Clarence Jones has a thoughtful piece over at the Huffington Post on whether Obama has lived up to his campaign promises. My friend Marco asked me to take a look at it, and a rather long email turned into this post.
The article itself suggests Obama’s achievements with the stimulus, health care reform, and DADT merit recognition. Surely even a baby step in the right deserves acknowledgement, but within the bigger picture. A baby step is amazing because for a baby its a big deal. Obama campaigned successfully as a bit more than a political infant – in fact he had to to counter his relative inexperience.
In fact Obama campaigned not just as an experienced and effective politician, but as a different kind of politician. One who was not beholden to special interests and lobbyists. A pro-transparency Presidency. In addition to specific policy goals like the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and Health Care Reform, Obama brought an army of young progressives into the political arena. Much of that leading edge that pushed Obama into office was made up of enthusiastic hard working young people – who were able to mount a ground game of get out the vote in states that had previously never been “competitive”.
That enthusiasm is now dead – with grave implications for Obama’s 2012 run.