Buried in E. J. Dionne’s op ed in today’s Washington Post is an admission the highly touted change Barack Obama persuaded millions to believe in during the primary was never defined. Like many once sober pundits with reasonably sound journalistic standards, Dionne’s heady infatuation with Obama caused him to stoop to whatever depraved tactic he thought it took to support the object of his affection and smear Hillary Clinton. Never mind questioning back then what it was that Obama was actually promising.
But read for yourself (emphases mine):
Voters in democracies have reasonably good intuitions as to what a political moment requires, and if there is a trend in democratic nations now, it is toward younger politicians who express disenchantment with the status quo, more by questioning past approaches than by offering fully worked-out alternative systems.
This was brought home last week when President Obama met with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia. Both are young. Both were elected with overwhelming support among voters under 30.
Both are mildly leftish and critical of the conservatism of the recent past, yet there was a calculated vagueness in the promises each of them made: In 2008, Obama pledged himself to change, while Rudd in 2007 promised "new leadership" and "fresh ideas." Neither Obama nor Rudd was pressed too hard to define the refreshing change each had in mind.