Who is Barack Obama, really? said Mort Kondracke in Roll Call via RealClear Politics. That has shaped up to be one of the biggest questions of the presidential campaign, as Obama dropped a promise to participate in the public campaign financing system, proposed expanding President Bush’s faith-based initiative, and voted for a surveillance bill he once vowed to kill. “Is this guy the real deal,” or a cynical flip-flopper?
The real flip-flopper is John McCain, said Peter Fenn and Will Leubsdorf in The Hill. He made a national reputation for himself in 2000 with his first presidential campaign, which he called the “Straight Talk Express.” But this time around he’s so “shamelessly” pandering to President Bush’s conservative base that even the John McCain of 2000 wouldn’t vote for the John McCain of 2008.
Let’s hope both McCain and Obama are willing to flip-flop from time to time, said Margaret Carlson in Bloomberg. The leader of the free world could “use some much-maligned flexibility.” It’s when a president doesn’t “know how to change gracefully and explain it adequately” when reality demands a Plan B that “the country is in trouble.”