Now Iraq is yours.
You own Afghanistan.
The Economy? Yours.
Terrorism? North Korea? Nukes in Iran? All yours baby.
You won’t be able to run against Bush in 2012 but it will be quite easy for my team to run against yours in 2010.
Go ahead, celebrate. But if you make a single misstep, if there’s one terrorist attack on US soil while you are president, or if you haven’t delivered on half of what people are expecting you to, then it’s over and you will suffer the indignity of serving a single term as president. This night of elation will be brief, and politics will continue.
I hope you are what your supporters think you are, but I suspect that you are what I’ve said you were all along: a cipher, a blank screen upon which people project their hopes and dreams. At the same time I think you change who you are depending on your audience. Put you among leftist academics and you sound like a campus radical. Place you at a dinner amongst businessmen and you drone on about markets and competitiveness.
We will soon learn what you are. You cannot continue to be a chameleon amongst those greater than you. You will expose who you are, and as you do your popularity will wane.
Along with your skills to be everything to every man, you have ridden a series of remarkable and fortuitous events to power. You have proven that you are truly a man of your time. But times change and events that have favored your rise can conspire just as easily to contribute to your downfall.
You have come to power wearing the mantle of change, but people often must be reminded that change is not always good. We have enjoyed a level of personal safety that we couldn’t have imagined on Sept 12, 2001 – 7 years without a single terrorist attack. 9/11 has become a joke to you and your supporters, the heartbreak and helplessness this nation experienced during that day now forgotten or derided as childish. But our enemies are very real and will strike. When they do you will be held personally responsible in a way that George Bush and his predecessor Bill Clinton never were.
My political mentor Steven Den Beste has a similar view of Obama’s election.
The main reason this will be a “coming of age” moment is that now Obama and the Democrats have to put up or shut up. Obama got elected by making himself a blank slate, with vapid promises about “hope” and “change”—but now he actually has to do something. Now he has to reveal his true agenda. And with the Democrats also having a majority in both chambers of Congress, now the Democrats really have to lead. And they’re not going to do a very good job of it. It’s going to be amusing to watch.
And the people who fell for the demagoguery will learn an invaluable lesson.