Wednesday, February 06, 2008
It's all been said before, If you want realtime insight you would be advised elsewhere.
This is from the gut.
I had wanted to write something before Super Tuesday, to place my bet ahead of the race. It's not been easy following this amazing race from this distant place, to be honest I've more intimate knowledge of David Cameron's composting habits and Gordon Brown's snarl. Such is the way of the transcontinental political junkie.
It is interesting to note that unlike any other US race in my memory (back to 1984 when school chum Matt Solomon asked me if I thought Walter Mondale would win, he thought yes, I thought no) this one has impacted UK popular culture at such a reasonably early stage. Not just the highbrow late night BBC radio politics shows but real, early morning popular stuff. Ordinary people texting the DJs with jokes and questions. It is perhaps more of an event than we realise. real zietgiest.
So why Obama?
It's less about policy than persona, less track record than possibility.
I strive hard to not be a cynic, I aim constantly to rise above the beast in the field in almost everything I do.
But it's hard.
And politics is hard and dirty and mean.
I'm not looking for the shining knight and I'm pretty sure he's not out there.
I just want someone to do the job and do it well.
But there is something about the momentum, the way the race has been regained and turned into a nailbiting competition. After months of assuming that Hilary was the shoo-in Obama came back and took a bite.
I like that.
As it is for the sports fan, for the political junkie it's all about the sport, the excitement.
Will he lead without division? I doubt it.
Will he make no mistakes? No.
But does he represent the opportunity for the optimist?
Does he offer something for the hopeless romantic political junkie?
Is he the most interesting thing to happen to politics, any politics, for ages?
There will be a time for close analysis, scrutiny and criticism, but not quite yet, let's enjoy the race while it lasts.