The Ultimate Pragmatist

Barack Obama campaigning for the Illinois State Senate in 1996, a race he easily won.

Others will read it differently, but my take is that this weekend's long NYT piece on Barack Obama's political evolution (The Long Run: Pragmatic Politics, Forged on the South Side) supports a lot of what I was trying to say in my little article about Obama and the LSCs (Obama's lackluster record on education).

How so? The most vivid example is this quote, among several describing Obama's cautious, pragmatic, and centrist-moving political evolution:

“He has a pattern of forming relationships

with various communities and as he takes his next step up, kind of

distancing himself from them and then positioning himself as the

bridge,” said Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian-American author and

co-founder of the online publication Electronic Intifada, who became

acquainted with Mr. Obama in Chicago.

I'm not against Obama, or against political pragmatism. I'm just against people thinking that Obama (or any politician) is something that he's not. He's not the reform-oriented community organizer that he once was. And he's not particularly bold or pure in his legislative efforts. If he were, he probably wouldn't be on the verge of being the Democratic nominee for President.

Filed under: Campaigns & Clout

Leave a comment