Is Obama This Generation’s JFK?

Is Obama this generation's JFK?

Or is he our Gene McCarthy?

The talk of “change” both generational and otherwise, of unity, the youth candidate angle, the ability to inspire, the number of more-right-wing-than-you-might-imagine political positions, can be spun any number of ways.

History doesn't have to repeat itself, but it has a habit of doing so. And the JFK story — whatever you make of his politics — ends in tragedy.

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4 Responses to Is Obama This Generation’s JFK?

  1. Howard says:

    Regardless of what his candidacy may remind people of from history, I think he is the best prepared candidate to take on the Republican nominee next fall and bring the country together. People are tired of Billary and the Clinton culture wars, and they don’t want to hear any more about Edward’s fancy house and haircut.

    Obama is charismatic, energetic, and fresh. He may not be the most liberal on all the issues, but he probably would not be a viable candidate if he were the most left wing candidate.

    I think Obama will be a great president. I think it is difficult to predict what conspiracies may unfold in the future, but it cannot get too much worse than what has happened during the Bush years.

    I think Democrats, including the establishment – even those stung by a Clinton defeat who may not even have supported Kerry because Clinton’s moment was only four years away, fearful of a packed conservative supreme court or a McCain/Lieberman presidency, will unite behind Obama along with many independents and Republicans, and he will be elected to the presidency.

    After that, I don’t see why it has to end in disaster. I think it will be much more positive as the country moves in a new direction. No matter who becomes president, the country will have to deal with many difficult things in the coming years. Turmoil could ensue regardless of who wins.

  2. shmuel says:

    From my perch on Mars, the reports on the culture wars didn’t mention Clinton as a participant. I guess it must be the distance.

  3. howard says:

    Maybe you weren’t paying attention to Pat Buchanan’s speech at the Republican National Convention being on Mars and all . . .
    “The agenda [Bill] Clinton and [Hillary] Clinton would impose on America — abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat — that’s change, all right. But it is not the kind of change America wants. It is not the kind of change America needs. And it is not the kind of change we can tolerate in a nation that we still call God’s country.”

  4. Altoid says:

    Coming late to this particular thread and now it’s different after New Hampshire, but I’m finding it hard not to comment.

    Personally, I don’t get Obama. Maybe I’m too old. But I’ve never liked his speaking style. It sounds too much like george bush’s, only fluid; glittering generalities that make me nervous. I particularly don’t like his pattern of swallowing the last few words of declarations on a downward inflection. I’ll get tired of listening to him very quickly.

    On the other hand, I’m tired beyond words of the GOP anti-Clinton mud-slinging machine. I also think the people and interests that really want to steal the country are perfectly happy with Clinton because they’ve spent so many years honing the script that will keep the media and most of the public distracted and upset with her. They don’t know the script on Obama, which means they’ll probably try to use what’s worked against Dems for 15 years or more.

    And for them this is the real danger he presents– and is his real opportunity if only he can be clever enough to figure out how to capitalize on it. If they throw the same old stuff, it could be that everything they say against him will be an obvious argument for electing him.

    That would be the case at the level of national media and AM radio. Their other stronghold, though, has been locally-spread smear campaigns run through church groups and phone trees and things like that. There’s no way to stop this. And it could work well enough that some nut decides this guy’s run needs to come to an end. I don’t know if that’s what Michael means by a tragic ending, but Powell’s wife was certainly worried about it; any black candidate has to be especially concerned, and I still have my doubts about Wellstone. If he only means disenchantment, well, I was never among the enchanted. I guess we’ll see where it all goes.

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