29 October 2008

By the dawn's early light

OK, so Palin's a joke. And, whatever he may have been ten or twenty years ago, McCain is tired, old, irascible.

Which brings us to the Democrats. I admit it - I was a Hillary fan. It seemed to me that she had been tested in the fire, that she had the experience and the administrative ability to deliver. I was always worried that Obama would be found out; some awful secret would emerge in the heat of battle that would put paid to his chances.

In the past few weeks, I have begun to think that I was wrong. I knew that Obama was an orator of some skill, which is not that common these days. And we have learned that he keeps his cool under pressure; he thinks before he reacts. Maybe he has kowtowed a little too much before the political orthodoxies - on Iraq, on Afghanistan, on taxation. But I can forgive him for that, if we get a man in the White House who thinks.

But what has really impressed me is his organisational ability. Since when did the Democrats manage to raise more funding than the Republicans? How come the Democrats have more local offices and more local volunteers than the Republicans? How did the Democrats manage to recruit all those new voters? One of the newspapers pointed out recently that Obama has more than 1000 lawyers in Florida alone, standing by, ready to pounce on any nonsense at the polls. It didn't happen under Kerrey, it didn't happen under Gore, and - arguably - not even under Bill Clinton.

So, if Obama puts half the effort into governing America that he has put into getting himself elected, he may just be one of the great presidents.

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