The Washington Post reports that Sen. Barack Obama is aggressively trying to reintroduce himself to voters, echoing the spin of Obama's advisers that not everyone knows him yet. In reality, Obama's major campaign challenge will not be to reveal, but to conceal his true identity.
Obama is not trying to introduce himself to unreached voters, but is engaged in damage control with many he's already reached -- and insulted and disillusioned.
As long as he was soaring above the fray with the lofty rhetoric of hope, change and unity, Obama could masquerade as a quasi-messiah figure. But once forced into the nitty-gritty of contested issues and debates, his false visage began to crack. Those cracks expanded into campaign-threatening fissures when voters learned about Obama's sordid associations and left-wing elitist snobbery toward small-town America.
The Post says that in his reintroduction, Obama has "offered a clear road map for the kind of candidate he is likely to become …: an ambitious gamer of the electoral map, a ruthless fundraiser and a scrupulous manager of his own biography in the face of persistent concerns about how he is perceived."
What the Post left out is that Obama has also shown himself to be an unscrupulous master of the politics of calculation and expedience. Whether on public finance, NAFTA, Iran, Iraq, Jerusalem, special interests, Cuba, illegal immigration or the decriminalization of marijuana, Obama has demonstrated a propensity for flip-flopping that could embarrass the grandmaster himself, Sen. John Kerry.
But here's what's scary: For all of Kerry's reputed smoothness and Eastern intellect, he often tied himself in knots trying to reconcile his absurdly opposing positions. Obama can flip and flop with unmatched alacrity and facility and with the absence of self-consciousness and accountability of an accomplished sociopath. This guy doesn't even acknowledge he's changing positions; he does it without breaking a sweat and never looks back.
Of course, Obama benefits enormously from a favorable press, one that, in furtherance of his electoral cause, will tolerate almost any degree of preposterousness from him.
In addressing Obama's stunning position shift on public financing, the Post gropes for the best possible spin. The flip, says the Post, reveals Obama's "determination to press his financial advantage, even at the cost of handing his Republican opponent the opportunity to raise questions about the sincerity of his rhetoric on reform."
We are to accept Obama's change on public finance as a positive because, according to the Obama supporters the Post favorably quotes, it dispels the myth that Obama is naive and proves he is tough enough to take heat for his change.
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