Saturday, January 5, 2008

Biden Out

Definitely sad to see Joe Biden bow out of the Democratic primaries, as he provides an intelligent perspective on most of our major national issues, and presents real solutions, beyond purely rhetorical, in terms that people can understand. The increased passion he showed in this season's debates, particularly when discussing American responsibility in confronting the crises in Iraq and Darfur, was very compelling. It is good to have an advocate in national debates that is willing to talk about America's role as a moral leader, and who can do so with authenticity, clarity, and impact, and also with an understanding of what the costs are of exercising that leadership in a complex world.

CC sent this brief post from the NYT's political blog, which praises Biden, and damns some part of our political process, although not quite clear which part (the media, for being too narrowly-focused and a hype machine? us, the electorate, for including the nebulous concept of 'electability' in our political calculus?, us, the electorate, for being so shallow? the system, for enabling all of the above and worse?). Given that I think Biden actually did an effective job adjusting his public persona for the national stage, and did a good job using new media (Interent, e-mail, YouTube) to convey his messages, it is interesting how these issues will continue to make Presidential politics a young, beautiful person's game. May be a good thing, may not.

And while I'm eulogizing Biden's candidacy, may as well do the same for Christopher Dodd, who, along with Biden, is a great example of the qualities I wish all of our political leaders had: intelligent, informed, compassionate, moral, serious, principled, and committed to the big ideas that define our national interest.