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September 19, 2008

Crisis. Pressure. Understanding their Character.

Years ago I used to have a wonderful fiction writing teacher (in Berkeley), Leonard Bishop, who talked to us about the importance of putting our characters under pressure.  That's how you really understand their character.

Yo!  That's what we're seeing right now with Barack Obama and John McCain.  Crisis.  Check.  Pressure.  Check.  Understanding their character.  Check.  This steady, articulate leader, who pulls in a wide group of thoughtful advisors in to help him vs. a man who will do anything he thinks might win him the election, and is thus impulsive and deceitful.  A leader who teaches us and works to bring us together vs. a candidate who  tries to assign blame and scare up a new fear in the populace.

Joe Sudbury, at Americablog, was thinking along the same lines.  He commented on something a reader had said about the styles of the two candidates in addressing the economic crisis, passed along a quote from Jed on video, and then commented himself.   Here.   

I think it is extremely telling to read Obama's remarks (and, notably, answers to questions) in Florida today and then to read McCain's in Wisconsin. For one thing, as Obama said elsewhere on the stump, McCain can only propose attacking Obama as a solution to our problems. For another, McCain's all over the map with a hodge-podge and rehash of previous and loopy proposals, most of which are bandaids and doctor's office lollipops on a seriously bleeding artery.

That seems to be the consensus. Having watched both speeches myself, there really was a sharp contrast between the angry accusatory tone of McCain and the steady, measured message from Obama. Several political reporters picked up on the fact that McCain's economic plan was basically an attack on Obama.

Jed also analyzed the differences and put it on video, with this very astute description:

One the one hand, in Barack Obama we've got a statesman who wants to work together to get things done for all Americans. On the other hand, in John McCain we've got a yipping little dog (apologies to canine lovers everywhere) who will tear anything down to get ahead.

Starkly different styles. Does anyone feel comfortable putting that John McCain in charge of the economy? Or anything for that matter.

Crisis.  Pressure.   Understanding their character.

Posted by Lynn Allen on September 19, 2008 at 08:03 PM in Candidate Races, National and International Politics | Permalink

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