Obama the Listener?

Courtesy New York Times and OpenLeft

Will Hillary Clinton Listen to Anyone Advising Her to Quit? — New York Magazine
But now two months have passed since Edwards dropped out—tempus fugit!—and still no endorsement. Why? According to a Democratic strategist unaligned with any campaign but with knowledge of the situation gleaned from all three camps, the answer is simple: Obama blew it. Speaking to Edwards on the day he exited the race, Obama came across as glib and aloof. His response to Edwards’s imprecations that he make poverty a central part of his agenda was shallow, perfunctory, pat. Clinton, by contrast, engaged Edwards in a lengthy policy discussion. Her affect was solicitous and respectful. When Clinton met Edwards face-to-face in North Carolina ten days later, her approach continued to impress; she even made headway with Elizabeth. Whereas in his Edwards sit-down, Obama dug himself in deeper, getting into a fight with Elizabeth about health care, insisting that his plan is universal (a position she considers a crock), high-handedly criticizing Clinton’s plan (and by extension Edwards’s) for its insurance mandate.

Now, it’s quite possible that Obama is misleading the greater part of his electoral coalition in his rhetoric on the Iraq War, his rhetoric on free trade, and his lack of movement in the Senate on immigration. It’s also possible that Obama can get better results sitting down with our nation’s enemies than he can chatting with John Edwards.

But given the choice between John McCain, a candidate who elevates the discussion on globalization, and Barack Obama, who’s current campaign plan is warmed over identity politics, I guess I’m not “hoping” for “change.”