Obama: a unifer, not a divider

Tom Friedman on Meet the Press yesterday:


"Barack Obama’s great strength right now is the country is so tired of being divided. Deliberately divided, OK, by Karl Rove. They are so tired of that. They want to be unified. They understand the need—the problems we face now, from Social Security to Iraq, can’t be solved without some kind of national unity. And I think his strongest case, basically, is that he really presents himself as a unifier and not a divider."


David Brooks on the same program (emphasis added):


"You know, I looked at some of the coverage of his, his New Hampshire trip and you look at the crowd and they’re leaning forward toward him. It’s like they’re thirsty and they’re drinking for water. And he’s offering that. And what he’s offering is the ability to see all sides of an issue. And I disagree with him. And we’ve had many conversations, and he sees the best side of my argument and then he reflects it back.


And the, the point he makes, and I think it’s a good point, it goes right to his age, which is his weakness. He says, “You know, these boomers have been running the country and, you know, maybe in 1968 a lot of baby boomers started hating each other and they never stopped. But I’m not of that generation. I’m not of the culture war ‘60s generation. I am willing to respect the other side.” And he brings that talent to listening. And so I think his talent is that he multiplies the knowledge he has by being able to understand both sides. And the weakness may be is that he’s the kind of guy who goes to a restaurant and says, “Well, there are 16 reasons to order the fish, but 19 to order the meat.” And maybe he thinks a little too much. But, but, you know, this is what the times would require."

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