I think we need to cut Senator Obama some slack.
After all, for the past seven years our nation has been led by a gifted, silver-tongued orator of unparalleled abilities. President Bush has combined a gift for eloquent rhetoric capable of soaring high above pedantic realities with a folksy, approachable, down-to-earth charm. I mean, even after all this time, whenever I hear the man speak I think, "Gosh, I'd like to have a beer with him."
The voters have gotten spoiled. We've just grown unrealistically accustomed to a chief executive able to grapple with immensely complicated subjects and deftly deflate them to sound-bite length talking points. We've been so blessed to have a President who can just dispense with the kind of confusing, obfuscative nuance that makes it hard to know when we're being pandered to or demonized for political gain. He reassures us that he's sustained by his faith, without boring us with details about just what it is he believes. He never has to defend his pastor, because he doesn't go to church. He doesn't get bogged down in wonky grammar, wasting energy making sure of his verb agreement; no, that kind of intellectual elitism sends the wrong message and emboldens the terrorists. Bush knows that his job is to tell us whom to fear today.
And so Americans, naturally, are a bit bewildered by the spectacle of a politician offering up single sentences containing as many as 73 words. (Yes, I counted.) What to make of a presidential candidate who gives a lengthy address on divisive issues during which he never once utters either the word "Republican" or "Democrat"? I mean, how are we even supposed to know where this man stands?
Yes, we've been lucky to have George W. Bush as our president. Who knows how the primaries and the general election will turn out? We may just have to resign ourselves to the prospect of being led by a circumspect, diplomatic legal scholar, one who doesn't even own a ranch.