Presidential Skin

Maureen Dowd sums up the battle for the democratic nomination:

The fact that Obama is exceptionally easy in his skin has made Hillary almost jump out of hers.

Indeed, Clinton seemed positively on edge in the latest Democratic debate in Ohio, as if she was on the verge of launching into a Howard Dean scream at any moment. Obama was calm, dignified, concise—almost as if he was above this fray, but wanted to engage rather than condescend.

As you can tell, I really like Obama’s persona—but his policies, particularly on free trade, are regressive and counter-productive (1, 2). Hopefully, he’s just pandering to the base until he gets the Democratic nomination. But if so, will he become a prisoner of his own rhetoric?

PS: Clinton cites foreign policy as one of her strong areas, so it was a bit of a surprise that she struggled to name Vladimir Putin’s successor in the debate. And to think we made fun of Bush Jr’s ignorance before the 2000 elections. Ah, the unraveling.

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