Running to the Middle (and there’s nothing wrong with it)

18 07 2008

All this talk about how Obama is running to the middle and how that makes him just a typical politician is ridiculous. Who cares if he moves to the middle for the campaign?  People like him because he is supposed to be this post-partisan politician. Guess what, a move to the middle is not a bad thing. Attention bloggers, Democratic party activists and whoever else thinks their head is about to explode…everything will be okay.  Barack Obama has not turned his back on the left wing of the Democratic Party, this is more important than appeasing the more radical among us, this is about being the candidate that can represent the whole United States. All of this talk makes me crazy because ultimately these feelings are central to the climate of extreme, uncontrollable partisanship and it is nothing if not ugly. It shouldn’t be, “we barely won so now you who disagreed have to suffer our will.”

I feel the same way about the potential VP candidates. Many Democrats are up in arms over the suggestion of Senator Hagel being considered for the position. But, why not?  Does he line up perfectly with the Democratic Party platform? No.  Does his addition to the ticket make Barack Obama a considerably better candidate? Without a doubt.  Chuck Hagel does not agree with the Democratic Party on most issues, mainly social ones, but he does agree with the establishment on the War in Iraq as well as civil liberties and a couple of other issues.  Senator Hagel is important because he is a heavyweight of the most impressive kind on foreign policy issues and he would balance out the ticket a great deal.  While his addition would anger the left quite significantly, it would be a true show of bipartisanship and Hagel would help to cancel out some of those fears about Obama’s inexperience on the world stage.  Granted, you could make the argument that there are plenty of foreign policy heavyweights in the Democratic Party, but the two main ones that I would imagine are being considered have some serious problems.  Chris Dodd, is at the center of the still yet to be determined investigation into VIP mortgage deals.  Joe Biden is notorious for putting his foot in his mouth, most memorably calling Obama something like “a good, clean black man” on the day he announced that he was going to run for President.  I guess that is what makes him intriguing, he has survived many of these remarks and still remains a very relevant figure in the American political scene and could prove very helpful in defusing any more slip ups that might come from Barack Obama over the next four months.  However, he does not bring much in the form of moderation to the ticket.  This isn’t the worst thing in the world, but for the sake of bipartisanship and lessening some of the incessant bickering, I think that Senator Hagel could make a great Vice President for Barack Obama.