Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Obama: Style Over Substance

This, in an AP article that the SF Chronicle carried:

"The [world's] excitement was less about Obama's foreign policies — which remain vague on many fronts — than a sense that the candidacy of a black American with relatives in Africa and childhood friends in Asia marks a historic moment. 'He has a very appealing persona — elegant, fluent, strings lots of sentences together into paragraphs. But in terms of (his) actual policies towards the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, China, Europe — actually, we don't know.'" Reminding anyone of an idealistic Jimmy Carter?

Where foreign policy is concerned, we need more than eloquence. We need experience.

The most ominous quote in the article to me is: "A Chinese scholar said that while he did not expect major changes in U.S. foreign policy, an Obama White House would have a very different tone to a Bush one. 'He will bring new energy into America's domestic politics and foreign policies,' said Zhu Feng, deputy director at the Center of International and Strategic Studies at Peking University in Beijing. 'It's a good choice for the Democrats.'" Doesn't it give you a little pause when orthodox Chinese political scientists are praising your candidate? One wonders if the candidate is, perhaps, Manchurian.

On a lighter note, my wife likes to say that Obama would be a great talk show host, which is to say, not a great president.

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