I spoke with my uncle yesterday. (Like Obama, he’s Hawaiian, though he was a New Yorker first.) Would Obama actually bring change? He wanted to know.
And that’s really the question, isn’t it. The best I could answer was to say that I’ve had the opportunity to interview the campaign’s foreign-policy team, and I generally find them to be wise, focused and sincere. Whether the tragedy of the world will undo their intentions I can’t really say.
But then I read this in today’s Washington Post –
Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team.
– and I think we’ve really just elected a man who means what he says. If this piece is accurate, then Obama isn’t listening to the go-slow counselling of nervous pundits, he’s listening to the 65 million Americans who want a bright red line drawn under the Bush era. As a strategy it makes a lot of sense: sprint off the blocks, reverse what egregious Bush misadventures don’t require legislative redress, establish a tone, score early victories, inspire the troops. Establish momentum for the larger fights ahead.