02 November 2008
This is why Obama will win
His powerful, evocative oratorical skills. For this three-minute ad targeted at the Virginia voters, his speech in the rain at Fredericksburg was used. The photography is professional, the music appropriate, and the editing superb; Obama has certainly assembled the best of the best to run his campaign.
But what is overwhelming is the voice. The pacing. The phraseology. I spent 30 years in academia, much of it listening to people standing behind a podium, and quite a bit of it standing there myself. I am in awe of Obama's oratory.
It's this very trait, of course, that causes some to distrust or even fear him. His ability to draw and enrapture crowds of tens of thousands raises comparisons to populist dictators. There are reasonable fears that people vote for him not because of his policies, but simply because of his personality.
There is an element of truth in that fear. Probably only a minor fraction of the people in that rainsoaked crowd could say what Obama's healthcare policy is, or his position on gun control. I don't personally like his classically Democratic approach to what will inevitably be an increasingly enlarging central government.
But... our country is obviously and relentlessly proceeding into the most difficult economic crisis that living Americans have ever seen. The problems with our economy are not over, and will certainly get much worse in the year to come - no matter who is president. We could face deep depression, high unemployment, deflation or severe inflation. The public is going to be mad as hell. The world economy will reel. I don't envy whoever will be president.
Whoever will be president will need to call on Americans to sacrifice - something that frankly has not been asked of the broad public since WWII. I cannot see a President John McCain facing an American television audience and saying "My friends, we have some problems..." and expecting an enthusiastic response. It will be hard for Obama as well, but he is more likely to pull it off.
Here's the Reddit discussion thread re this video. Participants in that board tend to be biased toward Obama, but the comments are still reflective of a wider trend in the populace.
If you have never heard Obama speak, watch the video embedded above.