Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Political refreshment

I've admired David Gergen's thoughtful independence for many years. I enjoyed his bantering with Mark Shields on PBS in the '80s and '90s, and these days I look forward to hearing his perspective as a political analyst for CNN and MSNBC.

Last night, the punditocracy was all over Sen. Barack Obama's "
A More Perfect Union" speech. (Natch.) Gergen, appearing on CNN, observed:
" other thing about the speech that I think really stood out, (Obama is) one of the rare figures...who speaks to us as adults.

"We have been so accustomed to our political leaders talking to us like children, that to have someone stand up and give a serious talk and face up to the issues that are on everybody's was a serious conversation...that's refreshing..."
Once again, Mr. Gergen, you've nailed it.

Sen. Obama may not get my vote for President of the United States, but he has my support for what he brings to American politics.

His voice, not Sen. Hillary Clinton's, is the one we should hear from the Democratic Party during this fall's campaign. A national conversation between Sen. Obama and Sen. John McCain will, in my opinion, serve the American people far better than the alternative.

At a time when an ignorant and shallow electorate can be influenced by patently puerile tactics, it may be naive to think that we can move politics off the playground and into the classroom.

But if we do, if we can, we'll be better off four years from now -- no matter who occupies the Oval Office.