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The Big O

September 10, 2008

Way back before the conventions, Obama made his first stop of the campaign in his home state of Hawaii. Not to campaign, of course – Hawaii is Dem country (which fails to account for the Republican governor at the helm, but anyway). Like everyone else, he came to Hawaii to go on vacation.

When they made the surprise announcement that Obama would make a courtesy appearance for his adoring fans at a park near the airport, I started contemplating skipping out of work on Friday to bear witness. There were, however, a few mitigating factors: 1. I would have to make it out to the airport on my bike – doable, but a hot, sweaty, draining ride. 2. He would be most likely appearing for a short time, not making a full blown campaign speech. 3. It would be a tough sell to my employer, for whom I had been working only a few weeks.

Instead I watch the live feed online, complete with shaky camera and delayed sound. I was glad I didn’t go. The sun was blazing, the lines were long, the local politicians were annoying and Obama’s appearance was brief and uninspired.

That was probably as close as I’ll come to the man. I suppose we could have headed over to Kailua and stalked him, tailed him to the beach and bodysurfed with him, but we have better things to do – or at least my wife does.

While I’m on the tangential subject, I might as well weigh in with my prognostication for the election. Although I’m a supporter (of the non-rabid variety, i.e. the minority), I see him going down to McCain. Let’s face it, it’s not a good sign when McCain can deliver a feeble, flawed speech in front of a poorly choreographed laugh-track crowd and still bounce ahead in the polls.

Obama peaked in the primaries, wasted his best stuff on Hilary. Oprah, the race speech, change. Not only did he waste his best stuff, he’s been a shadow of the superstar he was a few months ago. In the primaries, he dictated the conversation. Now every move is an inexplicable response to McCain – pulling out of the townhall, choosing Mr. Foreign Policy Experience Biden, giving an acceptance speech heavy on policy. Every time he answers his critics, he acknowledges they have a point. I’m not saying he needs to be Mr. No-regrets Bush, he just needs to stop playing reactionary and get back in the driver seat. Otherwise, get ready for one year of McCain and three of moose hockey pitbull bookburner. While that idea scares the bejeebus out of me, I don’t see Obama doing anything to stop it short of FINDING THE MAGIC.

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