by Jack Hunter
Tha mainstream Right (and Hillary in her desperation) are quick to point out that Barack Obama is all talk and no substance. I agree, for the most part. I also agree that Bill Clinton's personality won him more votes than his policies, and the same could be said for Ronald Reagan, the most charming president in my lifetime.
Why do people still love John F. Kennedy? His political legacy? He lowered taxes and was not exactly a New Deal liberal (which should disqualify him with Democrats as a hero) and was an adulterer (which should disqualify him completely with Clinton/Lewinsky obsessed Republicans) yet no one has a bad word to say about JFK.
People loved Kennedy for the same reason they like Obama - image (he was handsome, "Camelot," pretty wife, young children, etc.) and he was good on the stick ("ask not what your country can do for you...").
Obama's success is a result of the age of TV presidents - and blaming Obama for being "over" (a pro wrestling term for making one's self popular with fans) seems silly to me. We Ron Paul supporters (and even Paul himself) constantly joked that if our message were promoted by some pretty boy like Mitt Romney, we would have been more successful in the primary.
Obama is handsome, a great speaker and an attractive personality. While serious, politically-minded folks should be able to see beyond these attributes and question actual policy - I certainly don't hold it against Obama, and neither should anyone else, that he presents a pretty package.
Speaking of which - from today's (3/4/08) Washington Times:
"Republicans like Sen. Barack Obama nearly as much as they like their own likely presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, according to a new Fox 5/The Washington Times/Rasmussen Reports poll.
The survey determined that a quarter of self-identified Republicans rated Mr. McCain most likable, but nearly as many — 23 percent — chose Mr. Obama as most likable. And among all adults surveyed, Mr. Obama was rated likable by more people than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mr. McCain combined, underscoring the Illinois senator's appeal to voters across the political spectrum.
"There is something about Barack Obama that is hard to capture in polling and it's an enthusiasm, it's a freshness, it's an excitement he can generate that will certainly be a factor in the campaign," said pollster Scott Rasmussen."