Thursday, December 18, 2008

Person of the Year 2008

(Image: Obama, surrounded by friends and family, on an elevator preparing to address a crowd after securing the Democratic nomination in June) least according to Time.

His official theme was change, but a specific kind of change: the nuts-and-bolts kind you can see and measure. Voters were invited to believe because Obama kept delivering the goods. Certainly he made mistakes and gave up on some ideas while doubling back on others — his promise to stick to the existing campaign-finance system, for example. On the whole, though, he was a doer. Obama told people that a black man could win white votes. In Iowa he proved it. He said a broad-gauge campaign could win in GOP strongholds; along came Indiana and Virginia and North Carolina. He declared that a new approach to politics would topple the old Clinton-Bush seesaw, and topple it he did. He sank the three-pointer with the cameras rolling. Made a speech in a football stadium feel intimate. Some might say these are not exactly Churchillian achievements, but in the land of the hapless, the competent man is king.



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