Something I had not quite expected someone would ask me today: "Are you here for the Barack Obama meeting?"
February 18, 2008 11:05 PM
So I was at Molly Malone's for a meeting with some fellow Republicans--prominent, you'd-recognize-their-names-as-major-local-right-wingers types of people--and up comes this breathless young man. He asks: "Are you here for the Barack Obama meeting?" I looked around for the camera, thinking "Am I on Punk'd?"
But no, this guy was serious. Because a few minutes later, they started arriving. So we ordered another round, thinking we'd hear some good stuff. I know that I, personally, wanted to hear about Change and The Future, and also thought it would be fun to see some people overcome by emotion, and passing out--as was widely reported today, people are wont to do at Obama rallies. He's a regular political Benny Hinn, from what I hear. A modern-day faith healer. You'll recall that the faith healers of old usually ended up leaving town with their tent and your money. I just throw that out there as an aside. Not sure exactly why.
Anyway. I was so disappointed with the Obama crowd. All they did was sit around looking pissed off and disaffected. We waited and waited for the meeting to start, but nothing ever happened, and then people started leaving. There was one guy with a laptop who appeared to be in charge. I say that because, well, he had a laptop. It had Obama stickers all over it, and the blue glow from the screen really lit up his white liberal pallor. And he had one of those kinky haired beards that looks, well, pubic. You know. You've seen these people. I know it's rude to point this out, and talk about the physical attributes of the political opposition. But when nothing substantive is said, what else is there to criticize? I was waiting for the policy conversation, I'd happily criticize that. That was why I stayed. But no. Nothing.
So.... I guess it was like a real Obama Rally. Nothing substantive. All build up, and no.... POP.
I'll probably be the first person to quote Gertrude Stein while criticizing Barack Obama. But seriously. "There was no there there." Literally, there was NONE. And unfortunately, I was expecting something like this:
And that just goes to illustrate something that I expect will soon be a problem for Barack Obama. He's over-promised. Expectations are too high. In trial practice class in law school, there's one big thing they teach you about opening statements. Don't overstate your case. Don't promise too much. Don't tell the jury you can deliver something that you can't. Because at the end of the trial, they're going to go into the jury room, alone, and ask each other, "Did he give us, what he said he was going to give us?" The answer to that needs to be "Yes!"
In Barack's case, he's told us he's going to give us Change. Not just minor change. But a major reworking of American political life and American culture. When people go into the voting both, alone, are they honestly going to believe he will give them what he's promised?