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24 thoughts on “How Obama Became Acting President

  • quasar

    Thanks for that steer over to Frank Rich, Jason.

    It had been a few weeks since I had read any of his columns, or seen anyone offering a reference or quote.

    What was solid about this column wasn’t the newness of any information (especially if you are up to date on the latest minor detail). But rather, how he chronologically sequenced events, taking out the unnecessary glib to show the overall effectual meaning. We see a lot of cause, a lot of response, but he gives the end result not by showing what has happened multilaterally, but as a linear projection.
    So, it was the building blocks of perspectives that he compiled into a base meaning of where Obama’s candidacy is at that makes him the best op-ed columnist at…anywhere.

  • quasar


    Rich eluded to something in the latter part of the article. His is a louder whisper to the belief that things have already changed, and there is no unchanging that. Any small fray will be saturated because the dye has been cast.

    Something, to whomever becomes aware in their own introspection, something has changed by the weaving of these events. It’s a personal realization modeled in the observant study of this campaign. Everyone will look at it from a different eye. But everyone can acknowledge a changed spectrum.

    • JasonEverettMiller

      Exactly. The train already left the station and McCain is jumping up and down on the platform, waving a ticket that expired in 2000.

    • dijamo

      Agreed Quasar, but this is really a Catch-22 here. Because Obama has that presumptive president imagery and that attracts much harsher criticism for everything he does – no matter how tiny. His campaign has energy and excitement whereas McCain’s is warmewd up GWB leftovers. The media is far more likely to pore ever his every mistep and let McCain’s slide because McCain is boring and just not newsworthy (until he makes a gaffe). This makes me anticipate the convention even more so Obama and the Democratic Party have a chance to speak directly to the American people with less interference from media pundits and analysts.

  • ChronoSpark

    That was one of the best op-ed pieces I have ever read concerning the election. It completely lays out what’s going on, and how Obama is a success and McCain a complete failure. If McCain actually wins, then there is truly no hope for this country.

  • quinn esq

    Rich nailed it. The GOP can’t touch Obama right now, with “arrogance” (“vanity”) their #1 line. The trouble with that is that it’s fairly easy to defuse… and easy to turn against their own guy. They’re drowning, and I suspect it really IS only “events” that could open this game in their direction.

    I thought the most insightful line was: “Mr. McCain could also have stepped into the leadership gap left by Mr. Bush’s de facto abdication. His inability to even make a stab at doing so is troubling.” McCain’s been saying he’s got experience. Great. But if he doesn’t see that gap, that vacuum, right now, and offer ANYTHING to fill it…. then he’s toast. Obama may not have the details that everyone ultimately will want, but right now, he’s CLAIMING the mantle. McCain isn’t.

    • Lux Umbra Dei

      I might not be surprised if the party leaders ask him to he will step down from the nomination for “health reasons” or some other such excuse.

      I am sure the GOP elders are watching their own polling instruments as intently as a pilot coming in to an airport in a 500 feet deck night. If the numbers don’t look good right before the convention, they might pull the plug on him…

      After all, after McCain, almost any candidate except Fred Thompson, is going to look downright dynamic.

      • ChronoSpark

        I’ve been wondering about this myself. Would the GOP really pick someone else instead of McCain? Even if things look desperate, would they be that desperate? It would certainly (in my opinion) practically ensure that Obama wins. The Republican Party will be in chaos, and it’ll be quite difficult for anyone else to properly establish themselves.

        It’s certainly interesting to imagine, though.

        • Lux Umbra Dei

          I suppose you’re right. The downside risks of appearing to be desperate are enormous.

          I guess they might try to salvage things with the VP choice.

          • ChronoSpark

            That’s my guess. I don’t think it’ll salvage the catastrophe of McCain’s campaign though. Maybe keep it afloat a few months more.

          • Lux Umbra Dei

            I wish I were as optimistic..malign and able minds are working on their side…they long have adopted Atwater’s thought: if you can’t get your own base enthusiastic, depress the enthusiasm of your opponent’s base.

            Hence a nonstop campaign of smears and attacks are in store…

          • ChronoSpark

            Which is precisely why so many people are still so optimistic and enthusiastic, including myself. Why let them win, especially with that strategy? It proves that it works. Let’s prove otherwise!

        • SqueakyRat

          They won’t do it. McCain would never do it willingly, and forcing him out (somehow?) would damage the Republicans as badly as a lost election. And they’d lose anyway.

  • clif

    Well changing horses after the MSM has told ALL of America who the candidate is didn’t work for McGovern in the Eagleton mess either.

    Good luck to the GOPer crowd for pullin’ that stunt this election cycle.

  • stillidealistic

    My Favorite Bit:

    More than five years and 4,100 American fatalities later, they’re still not demanding that Mr. McCain admit he was wrong when he assured us that our adventure in Iraq would be fast, produce little American “bloodletting” and “be paid for by the Iraqis.”

    But, by God, Obama needs to admit he was wrong about the surge…get real!

    • JasonEverettMiller

      The absurdity of their arguments are the reason why I remain optimistic for a 10 to 15 point popular vote victory in November, one that encompasses every party under our tattered flag.

  • dijamo

    Great op-ed by Frank Rich. He talks about how McCaina and Obama may do in the debates, but I think our biggest opportunity for wooing undecideds will he the conventions. The American people will have a chance to see the juxtaposition of Obama and the Democratic party agenda vs. McCain and the continuation of Dubya’s 3rd term. We may be able to turn a very close election into a blowout…barring the inevitable Republican smear attacks and October terror alerts of course. But if Obama is able to build a large enough lead, there’s not enough fear-mongering to take this election away.

  • observer2

    I do think the GOP is seriously regretting picking this clumsy, moronic, lame, jerk of a candidate.

    They’ll definitely force him to pick Romney as VP.

    And gutless puppet McCain will of course accept, since he is a gutless cowardly weasel.