Saturday, August 23, 2008

No Lincolnesque Moments in Springfield from the Obama-Biden Team

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The two men onstage in Springfield, Ill., raised their voices today in praise of each other’s roots, values, and accomplishments while promising that together they would undo the damage done by eight years of Bush and McCain. In sum, the Obama-Biden team promised the electorate they would go forth and mend terribly broken Washington and not only change the direction of America, but the rest of the world as well.

The Obama team, masters of stagecraft from Berlin to Springfield, Ill., chose for obvious reasons the Land of Lincoln for the One to announce his candidacy 19 months ago. The campaign then cunningly scheduled today’s event at the same site for Obama to introduce Joe Biden as his folksy, given to colloquialisms, running mate.

Biden went so far as to begin and close his talk with mention of Lincoln.

You may have missed it during the primary, but when anyone dared to raise the issue of Obama’s lack of experience, his backers often compared his background to that of Abraham Lincoln. In other words, we were asked to accept on faith that as our next president, Obama would rise to the stature of the nation’s 16th president.

The other illogical argument in defense of Obama’s lack of qualifications for the top job in the country was to point out that many experienced people in the Bush Administration hadn’t done so well. As if to say that because some experienced people hadn’t lived up to expectations, an inexperienced person could be counted on to excel.

No one has been turned off by eight years of the Bush Administration more than I, and I tuned in to today’s event sincerely wanting to be inspired and filled with hope for change I could believe in. When the two speeches were over and the wives had joined their men onstage, I listened to the CNN crew’s mindless chatter for a few minutes before hitting the off button on my remote.

After all the calculated suspense for Obama’s long-awaited VP announcement, the big event in Springfield amounted to a couple of boring guys exchanging expressions of adulation for one another. If the spirit of Abraham Lincoln was on that stage, I missed it.

By the way, the Obama team has actually received kudos from the media for once again demonstrating its ability to stay on message and withhold information from the public. As they say, it’s a well oiled, tightly run political machine. Kind of reminds me of the early years of the Bush Administration.

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