Commentary Magazine


The Luckiest Man

To date, Barack Obama may be the luckiest man in politics. He ran for Senate against Alan Keyes. In his presidential primary race he drew as his opponent someone whose exaggerated sense of self-importance and thin resume served to mask his own flaws. But perhaps luck only gets you so far.

His general election opponent seems rather well positioned to make a salient point: it’s not about him. Or rather, if it is only about him then is rather thin gruel on which to base a campaign. While Obama makes clear his and his spouse’s political perspective (good things only began with him in 2008), McCain presents a different perspective (perhaps because he was not blessed with an Ivy League education in which the prime purpose was to instill a sense of America’s moral failings). Last night McCain ended his victory speech with this:

I don’t seek the office out of a sense of entitlement. I owe America more than she has ever owed me. I have been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. I have never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I haven’t been proud of the privilege. Don’t tell me what we can’t do. Don’t tell me we can’t make our country stronger and the world safer. We can. We must. And when I’m President we will.

And while the Obama team is mulling how to dispel the callow image its candidate is acquiring, it might be a good idea to spend some time figuring out how to answer Chris Matthews’ question.