David Brooks makes Obama's errors look worse than I thought.
It was inevitable that the period of “Yes We Can!” deification would come to an end. It was not inevitable that Obama would now look so vulnerable.
Back in Iowa, Barack Obama promised to be something new — an unconventional leader who would confront unpleasant truths, embrace novel policies and unify the country. But....
....the aura around Obama has changed. Furiously courting Democratic primary voters and apparently exhausted, Obama has emerged as a more conventional politician and a more orthodox liberal.
He sprinkled his debate performance Wednesday night with the sorts of fibs, evasions and hypocrisies that are the stuff of conventional politics.
He claimed falsely that his handwriting wasn’t on a questionnaire about gun control. He claimed that he had never attacked Clinton for her exaggerations about the Tuzla airport, though his campaign was all over it. Obama piously condemned the practice of lifting other candidates’ words out of context, but he has been doing exactly the same thing to John McCain, especially over his 100 years in Iraq comment.
Obama also made a pair of grand and cynical promises that are the sign of someone who is thinking more about campaigning than governing.
....voters want a president who basically shares their values and life experiences. Fairly or not, they look at symbols like Michael Dukakis in a tank, John Kerry’s windsurfing or John Edwards’s haircut as clues about shared values.
When Obama began this ride, he seemed like a transcendent figure who could understand a wide variety of life experiences. But over the past months, things have happened that make him seem more like my old neighbors in Hyde Park in Chicago. ...it is among the more academic and liberal places around.
When Obama goes to a church infused with James Cone-style liberation theology, when he makes ill-informed comments about working-class voters, when he bowls a 37 for crying out loud, voters are going to wonder if he’s one of them. Obama has to address those doubts, and he has done so poorly up to now.