The tragedy of Obama

I have to admit, Obama just delivered a fantastic speech. No doubt about it. But since that’s all you’re going to be hearing about right now, let me indulge my inner curmudgeon. Here’s the one thought that keeps coming back to me: Obama’s way too smart for this.

This is a guy who graduated from Columbia and Harvard. A guy who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. You know he can think critically. Then he delivers a speech like this and I think, damn, he’s starting to believe what he’s saying. He actually believes he can end dependence on foreign oil in ten years. He believes “businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs.” That after our hopes for good government have been “dashed again and again” his administration can make it work. This was not the speech of a man who gives Naomi Klein the jitters.

Maybe I’m just buying into the media narrative of his character, but I can’t listen to Obama and not think there’s a much smarter man under there. Perhaps, like Gore, Obama would find a truer voice out of office. Because after the luster wears off, I’m not sure he could take four more years of this kind of speechifying and come out mentally unscathed. Succeeding in politics makes a man dumb.

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