He's sometimes dismissed as a dreamer or a 'Messiah,' and his followers as glassy-eyed ideologues. But this is a caricature. During the Democratic primaries, he defeated a cunning and aggressive political machine without resorting to rumor-mongering or schoolyard insults, and looks set to repeat that achievement today. His campaign inspired unfeigned, sincere enthusiasm -- and then bound it to a regime of discipline enforced by loose but effective hierarchies. There were no damaging leaks, no dramatic resignations, no off-the-record tell-all interviews. And throughout both campaigns, Obama's message genuinely appealed to what Abraham Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature." Some bitterly mock Obama's eloquence. I pity these curdled, angry souls. They were abandoned by their better angels long ago.One of the things that has so surprised me about the Obama campaign -- and one of the things that convinced me to support it wholeheartedly -- was that it was nice to see liberals get their act together in such a relentlessly competent way.
They were truly ahead of the curve much of the time -- and when they weren't they caught up quickly -- and this was something almost beautiful to behold.
Surely, behind the scenes there must have been a lot more chaos than they let on.
But that's a story to be told later.
Effective organisation, coherent thinking and consistent decency may not seem all that exciting, but given the last eight years (and what the other team were offering for the next four) they sound pretty good to me.
Fond greetings to our friends stateside who will -- with any luck...well, with more than luck -- be celebrating tonight.
You know who you are.