Monday, February 18, 2008

Yes We Can WHAT?

By Craig Crawford | February 18, 2008

The news media’s long-awaited scrubbing of Barack Obama’s concrete plans for governing has begun and, not surprisingly, it doesn't take long. The Democratic presidential contender’s famously inspirational speeches offer little sustenance for wonks.

In a rare and much-heralded policy address last week, Obama attempted to get specific on economics but the details turned out to be so reminiscent of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s proposals that an aide to Republican nominee-to-be John McCain stepped in to cry foul. “He basically took Clinton's words and Clinton's policies and called them his own,” McCain economic advisor Kevin Hassett said.

Obama’s supporters and advisers refer pesky policy inquiries to the campaign web site, but it is difficult to connect the dots between this internet data dump and a candidate whose public comments reveal little evidence that he has read it himself. As Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, an Obama fan, concluded after examining the web site, “I'm still puzzled about where to locate Obama on this policy map.”

No one expects Obama to use every opportunity to wade through the policy thicket that Clinton seems to enjoy navigating in her often mind-numbing stump speeches. The Illinois senator apparently intends to be a motivational president who stays above the fray. But on the stump he provides little guidance to the occasional voter who might be curious about exactly what he would do as president.

Politically speaking, it is probably true that Obama does not need to sweat the policy details. He has so far made it to the brink of success in the Democratic race without specifics. Instead, his admiring crowds appear content to chant “Yes We Can” without bothering to finish the sentence...[Open in new window]


Post a Comment

<< Home