Daily Editorial: Obama phenomenon
August 31, 2007
This is not an endorsement or a prediction, just an observation. People who like Barack Obama really like Barack Obama.
In interviews with locals, people gave thoughtful and resolute reasons for why they favored Republican or Democratic candidates. But the language of those who are supporting Obama went beyond just logic and careful consideration.
People sounded practical, even full of admiration, when they talked about Rudy Giuliani’s experience running a big city or about John Edwards’ plans for universal health care coverage or John McCain’s vow to fight pork-barrel spending.
People sounded passionate ” as if they were describing a hero of their childhood ” when they described how Barack Obama had given them renewed hope in the country or how they believe the Illinois senator is energizing the idealistic and the young.
They seem to see a candidate who not only has a strong environmental stance, not just someone who they believe will protect them from foreign threats, but a president who would reinvigorate their faith in America and its unique potential.
They seem to believe that he’s not just another self-interested and ambitious megalomaniac who will forgot about the hopes and fears of the people who voted for him once he moves into the White House. He’s not a Clinton or a Bush, for one thing, and he’s not one of those candidates like John Kerry, who was supposedly born to be president.
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Most of all, Obama’s backers see a man who will free them from the cynicism and disillusion with which many of us, these days, not only view the candidates we oppose, but even the people for whom we vote.
Granted, these emotions are vague, perhaps even “hippy dippy,” and this degree of adoration does not necessarily make Barack Obama the most fit to be president. But we find it refreshing that people are once again speaking passionately and positively about a politician.
” Matt Zalaznick for the Editorial Board