Goodbye to All That: Why Obama Matters

Is Iraq Vietnam? Who really won in 2000? Which side are you on in the culture wars? These questions have divided the Baby Boomers and distorted our politics. One candidate could transcend them.
  1. The logic behind the candidacy of Barack Obama is not, in the end, about Barack Obama. It has little to do with his policy proposals, which are very close to his Democratic rivals’ and which, with a few exceptions, exist firmly within the conventions of our politics. It has little to do with Obama’s considerable skills as a conciliator, legislator, or even thinker. It has even less to do with his ideological pedigree or legal background or rhetorical skills. Yes, as the many profiles prove, he has considerable intelligence and not a little guile. But so do others, not least his formidably polished and practiced opponent Senator Hillary Clinton.

    Obama, moreover, is no saint. He has flaws and tics: Often tired, sometimes crabby, intermittently solipsistic, he’s a surprisingly uneven campaigner.

    A soaring rhetorical flourish one day is undercut by a lackluster debate performance the next. He is certainly not without self-regard. He has more experience in public life than his opponen...

The complete text of “Goodbye to All That: Why Obama Matters” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.theatlantic.com.

Great reading. Anywhere, any time

Subscribe to Byliner to finish this and thousands of other riveting stories for just $5.99 a month. Get started now with a 14 day FREE trial.

Join Today

Already a member? Sign in