Living in Indiana, I know that my vote in a primary probably won’t make a difference. So I’ve tried to sit lightly in thinking about the candidates in the primaries.
But I have to say, I thought Barack’s speech last night was a tour de force. It was spellbinding, riffing on King and Kennedy while instantiating his own rhetorical style.
Here’s the key thing I noticed–more than the words: Barack Obama is a grownup. He’s not interested in being young or cool. He’s interested in being responsible. He sees himself as having a fiduciary responsibility, not an excuse for a never-ending party. In this era of delayed adolescence, he’s not pretending to be a rock star, or eternal teenager. He’s not playing the guitar on TV with the band (Clinton). He’s not trying to be a cutup and cute. (Huckabee/Norris ad). He’s not proclaiming a rigid inner certainty about what’s right, treating it as a compass in a relativistic ocean (GW Bush, about his own conversion). He’s advocating confidence, not certainty. Judgment, not relativism.
It is this feature, more than anything else that portends the end of the Boomer, forever young mentality. Barack Obama comes across as a grownup. And whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, he’s reminding you that if you’re old enough to vote, you’re a grownup too.