As the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination descends further into political hell, the Barack Obama campaign of change is changing into just another charade of false hope, shrill promises and tired rhetoric.
Gone are the bold promises of change, replaced by a tired candidate whose gaffes show an amateur who may not be ready for prime time. As the aura of confidence and hope fades, a typical arrogant, political swagger emerges, revealing an opportunistic candidate who adapts his positions to the audience and his strategy to the shifting sands of public opinion.
The smiling, upbeat candidate of new is now the angry, belittling purveyor of old. As the façade of Barack Obama falls away, what lies beneath merits a second, and perhaps a third, look.
When compared to Hillary Clinton and John McCain, Obama may still emerge as the best hope for a demoralized nation but recent actions by the Illinois Senator suggest he is not who he claims to be and will not be the President he promises to become.
There is a lot of truth in Obama’s claims that small-town voters in Pennsylvania (and perhaps elsewhere) are angry and bitter and clinging to their guns and religion but what bothers me about those comments are his choice to make them behind closed doors at a fundraiser with San Francisco fatcats and not on the stump in the Keystone State.
When confronted with what he said, Obama’s first reaction was anger at being questioned, then feigned contrition that he may have said it poorly and, finally, admission that what he said might not be exactly what he meant.
Say what? Barack Obama is a political phenomenon whose entire persona is based on being an electrifying candidate who uses words to motivate crowds, draw new voters into the process and start a political revolution.
His speeches offer heady promises for the future, fueled by enthusiastic, fawning crowds and an almost religious fervor. Yet closer examination suggests a manufactured candidate whose words offer up an image that does not honestly portray the man who utters them.
His reluctant admissions about his relationship with a Chicago political fixer currently on trial have been modified several times and testimony at the trial show his own accounts of that relationship are less than forthright.
His stories about his relationship with controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright have changed over time and still raise doubts about just how much influence the minister might have on a future President.
Obama’s confidence and style are his political strengths but they also show a man who may look at disdain at those he considers “typical white people” or small town residents who value their religion or their guns.
If Obama wants to convince us that he is truly a different type of candidate who will restore faith in the Presidency and bring this country back from the abyss he needs to prove he is who he says he is. He needs to be the same candidate on the stump in small town America as he is behind closed doors in San Francisco.
That’s a big challenge for any candidate for the highest office in a land where the people have been burned by too many charlatans who took up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
At this point, I’m not convinced Barack Obama is all that different from the rest of the remaining field of Presidential contenders.