. In these ways she represents the "Bush lite" wing of the party.

Bill Clinton rose as the underdog in opposition to the stagnant Washington elite whose Cold War mentality was ill equipped to deal with the new world. 15 years later, his wife stands as the bulwark of the old guard . "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow," the theme song to her husband's 1992 campaign, could be adopted by her chief rival.

In the face of a status quo candidate, the people of Iowa threw their support to a candidate who thinks about issues and who speaks to people's hearts. His vocal inflections increasingly resemble those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the drawbacks to Obama is his relative lack of experience, particularly executive. But we have had plenty of presidents with loads of experience who grossly mishandle their positions. I am of the belief that Washington changes people for the worse, and the less DC experience one has the less prone they are into falling into the Washington mold.

Barak is a populist who is riding a tone of hope in the face of beltway cynicism. Despite his relative lack of executive experience, his message is enough to encourage this cynical Capital Hill born Aquarian foot soldier.

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