Monday, January 28, 2008

Kennedy Touched History Today

I believe Sen. Ted Kennedy may have changed the course of the Democratic nomination today, and possibly even the outcome of the November election. His speech at American University was vintage Kennedy, one goosebump moment after another. His emphasis was on the future, on the vast, untapped capacity of America's youth to make a different world. His message, that one again, history tells us that the moment has come for a new generation of leadership, may well be the theme that casts Clinton in the most unflattering light possible. I believe, with Kennedy, that that moment has indeed come. And that is what, I think, will doom Clinton in the end.

It isn't about race or gender. It isn't only about changed policies. It is about a deeper and more profound change, and it is about our giving our faith and blessing to the next generation to lead us to a world that the Bushes and the McCains and the Romneys and the Huckabees cannot see and do not want to see.

Edwards sees that world, but he does not inspire Americans the way Obama inspires Americans. It is too bad, for Edwards' hope of the presidency, that Obama has that ineffable Kennedyesque charisma. It is too bad, because Edwards' portfolio of policies, and his deep and abiding grounding in the traditional New Deal Democratic Party, are desperately needed.

Clinton sees that world, but has not had the courage to lead us there. Too many times she has capitulated to Centrist-Right visions, been too careful about where she placed her feet, too safe, and too focused on her own career rather than the needs of the nation.

I remain an Edwards supporter, but I also know that Edwards will not be the nominee. I hope, in the interim between now and November, to be converted. I hope that Obama can convince me that his centrist-Right capitulations will not turn out to be the real Obama, and instead, that he truly does have a wisdom beyond his years and his experience, and will have the courage to lead us to a greener, more just, and wiser future.