Obama Transcends Labels


A friend sends this along:

Thought you might get a kick out of this exchange  where Obama surrogate Harold Ford avoids getting pined down on whether Obama is a progressive or a centrist:  
RCP: Congressman Ford, Senator Obama has tacked to the right recently on a few issues including public financing, FISA, and what not, and it’s led to some discussion about what he really believes. Paul Krugman in the New York Times today poses the question: is Obama a progressive who’s been posing as a centrist? Or is the opposite: is he really a centrist who’s been posing as a progressive for the primaries? What’s your answer to that question?  

FORD: First of all, Tom, that’s a good question. I think two things. One, what Senator Obama has achieved in this campaign is something we’ve not seen, at least in the last 15, maybe 20 years in presidential politics. He’s been able to rise above a lot of these labels, he’s been able to transcend the kind of labeling that occurs even within the spectrum of a party. And I think there’s some frustration on the part of those who write about this.

[. . .]

RCP: But a lot of voters are trying to get to know who he [Obama] is at his core. And so the question again is: is he at an instinctual level – would you describe him as instinctually a progressive or instinctually as a centrist in his orientation and the way he approaches issues?

FORD: I would define him as a patriot, who wants badly to improve America’s standing around the globe and to make America – allow America to live up to everything we are and can be to every single American. I don’t know what you call that. But I call him the Democratic nominee, and on November 7 I look forward to calling him the President elect. Thank you all very much. 

Empahsis mine.


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