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Reading Barack, Part 1

Sunday, March 2, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Our long national nightmare may be nearing its end.

Democrats seem poised to discharge the Clintons without the possibility of recall.

Not since the 1980 send-off of Ted Kennedy has a party’s rebuke been so unexpected, or so final.

Hillary will probably become the new Teddy K. –a lioness of the Senate, serving there until the end of days for most of us. She will even enjoy and perhaps earn a unique sort of authority, an uber “been-there-done-that” wisdom. If she ever writes a candid book, it will be riveting.

Bill will hang on at the edges of the national consciousness, and President McCain will deploy him as needed around the globe. He’s a formidable, talented and always interesting presence on the world stage.

But their days as the country’s #1 power couple seem to be nearing its end. Senator McCain can and will beat Senator Obama because –not so deep down– the country knows we are in a life-or-death struggle with the jihadists and we cannot turn the country’s safety over to a reality-denying three-year senator.

But. Democrats believe on the basis of crowds and fund-raising receipts, that at least Obama has a chance. Democrats have recognized that Hillary doesn’t.

It isn’t because she is a woman. It isn’t because she is a lefty.

It is because ordinary voters don’t connect with her, don’t think she has a clue about their lives.

They are right. Hillary is a child of privilege. An accelerating sort of privilege. She thinks she is owed the presidency.

There is no worse appeal on which to seek the presidency.

During my vacation I read Barack Obama’s books. and Dreams From My Father: A Story Of Race And Inheritance was a revelation. The Audacity of Hope is dull, the sort of book we expect from presidential candidates.

But Dreams is pretty raw, and very revealing. Every political commentator should read it. I’ll be posting on it for the next few days, but it showcases the source of Obama’s appeal: Senator Obama walked the civil rights’ activist and community organizer’s walk. He knows the underclass. He tried, in a very real, very committed way, to improve their lot.

He believes.

Barack Obama is a man of the left –the hard left ,the uncompromising left. His passion is real, not feigned, and the intensity of his campaign volunteers is to be expected as a result.

But he is far, far from the mainstream of American politics, and as the electorate learns this, I expect they will become exceedingly cautious about handing the country’s future to a man only three years into the D.C. swirl –exactly the same time he spent as an “organizer” on the South Side of Chicago. He didn’t “know” Chicago after three years, and he doesn’t know D.C. –or the world– now.

Senator Barack is, in short, a rookie. The sort of rookie the fans love, then turn against, realizing he isn’t up to the job. The sort of rookie that makes huge mistakes, which while merely disappointing on the football field, are deadly on the field of international conflict.

Senator Obama is Jimmy Carter, without the experience. Carter, without the United States Naval Academy education.

He’s going to win Texas and Ohio on Tuesday, and lose to John McCain in November.

We are a people defined by common sense, after all. We don’t turn the county’s survival over to rookies.

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