Sunday, July 13, 2008

Obama and The New Yorker - Inside and Out

The latest New Yorker has a very long and detailed account of Barack Obama's political career in Chicago written by Ryan Lizza. Be warned -- it's heavy on Chicago and Illinois politics, but I rather think that the kinds of characters, scenes and maneuverings depicted in this article happen in every state. Politics ain't pretty.

In the article we get a clear picture of Obama's pragmatic choices that propelled his climb from community organizer to Illinois state senator to US Senator and now on the road to becoming president. There's nothing really disgustingly sleazy there and the only real innovation in his politics is that when called upon to defends his actions, Obama will always admit that this is the way politics is and isn't it a shame that he has to do the things he does in order to get elected. His backing away from taking public campaign financing is very typical of the way he has always operated.

Obama had his eyes on the top job for many years, and we are reminded of that as we follow along his career steps. He stays in one job or position only as long as it takes to get his resources aligned so that he can move up to the next level. We really don't get many clues as to what he will be like when he gets into the job he plans to stay in for eight years. No wonder it is called the politics of hope -- I'm going to be hoping that my vote for him leads to genuine progress and that he is capable of getting things done.

Unfortunately, the New Yorker is pairing this article with what is already considered a controversial cover (see it and read about it here) that might detract from the story inside. I looked at the art work by Barry Blitt and read the artist's statements about it. He wants to illustrate all the lies about Barack and Michelle all at once to satirize "the politics of fear." I get what he was trying to do, but I bet a whole lot of other people won't.

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