Lest anyone worry that my recent posting of Obama ads means I’ve drunk the kool-aid, I’ll point to this post that’s a pretty good approximation of where I stand:
I actually think that an Obama victory would be substantially better than any of the other main candidates. I do think his antiwar position on Iraq is important, even if I’m not convinced that he is a principled ‘antiwar’ candidate – one recalls his statements on Iran before the NIE, and notes his various pro-Israel statements, which are kind of obligatory. And actually, yes, of course it does matter that he is the only black candidate and the first one to have had a serious chance of winning. It counts, even if it doesn’t count for all that much. And it counts that he isn’t an outright neocon, whereas I think the neoconservative faction would actually do very well under both McCain and Clinton, who are the two other serious candidates. His campaign seems to be promising, though he will not deliver, an end to the nightmare. I personally hope Nader’s campaign does something more than implode on the first few steps – if nothing else because by raising a serious radical campaign, it will drive the agenda further to the Left. If Democrats want to whinge about this, as they can always be relied upon to do, they have to be able to make a case to would-be Nader voters why should not vote for a radical left-wing campaign, and it should be something better than ‘you’re ruining it!’ But Obama, while he doesn’t differ on a lot of principle with Clinton and McCain, is different enough that it matters.
Which is sort of the whole thing in a nutshell. I would prefer a candidate whose actual positions were further (a lot further) to the left, but when the other choices are Hillary Clinton and John McCain, it’s really no choice at all. Plus Obama is definitely a better candidate than either Kerry or Gore (2000 version) were.