I’ve had a tough time getting on the internet the last couple of days here in Guilin, China — but eureka! It worked this morning.
I’m told that Brian Beutler, who was shot three times in a mugging the other morning, is making good progress. Thanks to all who have donated to help this important young writer out.
My enthusiasm for the 4th of July will be greater next year. The current administration has made it harder each year to celebrate this holiday. We are still in a war we shouldn’t be in — and as I listen to Obama triangulate now on his views about getting out of Iraq, I feel diminishing enthusiasm at the moment for this election.
If Senator Obama wants to become President Obama and be there on the mall in DC on July 4th next year, then he needs to go back and study what the advisers to Al Gore did to turn him into an unappealing, bland, constantly triangulating pol in the race with Bush. That is why years later, when Gore came out on climate change, folks continued to say — “Wow, why didn’t we see that Al Gore in the election?” He all of a sudden had passion, purpose, edginess. People saw a completely new person in Gore.
Obama seems to be losing some of his sizzle as nearly every time he refers to Iraq he qualifies his views with dithering clauses such as “depending on facts on the ground” and I’ll “listen to the real experts, the military advisers.” He has created escape hatches from the apparently not hard promises he made earlier in his campaign on getting out of Iraq.
Obama needs to change course has he is slowly becoming Al Gore in the Bush-Gore race. And McCain is salivating.
So, happy 4th of July in any case. My friend Bruce Wolpe — who used to serve as Henry Waxman’s Chief of Staff and now has a great political blog attached to the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia thinks that this election will change the game, particularly if Obama is elected.
I was buoyed by his enthusiasm a bit, but after watching the BBC here in a piece on Obama’s statements on Iraq, the bubble is losing air again. I hope Obama gets back on track soon.
Next check in will be from Xian, China.
— Steve Clemons