Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Obama Boom: He May Be Too Mature

To older ears, Barack Obama’s triumphal book tour with “The Audacity of Hope” has obvious echoes of John F. Kennedy and “Profiles in Courage.”

If anything, Obama in his forties is behind schedule. Kennedy wrote his book and entered the Senate in his thirties.

But half a century later, maturity comes in a different context. Obama’s cover stories and TV interviews are being seen against a background of campaign attack ads, the raw sewage of lies and slander that end with a butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth face, beaming “I’m Joe Moron and I approve this garbage.”

To see Obama actually thinking and trying to be truthful on screen is almost shocking. When Tim Russert confronted him on “Meet the Press” with a year-old clip denying Presidential aspirations, he simply said that now he is thinking about it.

This kind of candor will inevitably be fodder for charges of immature flip-flopping, but two years from now, voters may be ready for a little truth-telling.