Friday, June 20, 2008

David Brooks’ Epiphany Regarding Barack Obama

One could argue that an op-ed by the influential NY Times columnist David Brooks on October 19, 2006, titled “Run, Barack Run,” gave Barack Obama the initial push he needed to announce his candidacy for the office of president of the United States. Brooks wrote:

“Coming from my own perspective, I should note that I disagree with many of Obama’s notions and could well end up agreeing more with one of his opponents. But anyone who’s observed him closely can see that Obama is a new kind of politician. As Klein once observed, he’s that rarest of creatures: a megahyped phenomenon that lives up to the hype.

“It may not be personally convenient for him, but the times will never again so completely require the gifts that he possesses. Whether you’re liberal or conservative, you should hope Barack Obama runs for president.”

Needless to say, Brooks has lost some of his enthusiasm for Sen. Obama over an extended Democratic primary and the early weeks of his general election campaign against John McCain.

In today’s column in the Times, titled “The Two Obamas,” Mr. Brooks has a tough time concealing his outrage at the man he once urged to jump into the race; Brooks is now effectively characterizing Obama as a schizoid personality with all of the attributes of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Brooks splutters angrily about “Dr. Barack” and “Fast Eddie” in his opening grafs:

“God, Republicans are saps. They think that they’re running against some academic liberal who wouldn’t wear flag pins on his lapel, whose wife isn’t proud of America and who went to some liberationist church where the pastor damned his own country. They think they’re running against some naïve university-town dreamer, the second coming of Adlai Stevenson.

“But as recent weeks have made clear, Barack Obama is the most split-personality politician in the country today. On the one hand, there is Dr. Barack, the high-minded, Niebuhr-quoting speechifier who spent this past winter thrilling the Scarlett Johansson set and feeling the fierce urgency of now. But then on the other side, there’s Fast Eddie Obama, the promise-breaking, tough-minded Chicago pol who’d throw you under the truck for votes.

“This guy is the whole Chicago package: an idealistic, lakefront liberal fronting a sharp-elbowed machine operator. He’s the only politician of our lifetime who is underestimated because he’s too intelligent. He speaks so calmly and polysyllabically that people fail to appreciate the Machiavellian ambition inside.”

Ah, yes, the whole Chicago package. Reminds me of the night of the Indiana primary when Obama supporter Rudy Clay, the mayor of Gary, (located a few miles from Obama’s home) reverted to old Chicago style politics and withheld the results from his city long after prime time. Clay gave it up only after the CNN crew called him out.

That was the same night that Obama earlier won North Carolina, and Tim Russert, who was recently accorded a state funeral, crowned Obama the presumptive nominee.

Were I not one of Hillary Clinton’s supporters still shaking my head in astonishment at how Democratic party leaders and the Obama-intoxicated media handed the nomination to the obviously less qualified candidate after repeatedly pressuring Hillary Clinton to drop out, I’d be chuckling over David Brooks’ evident epiphany in finding Barack Obama out.

Instead, I simply continue to stand aside and watch as the gradual awakening to reality begins and hope the Dems have their eyes opened by the time the Denver convention is called to order.

To read Brook’s column in today’s NY times, go here.

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