Monday, February 18, 2008

Barack Obama: Case Study in Connectivity

Caroline Kennedy said Barack Obama would be a president like her father, John F. Kennedy. She's wrong on policy. Her father was as conservative in foreign and domestic policy as Ronald Reagan. But she's right about "connectivity."

I love talking about connectivity, a term I first heard coined by Sen. Chuck Hagel. Some politicians naturally connect with people. It has nothing to do with policy positions. It can't be manufactured. You either have connectivity or you don't.

My dad said he started following politics earnestly when JFK was president. He said JFK got him fired up about the political process. JFK had him believing it was important to be an informed and active citizen. He felt like Kennedy was talking directly to him and cared about his involvement in American self-government.

Reagan was the same kind of leader for my generation.

I grudgingly put Bill Clinton in that category for connectivity alone, but not for leadership.

Three callers to my Feb. 9 show attended the Nebraska Democratic caucus. All voted for Obama. One was a Democrat. One was an Independent who registered as a Democrat to vote for Obama and plans to vote for him in the fall. One was a Republican who became a Democrat for the caucus and also plans to stick with Obama.

Nobody offered any specific Obama policies as reason for supporting him. It was a general positive feeling they got from Obama. Connectivity.

There is a major difference between Obama and Kennedy/Reagan. Obama is a hard-left liberal. If he gets pinned down on positions, especially in a general election campaign, I think some of the magic will wear off.

But don't underestimate the power of connectivity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It amazes me in this year of political policy wonks and media personalities that think they know everything, like Beck, O’Rielly, Limbaugh and others, that we would be happy with any of the choices for President. Michelle Obama hasnt’ been proud of the U.S. to this date in time, wow? Ok, so you will say, you are taking her words out of context, ok, so the Obama campaign and Obama himself doesn’t do that, they did it Bill Clinton and his comments on Obama’s record and Fairytale discussion? They are all sound bites and no substance. I am beginning to think there is nothing political to be proud of. American had better wake up or China will financially own us, and the rest of the world will continue to hate us. We are screwed if you ask me and any politican that is running for president at this point time is an egocentric and just in it for them. We have a old White man, a half white man and a white women who wants to be a white man. So where is the real choice?