Le Monde Editorial: Obama the Realist
In abandoning or modifying some of his most cherished political positions, has Obama lost his soul or discovered his vocation?
“Will the one who wants to be the bringer of ‘change we can believe in’ keep his promise if elected on November 4? To win this election, Mr. Obama is ready to abandon or modify some of his strongest commitments. So he decided to refuse public financing for his campaign and the spending limits attached thereto. Thus he is prepared to vote yes in the Senate for a bill that would justify the wire tapping authorized by Mr. Bush. He has also revised his position on the presence of troops in Iraq and has given assurances to pro-Israeli organizations. … These are the rules of the game and we shouldn’t exaggerate the importance of such tactical gestures. And neither should anyone imagine that politics has ceased to be politics, nor that it’s possible to win an election in the United States or elsewhere without being a realistic politician.”
Translated By Kate Davis
June 28, 2008
France – Le Monde – Original Article (French)
Just four years after it was he who set the tone at the Democratic national convention in Boston, Barack Obama will be officially nominated in Denver in late August, as the party’s candidate for the presidency of the United States. The road traveled by this man who in 2004 was only a candidate for a senate seat in Illinois is breathtaking. By giving preference to this mixed-race 46-year-old to try and conquer the White House, Democratic voters have brought honor both to their country and to the talent of this still young and inexperienced politician.
Barack Obama’s success owes much to the presidency of George Bush, who has been condemned by Americans. The “conservative revolution” that began with Ronald Reagan nearly 30 years ago is out of momentum. The “cultural wars” dating back to the 1960s – between the liberal left and the conservative right – belong to another age. The economic crisis, the awareness of environmental emergencies, the human and financial cost of the war in Iraq and criticism of the errant ways of Washington are provoking the massive rejection of the Republican Party. The desire for change also explains, in part, why Hillary Clinton has been overtaken in the Democratic primaries.
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