Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On Politicians

People vote for Obama because they feel that he is a different kind of politician. As if all of a sudden, Mr. Smith -- uh, Mr. Obama -- will go to Washington and usher in a new era this time around. He certainly talks like one from a different kind on stage.

Then there is revelations that his aides were discussing NAFTA with the Canadians or Iraq with the British media, reassuring them that Obama would be a realist once he becomes the President. An uproar ensued, elections lost, and people got fired.

I have absolutely no doubt that Obama will not simply repeal NAFTA or promptly withdraw from Iraq once he is elected. The campaign trail rhetorics are just political positionings to get votes. In other words, his aides were speaking the absolute truth. And that is simply unacceptable! Why? Because it shows that Obama is simply another politician, like the rest of them, who are practical, rational, and understands compromise and trade-off are the only ways to solutions.

Only problem is, that's bad campaign strategy. You've got to get the votes first, even that means catering to people's illusions and emotions. Once you are there, of course, you can apply the conventional, less inspirational but more effective tools of governing to problems at hand.

Obama is a smart man. He certainly understands how government works, and he is just another politician. He is really no better or worse than Hillary Clinton in this regard. But let that be our secret. People are so tired of George Bush for the last 8 years and they are desperate for something new. We've gotta give it to them, at least for the several months leading to November.

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