Monday, October 15, 2007



I heard him speaking on NPR. I started listening in the middle of the interview ... I didn't even know it was him at first. He was giving intelligent, reasonable answers to questions. I thought he was a senior civil servent at State or the DoD -- definitely not like a president -- who knew the issues of which he spoke and wanted to offer some constructive comments and food for thought for the listeners so they'd understand the situation better. For better or for worse, the POTUS generally is evidently not supposed to sound so reasonable, thoughtful and well-versed. If he sounded like any president in recent memory (even beyond my own personal memory) -- Obama sounded like Nixon.

As I said, I started listening in mit'n dereinin ... and mentally tuned out a few times as I was tired at the time ... so I don't know whether he was speaking particularly to NPR or to a more general audience. We NPR listeners tend to think we're smart, so if this was an NPR specific interview I heard, Obama has done well to know his audience. OTOH, if he's coming off like this in general, he ain't gonna win the general election if he wins the primary. He'll get the same treatment as Al Gore did -- the media want sexy, not nerdy. And they've convinced too many people of this too. Although, speaking as a nerd -- and c.f. my mentioning of Nixon above -- maybe we don't want a nerd (not sayin' that Nixon was a nerd, but he sure could sound like one at times) -- or someone who sounds too smart -- as president (c.f. also the Talmud -- "never live in a city ran by scholars"). But it's better than turning presidential e[r]ections into a "whom do Tweety and Lil' Tim wanna hump" contest ...

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