Brooks wittily identifies the cunning opportunist lurking underneath the pious liberal. He even rates the Obamanation as slicker than Bill Clinton.
God, Republicans are saps. They think that theyâ€™re running against some academic liberal who wouldnâ€™t wear flag pins on his lapel, whose wife isnâ€™t proud of America and who went to some liberationist church where the pastor damned his own country. They think theyâ€™re running against some naÃ¯ve university-town dreamer, the second coming of Adlai Stevenson.
But as recent weeks have made clear, Barack Obama is the most split-personality politician in the country today. On the one hand, there is Dr. Barack, the high-minded, Niebuhr-quoting speechifier who spent this past winter thrilling the Scarlett Johansson set and feeling the fierce urgency of now. But then on the other side, thereâ€™s Fast Eddie Obama, the promise-breaking, tough-minded Chicago pol whoâ€™d throw you under the truck for votes.
This guy is the whole Chicago package: an idealistic, lakefront liberal fronting a sharp-elbowed machine operator. Heâ€™s the only politician of our lifetime who is underestimated because heâ€™s too intelligent. He speaks so calmly and polysyllabically that people fail to appreciate the Machiavellian ambition inside.
But heâ€™s been giving us an education, for anybody who cares to pay attention. Just try to imagine Mister Rogers playing the agent Ari in â€œEntourageâ€ and it all falls into place.
I suspect myself that there is also a wimp and a coward (much like JFK) underneath it all in there, who can be relied upon to back down and cover his own ass in the face of any challenge or tough decision. That’s how I read his 130 “Present” votes.
Read the whole thing.