George Will on Huckabee, Edwards -- and Obama

Dateline: Mon 07 Jan 2008

George Will's latest column concludes with this amazingly encouraging thought:

"Barack Obama, who might be mercifully closing the Clinton parenthesis in presidential history, is refreshingly cerebral amid this recrudescence of the paranoid style in American politics. He is the un-Edwards and un-Huckabee -- an adult aiming to reform the real world rather than an adolescent fantasizing mock-heroic 'fights' against fictitious villains in a left-wing cartoon version of this country."

Great quote. The bulk of the column criticizes Mike Huckabee and John Edwards for appealing to populist sentiment in a divisive manner -- Huckabee for playing "poor me" as a youth and practically claiming his victory in Iowa was a miracle of God, and Edwards, also for branding the "poor boy" mentality and not understanding how the world works economically.

What is most interesting is the hat's off to Obama from Will. This is the first national political race I've found energizing in a hundred or so years, and it's because of that freshman senator. Obama has galvanized his audience; he does indeed come off as the adult in the Dem field. Case in point: when Edwards tag-teamed with Obama during Friday's televised new Hampshire debate, Hillary became so unhinged that Bill Richardson had to say, "I've been in hostage negotiations that were more civil than this."

Obama kept his cool. So did Edwards. Watching Hillary is like watching a drug addict trying to keep it together; she was by turns rabidly furious and simpering. Not an adult.

And from what I saw, Obama was the first candidate on that stage, after the debate, to go out and greet members of the audience.

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