August 13th, 2012 - 8:34 am
And here are some of the positive elements:
- Novelty. Barack Obama emerged from nowhere, close enough, presented the freshest of faces on a tired campaign scene.
- Melanin. The prospect of America’s “first black president” (that’s to say, America’s “first half-black president”) warmed the cockles of every liberal heart.
- Mystery. Who was this young, articulate, half-black man? We didn’t — we still don’t — really know. He had no record to speak of and his past was shrouded in a veritable library of sealed documents.
- Showmanship. Obama is a mean man with a teleprompter, no doubt about that. He and his team constructed an inveigling persona. The Greek columns were the least of it. It was a reassuring air of reasonableness, what one liberal friend of mine refers to as Obama’s “pragmatism.” (Yes, in the same sense that Lenin, for example, was a pragmatist.) And fianlly,
- Promises, promises, promises. Obama was going to be
- America’s first post-racialist president.
- He promised that we would cut the annual deficit in half by the end of his first term.
- He promised that unemployment would be under 6% by the end of his first term.
- He promised that his $50 billion bailout of GM would restore the flailing carmaker to profitabilty.
- He promised that the $800 billion “stimulus” package would create “millions”of jobs.
Out of such stuff is momentum made.