The Barbershop has re-located

The proprietor has moved the shop to ChicagoNow, a Chicago Tribune site that showcases some of the best bloggers in the Chicago area. You can logo on to the Barbershop home page here. The ChicagoNow home page is here.

You'll still be able to post comments with the same ease as in this location. The proprietor also will keep this web site alive if you wish to review old posts.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Barack Obama in Gerald Ford's Shadow

By Dennis Byrne

Is it possible to explain the mystifying public enchantment with putative presidential candidate Barack Obama in light of the virtues so lovingly and lyrically attributed to President Gerald R. Ford?

America, exhausted from bitter partisan battles, extremist politics, consuming power-lust and all around nastiness, now hungers--we're told--for a government graced with the decency, honesty, compassion, moderation and neighborliness of a Gerald Ford. A politician's political philosophy and policy positions are not as important as his personal qualities. Nobility transcends all. Give us quietude, give us a break.

Everyone, it seems, is looking for a "boy scout"--for the moment no longer a pejorative term applied to a politician who seems too naïve, too goody-goody, but someone, as the name has been repeatedly applied to Ford, of sterling character.

Possibly this explains the peculiar lack of interest by an adoring public and media in Obama's political beliefs and voting record. Obama has established himself with an uplifting convention speech, a pair of books self-describing his down-to-earth values and his sincerity. And media that either choose to, or is afraid to, tarnish this image with anything approaching a skin-deep analysis of what he would actually do as president. Standing alone is the assumption that he would somehow "bring us together."

How, exactly, would Obama do that, other than flash his attractive smile? What is there in his past that would indicate superb unifying powers? No answers have come from the Washington and political press corps, whose labors have become arid of serious political analysis.

Read more at RealClearPolitics

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