By Pablo Fanque, All This Is That National Affairs Editor
Illustrations: Jack Brummet
Barack Obama's televised "infomercial" was politically brilliant--a virtuoso performance that made it's case intellectually, as well as working the retail politics angle. You'd have to be a hard-hearted American to have not been touched by the message. To view this masterful talk and not be emotionally affected, in place of your beating heart would be a lump of bituminous coal.
Despite the never ending mud-slinging from the other side, all the name-calling, accusing him of "not being one of us," and the bitter invective being hurled from the desperate Republicans, Obama rose above it all and connected with the American people. No one needs to be scared of Obama. This was not the talk of a Molotov-cocktail flinging Bolshevik; this was a fellow American who mostly ignored party politics because he was talking along the heartline. Obama was talking to you. He almost completely ignored partisan politics and John McCain and Sarah Palin. He was there to close the deal with the voters.
I have been highly critical of Obama's cool in the past, and his inability to show emotion. He made up for all that tonight, with six days left in the campaign. His performance reminded me of Bobby Kennedy, who also knew how to connect with the people, and who also knew how to put politics aside. Tonight we saw the real maverick in the race. After this showing ( a speech?, a talk?, a message?, a multimedia assemblage?), if I was John McCain, I'd just concede the race tomorrow.