Friday, January 05, 2007

Clearing my house of stale paper (to make room for that which miraculously stays fresh) I read Michael Tomasky's preemptive hagiography of article on Barack Obama.

If he runs, he'll have to assemble a campaign operation before mid-2007; by then he won't have completed even one term as a senator. Given his junior status and the way the Senate works, it seems unlikely, even if the Democrats manage to recapture majority control this November 7, that Obama will be able—by, say, the Iowa caucuses—to claim that he has even one piece of major legislation to his credit (perhaps his Democratic colleagues who are preparing to run will see to it that he doesn't). This is a complaint one hears in Washington from time to time. Ezra Klein, a sharp young Washington political journalist, wrote in the Los Angeles Times that Obama is "that oddest of all creatures: a leader who's never led."[8]

But looked at unconventionally, his position seems exactly right. First and most obviously, his fame is arguably at its height. More years devoted to the flattening procedures of the Senate are arguably more likely to dull his sheen than burnish it.

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