Moreover, Obama knows Middle America harbors deep suspicions of him. Thus, he has jettisoned the rhetoric about the "fierce urgency of now," and "We are the people we've been waiting for," even as he has jettisoned position after position to make himself acceptable.
His "flip-flops" testify most convincingly to the fact that Obama knows that where he comes from is far outside the American mainstream. For what are flip-flops other than concessions that a position is untenable and must be abandoned?
Flip-flopping reveals the prime meridian of presidential politics. If an analyst will collate all the positions to which all the candidates move, he will find himself close to the true center of national politics.
Thus, though he is the nominee of a party that is in thrall to the environmental movement, Obama has signaled conditional support for offshore drilling and pumping out of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
While holding to his pledge for a pullout of combat brigades from Iraq in 16 months, he has talked of "refining" his position and of a residual U.S. force to train the Iraqi Army and deal with Al Qaeda.
On Afghanistan, he has called for 10,000 more troops and U.S. strikes in Pakistan to kill Bin Laden, even without prior notice or the permission of the Pakistani government.
Since securing the nomination, Obama has adopted the Scalia position on the death penalty for child rape and the right to keep a handgun in the home. He voted to give the telecoms immunity from prosecution for colluding in Bush wiretaps. This onetime sympathizer of the Palestinians now does a passable imitation of Ariel Sharon.
No Democrat has ever come out of the far left of his party to win the presidency. McGovern, the furthest left, stayed true to his convictions and lost 49 states.
Obama has chosen another course. Though he comes out of the McGovern-Jesse Jackson left, he has shed past positions like support for partial birth abortion as fast as he has shed past associations, from William Ayers to ACORN, from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to his fellow parishioners at Trinity United.
One question remains: Will a President Obama, with his party in absolute control of both Houses, revert to the politics and policies of the Left that brought him the nomination, or resist his ex-comrades' demands that he seize the hour and impose the agenda ACORN, Ayers, Jesse, and Wright have long dreamed of?
Whichever way he decides, he will be at war with them, or at war with us. If Barack wins, a backlash is coming.