I found this piece in GQ on Barack Obama, following and interviewing him on the campaign trail, to be an interesting look at the presidential election grinder. As the author describes it, Obama’s dogged determination to keep his ideals and speak substantively, even when it alienates some constituency, runs directly against the currents of campaign vote-winning and the media soundbite machine. Obama says:
“The danger … is that you start becoming so risk-averse that you become canned and scripted, and I’m resisting that, which means there’s still gonna be some times when I want to push the boundaries a little bit, try to make a point…”
Certainly reading this does nothing but increase my desperate desire to see this man become our President, but no matter your opinion of Obama, it’s interesting reading about the difficulties of any candidate balancing his/her principles against the conflicting practicalities of getting elected. Even though there are issues on which I disagree with Obama, it’s his judgment that I increasingly feel is his real strength — but that’s a difficult message played against Edwards’ populist bombast and Clinton’s stern-faced “readiness to be President”.