Just about everyone “has a piece of advice for what the change candidate should change about his campaign,” said Dan Gerstein in The Wall Street Journal. But when Barack Obama takes the stage to accept the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, he doesn’t need to tweak his message to win over undecided voters. “He mostly just needs to be himself,” because if people understand the political risks he has already taken they will know what a “gutsy“ leader he will be.
“Make no mistake about it,” said Larry Kudlow in National Review Online’s The Corner blog. “There are many doubts and unanswered questions about the Illinois senator regarding his experience, his foreign policy, his economics, and his prior political and spiritual relationships.” To make the sale, Obama will have to meet the "monumental challenge" of explaining how his blame-the-rich economic policies won't sink us all.
Obama indeed faces "the problem from hell,” said Harold Meyerson in The Washington Post, but that's not it. He has to win over a white working class that is angry. But, as the first African-American candidate for a major party, his “challenge is to become a tribune for some of that anger without looking like an angry black man.”
Obama’s “vulnerability is not his race,” said Andy Zelleke in The Christian Science Monitor. Most people who refuse to support a black candidate wouldn’t have backed a “left-of-center white Democrat” over a conservative either. Obama, the son of an African immigrant, epitomizes the American dream, but he has to help voters get to know him to show he’s “one of us.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 7 of the scariest spiders in existence
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
- Why isn't 'Arkansas' pronounced like 'Kansas'?
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Welcome to the age of ambivalent feminism
- It's time for the police to rethink 'shoot-to-kill'
- The best online movies to watch this weekend
- Can sci-fi save the romantic comedy?
- Internet piracy isn't killing Hollywood
Subscribe to the Week