Wednesday, June 4, 2008

One of them is proof that who dares wins

Mr Obama saw sooner and more clearly than almost anyone else in US politics that the 2008 election can be a break with the past. In part, because of his age and relative inexperience in Washington, he understood the degree to which George Bush's catastrophic eight-year tenure - and in particular the war in Iraq - has created a demand among many Americans for more than just an ordinary swing of the pendulum. Mrs Clinton won a strong victory in a state where she had once trailed and where the most influential state Democrat was a strong Obama supporter. Hers was a historic campaign too. She also brought new voters into the fold. But she was denied her once seemingly inevitable victory because of her vote for the Iraq war and because she misread and could not answer to the national mood for change. Mr Obama said excellent things - the readiness to focus on the Middle East from the start of his presidency, the willingness to engage diplomatically with Iran, the strong reiteration of Iraq withdrawal. Other parts of his speech - on the indivisibility of Jerusalem, for example - were a reminder that an Obama presidency would not wave a magic wand over America or the world. But it would, thank goodness, be a new opportunity. At last, the real contest begins.

No comments: