Several months back I happened to hear an npr interview with a journalist who has worked closely with and supported Obama since his political career got launched in Chicago.  His description of Obama was intriguing at the time who seems to be shadowing forth now the characteristics that he described.

First off he described Obama as a very ambitious guy which he manifestly is — emerging out of nowhere to run for the presidency.  Whether this goal came into being in kindergarten is not the point.  Obama is a man hungry to be president.

The other features of Obama’s approach to politics that he described was that Obama: 1) had been a tough in fighter in local Chicago politics and 2) was an ingenious charmer of wealthy liberal ladies (he specified some in his description) who could be enlisted to fund his campaigns.  These two sides of Obama now seem manifest.  I watched briefly the Oprah/Obama trist yesterday and it was clear that he is, indeed, a skillful charmer of wealthy ladies.

The interesting thing to watch will be whether Obama can appropriate the support of women generally which Hillary has enjoyed.  I rather suspect that his charm routine will not be universally appealing.  I do worry about his skillful presentation of himself as the new wave which can deceive the unwary as to its conservative tendencies — e.g. not supporting realistic universal medical care per Paul Krugman’s recent commentary on it as a future road block to our achieving real medical insurance reforms.

The bottom line here is that Obama is one bright guy on the march.  Will Democrats buy him?  Will some road kill along his speeding route do him in at some critical point?  In some ways I admire him, but in others, he leaves me deeply worried at the ultimate damage that his ambitions may do to us all.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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