Ezra Klein has an Obama-gasm over at the American Prospect:
I've been blessed to hear many great orations. I was in the audience when Howard Dean gave his famous address challenging the Democratic Party to rediscover courage and return to principle. I have heard Bill Clinton speak of a place called Hope, and listened to John Edwards bravely channel the populism that American politics so often suppresses. Some of those politicians mirrored my beliefs better than Obama does. Some of their speeches were more declarative and immediate in their passion. But none achieve quite what Obama, at his best, creates.
Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair. The other great leaders I've heard guide us towards a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal, and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence.
Now, I will concede that Obama is charismatic. Brian has predicted that if Obama wins the nomination, the Clinton machine will seek to undermine his campaign at every step, since they'd want to keep open the possibility of a 2012 run.
I'm concerned and think that my prediction that Hillary!TM would win the nomination (a prediction made just a few days ago) may be completely off. I've put too much emphasis on the Clinton machine, the ground game, etc, forgetting the stories about how the Clintons to a large degree simply polished off their 92/96 organization for this run. In addition, Hillary's campaign appearances that I've witnessed on C-SPAN have been absolutely terrible and I've remarked to my fellow conspirators that she's a horrible candidate. Add to this the top-down, command-and-control campaign style that Hillary!TM is using (foreshadowing how she'd run the federal government), and it's no wonder that Obama is positioned to take it all.
If Obama-gasms continue to be the normal type of coverage that Obama receives, I think it will become impossible for Hillary!TM to overcome his momentum. At this point, Obama is inside Hillary's OODA-loop and everything she does seems to be a few days too late or a totally inappropriate.
For those interested, here's a blast from the past (2005), where Ezra shows his lack of understanding of basic finance, math, reality, etc regarding Social Security.
ARC: St Wendeler