I had blogged about it being the "season of Hillary" a couple weeks back but its a new year and it seems to be the season of Obama so far. It is too early to predict whether it will be Obama's year .. but Obama's campaign seems to have gotten a great shot in the arm after the Iowa caucus victory. (His victory speech after the win has been lauded by many as one for the times -- here's the video and here's a transcript.)
Bob Herbert raved about the Obama Phenomenon after the Iowa caucus win: "The historians can put aside their reference material. This is new. America has never seen anything like the Barack Obama Phenomenon."...and later: "Shake hands with tomorrow. It's here."
The fervor seems to have carried over to New Hampshire...if these two posts from the NYT's Caucus blog are anything to go by. And many are unwittingly being carried away in this flood. Like a certain MissLaura wrote at the DailyKos blog:
But the swell and crackle of energy in the room when he spoke? That was organic, and it was overwhelming. Every time Obama started to lose me with a line I've heard one time too many this long campaign season, the crowd would bring me back in.
But this is why I love reading Amit Varma's blog.... brilliant! Amit writes today:
EJ Dionne Jr writes in the Washington Post:
In 1960, the articulate Adlai Stevenson compared his own oratory unfavorably with John F. Kennedy’s. “Do you remember,” Stevenson said, “that in classical times when Cicero had finished speaking, the people said, ‘How well he spoke,’ but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, the people said, ‘Let us march.’” At this hour, Obama is the Democrats’ Demosthenes.
Yes, but march where? Once the euphoria of marching is over…
He gets to the essence of matters so lucidly and provides me with the sense of perspective for those caught up in the frenzy of the Obama juggernaut. (Actually, I have not been caught up in any of this. I read a few articles last weekend after Obama's win in Iowa... but frankly, I have been rather apathetic to the whole campaign so far, as it drags on too long for me to sustain the interest. After a while, the speeches get tedious, the words get boring, and it all blurs into one pathetic blur of sound-bytes. That said, now that the new year has dawned and the caucus/primaries have started, I'll be more tuned in.)
Though based in India, Amit has been following the US elections more closely than me at least! He has had quite a few posts on news from the campaign-trail...with some great ones on silly quotes from the candidates. And based on his posts, I gather that he's a Obama fan but he is not caught up with the frenzy of the Obama phenomenon.
Every campaign is one of spin and the best
liar.…show in town often comes out ahead. Like Amit wrote in an earlier post:
Indeed, the main presidential candidates in the US elections are largely like brands catering to different niches of the political marketplace. Is there a real Obama and Huckabee and Clinton beneath those carefully constructed facades? Who can tell?
So while I am by no means saying that the Obama dog-n-pony show is not significant, it perhaps takes someone from the outside to call it as it is. (Style not necessarily substance. Same old rhetoric just couched in new words. Old wine in new casks. And so it goes. :))
P.S. No nugget of quotable quotes from US presidential hopefuls beats Zardari's wish to have a sex-change though. :)