Friday, February 29, 2008


The Bush Rejection Election

Andrew Sullivan takes note of why the incumbent president decides to go after the Democratic frontrunner:
It can only help Obama. In fact, it's campaign gold. You can tell that Bush is really feeling the heat from this guy already. He senses that this movement is a massive indictment of him, his clumsiness in foreign affairs, and his rigidity. He's right. And the more Bush makes a vote for Obama a vote against Bush the more traction Obama will get.
It's more than that. Even beyond Obama, this entire election is a "massive indictment" against almost everything Bush. Obviously, the entire Democratic Party is "fired up" and demonstrating it by coming out in hordes to vote in their primaries, while giving record amounts of money to both of the last two contenders, But, the anti-Bush sentiment is there on the Republican side as well.

John McCain has emerged as the de facto GOP nominee because he was the most vocal in-house critic of how the administration was executing the war. Meanwhile, the reason why Mike Huckabee is the second-to-last man standing among Republicans may also have something to do with broader "Bush fatigue."

As Tony Blankley tips his hat to Obama's main strength:
[After] seven years of Bush's verbal infelicity, there is a hunger for eloquence. Moreover, eloquence is good. Consider Lincoln, FDR, Churchill, Reagan -- even Bill Clinton in a cheesy, insincere way.) Obama must have been tempted to use that old Humphrey Bogart line, when Bogart asked of someone who couldn't keep up with him: "What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?"
Huckabee has a similar mix of high rhetoric and easiness with popular culture language that Obama possesses. They may come from different oral traditions, but Obama and Huckabee connect with people because they communicate with them. They talk to them, entertain them (intentionally) and make them feel like they live in something of the real world.

George W. Bush may have been the easy-going, "guy you'd wanna grab a beer with" candidate seven years ago. But, now, the electorate has tied his malapropisms and, as Tony says, "verbal infelicity" with an administration whose policies are either failures or haven't lived up to their billing. And this administration literally cannot explain itself.

No wonder significant numbers of people in both parties like hearing a candidate who can actually "talk the talk" -- in English.


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