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Friday, February 1, 2008

Eight More Years

Jack Lynch

Gotcha! - no, not him, not Bush by a long shot. What Barack Obama should have said to Senator Kennedy before accepting his endorsement was, "What exactly are you prepared to commit to doing alongside me over the next eight years if I am elected President? The Democratic Congress has been unable and unwilling to stand against Republicans in a significant way since taking back Congress, unable to end this war, unable to make progress against the tide of uninsured Americans, or settle this immigration debate."

Regardless of a tsunami of support next Tuesday, which I suspect will be a very different story than South Carolina, Obama may stand to gain more from not winning this Presidential election cycle. He can settle in for a long run, building a legislative history of accomplishments that will make winning, and more importantly governing, much more meaningful and successful in eight years. The country needs another Lyndon Johnson, weathered by battle guts and strategic compromises and enduring faith, more than it needs a celebration of celebrity and a danger of the hubris of the young Kennedy administration.

Obama would spare himself the long, difficult return of the economy, initiating energy advancements, repairing budget deficits, and beginning progressive social progress - hard challenges looming before the next office-holder. It would likely give the Democrats a cycle of regeneration to the forefront of American politics.

A Clinton administration would do no harm to his eventual election. Now positioned with Kennedy, he could demonstrate a national presence built on achievement and character that would take down the remaining walls of racial Jericho holding his numbers back amongst older and less educated white men, allow women a win and a breather before returning to the election of Democratic men, and pull younger voters into public service and a continued support for an eventual Obama Presidency - a strategic win that might fare far better than an enthusiastic bubble.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, if Obama loses now, and Clinton presides over a scandal plagued administration (see the $131 million kickback to Bill's foundation from a Canadian Mining firm that brok in the NY Times this week), young voters will get disillusioned not participate, and Obama's message will not resonate. Losing now probably means Obama will never become President. Even more so if he's foolish enough to accept a VP position under Clinton.