The Democrats have been yearning for the return of Camelot, which is to say that mystical, half remembered epic that was the thousand days of the John F. Kennedy Presidency since they put the slain martyr into the ground at Arlington.
The list of politicians that have been designated to bear the mantle of our modern King Arthur is long, ranging from brothers Bobby and Teddy, to John Kerry. Even Jimmy Carter, for a half second during the 1976 campaign, was compared to JFK.
So it shouldn’t be surprising when Caroline Kennedy opined the following:
“Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.”
Barack Obama has a gotten down the Kennedy style pretty well. He’s handsome, can give a great speech, and has a beautiful family. Obama comes across as so likeable that even the most hard core conservative, while knowing that Obama’s policies would wreck the Republic, admit to having warm, fuzzy feelings about the man. The fact that Obama is running against the Lady Macbeth of the 21st Century, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is icing on the cake. Many conservatives are praying that Obama beats Hillary just so that the cancer of the Clintons can be removed from the body politic.
But is Barack Obama the reincarnation of John F. Kennedy? On even cursory examination, the answer, with all due respect to Ms. Kennedy and her Uncle Ted, who will endorse Obama, is no.
Take foreign policy, for example. John F. Kennedy was a hawk. Obama, on the other hand, thinks that the way to solve problems with our enemies is to just-well-talk to them. Worse of all he is for a total bug out of Iraq, even on the brink of victory. So much for, “pay any price, bear any burden in the defense of liberty.”
Domestic policy is even worse. John F. Kennedy was in favor of cutting taxes across the board, even using rhetoric that presaged Ronald Reagan. Obama, on the other hand, wants to raise taxes across the board.
Even on John F. Kennedy’s signature accomplishment, the Moon landing, Obama falls far short. Obama wants to delay or even cancel much of President Bush’s Vision for Exploration in order to pay for a rather dubious, big government education initiative. It is a cynical political maneuver, since opponents of this move will be painted as being against school children. There is no room in Obama’s soaring rhetoric for, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade…”
There is one thing in which Obama is unlike any Kennedy male that for sure Ms. Obama must be grateful for. Obama, unlike John Kennedy, does not seem to have the need to try to mount every woman that he comes across. If there is an Obama Presidency, especially when the eight years of Clinton are still fresh in memory, Americans will be thankful for this as they begin to count their new tax bills and contemplate the beginning of a series of foreign policy disasters that will surely follow.
Sources: A President Like My Father, Caroline Kennedy, The New York Times, 27 January, 2008