I’m going to start doing a running set of posts on interesting Obama / McCain posts from here and yon. Not a lot of commentary, but a link and a snippet. There’s a lot of interesting writing going on out there…
Telegraph UK – ” Obama wonâ€™t lose for being black but for not being American enough ”
It is that core of experience – of growing up American – which Obama lacks. His problem is not so much that he is an African-American in the modern political sense of being a black American. It is that he is an African-American in the literal sense of being half African and only half American, who spent much of his boyhood abroad and who borrowed a consciously constructed black American identity from the south side of Chicago.
TAP – ” The Democratic Education Divide ”
Ultimately it is policy makers — supported by parents — who must rise to these challenges and recommit themselves to educational equality. Teachers’ unions have a role to play, but they aren’t either the villain or the fix-all of education politics. What the unions remain, however, is a key Democratic constituency. Surely, convincing, cajoling, and encouraging are better tactics to win over grass-roots teachers than hectoring them with anti-union rhetoric. After all, if folks like Nancy Ruth White and the generations of teachers following her embrace of the Democrats for Education Reform agenda — giving up tenure in exchange for higher starting salaries and merit pay tied to student achievement — the unions will have to get with the program. If they don’t, they’ll risk becoming irrelevant to their own members.
Andrew Sullivan quoting Robert Caro on LBJ’s absence from the convention:
Caro is now at work on the fourth volume of his epic biography, about Johnsonâ€™s White House years. “I am writing right now about how he won for black Americans the right to vote. I am turning from what happened forty-three years ago to what I am reading in my daily newspaper…and the thrill that goes up and down my spine when I realize the historical significance of this moment is only equaled by my anger that they are not giving Johnson credit for it.”
Joe Klein on an undecided focus group – ” Focused ”
So this is Obama’s task on Thursday: To convince people that he is a man of substance, not empty promises, that he has ideas–despite his lack of experience–about running government in a way that will be more effective. A tall order, I’d say.
Kevin Drum on the Klein article:
I just finished writing a short essay on more-or-less this very topic, so I won’t anticipate myself too much here. But the nickel version is this: the goal of this election shouldn’t be just to win, it should be to talk a big chunk of the electorate into becoming friendlier toward liberal goals and ideas. Not just friendlier toward change, but friendlier toward specifically liberal change. That means a public that, at least at the margins, is more convinced that we need universal healthcare and that Obama can deliver it; that we need to withdraw from Iraq and reboot our foreign policy; and that some sacrifices are acceptable in the service of a serious energy policy. So far, though, Obama has simply been too cautious about standing up and really hammering home a simple, easily understood case for these and other specifically liberal goals.