I have to agree with David Corn that Barack Obama’s announcement of the formation of a presidential exploratory committee is pretty much of a snore. The Candidate seems already positioned to play a role in his own version of the 1972 Robert Redford film. He feels packaged from the start in this short video that ventures hardly a centimeter from the usual pieties about the need to come together, etc.
Of course in this world of focus group politics, that’s probably all we can expect from people who intend to win. It makes you yearn for the fringe candidates like Kucinich and Tancredo. At least they stand for something, not that I care much for either of them.
The presidential season is beginning very early (we’ll be sticking our stake in the ground at Pajamas next week) and I’m not sure it’s entirely a bad thing to run these candidates through a lengthy wringer. What we may have learned in recent years is that a person’s character is more important than his or her supposed positions on the issues. They change anyway. Whoever wins the presidency in ’08 is going to be under tremendous pressure from day one. Like it or not, believe it or not, he or she will be a wartime president to one degree or another, probably to a large degree. They can debate the minimum wage or health care until their blue in the face or blue in the cross [Yuck, yuck, yuck.-ed.] but the moment they get their hand off that Bible, Koran, Bhagavad Gita or collected works of Robert Ingersoll, they are going to have to deal with Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Somalia, the Philippines, Thailand and on and on. The world is going to be in nuclear-armed ferment for years to come. The next president better be tested.