Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Man Who Would Be President

Is it too early to point out what will be obvious in a month?

By his own flawed decisions Senator Barack Obama has lost his attempt to win election to the Presidency.
While always a long shot, originally for the nomination then for the election, Obama solidified his second-place finish last month with two game-changing decisions that left himself open to a quick kill by his opponent.

What the media, professionals and pundits haven't recognized is the rule of once. While most of us make and acknowledge mistakes daily, and actors get second chances and politicians can stage comebacks, those who walk on water can never falter. Once is too many. Once his believers realize that the god is mortal, there can be no recovery, no second act, no return to godhead. As Achilles was destroyed when an arrow found his heel, Barack Obama's campaign is crashing beyond recovery from a single blow. Having soared to the heavens on winds of words, seemingly impervious to the gravity retarding ordinary men, Barack Obama swooped low to earth to choose Joe Biden to fill a political weakness, and while low was nicked by an arrow from the bow of Sarah Pallin.

In his singular and historic campaign Senator Barack Obama has rolled into one tragic persona three icons of western literature.

For six months he was the emperor with new clothes, a man so convinced of his own finery that he paraded naked before all until a little boy, too unsophisticated to know what everyone else were convinced they knew, cried out that the emperor had no clothes.

For nearly two years, he's been the voice of the wizard, electrifying the residents of Oz with his magical words until Toto exposed the little man hiding behind the curtain.

Finally, like Daniel Dravot in Kipling's short story, any man who would be king by being a god, only to be discovered later by his subjects to be only a man, the Senator faces an ending fit for a pretender.

There has never been substance cloaking Barack Obama's nakedness, he's been a man wrapped in cloth woven only with rhetoric while elite political classes admired his fine clothing. He has soared high, almost effortlessly carried by a breathlessly admiring media, but is now condemned to walk amongst us mortals. He's shielded himself from the political slings and arrows of the campaigns he has won, unwounded by his politically correct opponents and armored by politically correct commentators.

He has been, for six months or more, The One.

And now, he is not.

Ordinary politicians can almost always recover to run another day. Obama chose from the beginning not to be a politician, but instead to be The One, an illusion he destroyed with the choice of a legacy politician as running mate. For him there can be no return from earth to heaven. He's made himself just an ordinary politician, a mortal candidate with a bloody arrow hanging from his heel.

That's what neither Senator Obama nor the pundits have realized.


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