A seismic event.
David Brooks’s column on the Iowa results is well worth reading–and discussing, so have at it in the comboxes.
Obama has achieved something remarkable. At first blush, his speeches are abstract, secular sermons of personal uplift — filled with disquisitions on the nature of hope and the contours of change.He talks about erasing old categories like red and blue (and implicitly, black and white) and replacing them with new categories, of which the most important are new and old. He seems at first more preoccupied with changing thinking than changing legislation.Yet over the course of his speeches and over the course of this campaign, he has persuaded many Iowans that there is substance here as well. He built a great organization and produced a tangible victory. He’s made Hillary Clinton, with her wonkish, pragmatic approach to politics, seem uninspired. He’s made John Edwards, with his angry cries that “corporate greed is killing your children’s future,” seem old-fashioned. Edwards’s political career is probably over. Obama is changing the tone of American liberalism, and maybe American politics, too.
Maybe. I have a feeling Clinton isn’t going to make that very easy. Who saw the speeches last night? I saw Huck’s, Clinton’s, and part of Obama’s. What struck me: Huck’s preacher routine got old quick, but his tone (in public at least) certainly differentiates him from the rest of the pack. Hillary’s positivity was impressive, but her “change” schtick was strained (and backward-looking). But the look on Bill’s face near the end of her speech must have sent chills down the spines of Clinton supporters everywhere. He looked like he was at a funeral. What did you think?