Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Salieri (Hillary) versus Amadeus (Obama)

Is it only me, or didn't Hillary come off pretty pathetic when she huffed and puffed about Obama's NAFTA-flyer? "Shame on you, Obama" she called out on Saturday, and the next day she put on a mean and cynical show making fun of those (Obama and his fans) who are expecting the gates of heaven to open so that goodness can stream down while the angels are singing.

But her political theatrics were neither funny, nor effective. To the contrary, you got the impression that she acts like a sore looser before the game is even over.

I wonder if the problem with Hillary isn't - and hasn't from the beginning -- been that she feels that the world owes her the power. She played according to the rules of the game, and now it's her time to bring home the trophy to show mom and dad.

But here comes Obama strutting around like a political Amadeus, turning the heads of just about everybody who really should now better. And not even Bill, the master seducer, has been able to knock Obama off his elegant stride.

But the truth is that Hillary is hard, but not strong, while Obama is strong, but not hard. And that's what people like about him.

Besides: Obama is not afraid. The democrats have been scared to death for the republicans, because they have been convinced that people are easy to fool, and that the republicans can always win the masses over with simplistic solutions like lower taxes, social toughness and a hawkish foreign policy. It was this fear of now being seen as ”patriotic” enough that made Hillary and the other democrats open the gates for Bush when he was about to invade Iraq, but this is where Barack Obama is refreshingly different. (Even though his policy when it comes to Israel looks like a downer both to critics and true friends of Israel). Obama was against the Iraq war from the beginning, and he has the best chances to bring the U.S. out of the morass. Hopefully he will be wise enough, and have courage to start repaying the Iraqis for at least some of the damage the Bush government has inflicted on the country and the region, a bill that it will probably take a decade or two to payoff.

When Obama got the question of why he doesn’t have an American flag on his lapel, he answered that the republicans doesn’t have a monopoly on patriotism, but he didn’t try to prove that by trying to outdo the republicans in aggressive posture. Instead he said:

"A party that presided over a war in which our troops did not get the body armor they needed, or were sending troops over who were untrained because of poor planning, or are not fulfilling the veterans' benefits that these troops need when they come home, or are undermining our Constitution with warrantless wiretaps that are unnecessary?
"That is a debate I am very happy to have. We'll see what the American people think is the true definition of patriotism."

He is smart and ready to fight back, at the same time as he consciously reaches out for the mainstream voters. It’s a good position not only if you want to win over Hillary Clinton, but John McCain too.

Hans Sandberg

Hubble Telescope Images