First Impressions

They say first impressions count. If so, Barak Obama came across as unusually mellow in his official announcement regarding his candidacy for President. What this means I am not sure. And frankly, “mellow” isn’t all that bad . . if not for the qualities that attracts many to Obama. Excitement. Pizzaz. A certain “je ne c’est qua” that exudes hopefulness.

Hillary Clinton followed Barak with her own announcement. What I found refreshing was that she didn’t go for the obvious blows against G.W. Bush but was clear in that she wants, “The ‘right end’ to the war in Iraq.” . . . I also think she hinted at something that Gore and Kerry failed to do. That is, ride Bill Clinton’s coat-tail. “No matter who you are, or where you live, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can build a good life for yourself and your family” — a “basic bargain” that Hillary copies straight out of Bill’s “Putting People First” playbook. . . . what this tells me is that she’s not gonna be afraid of using Bill. IOW: she knows they are going to attack him anyways, but I think she’s betting that the more they attack Bill, the more people will be reminded about the good things that Bill and Hillary did. As they say, the best defense is a good offense!

Prior to this announcement, Hillary Clinton’s lengthy interview with Meredith Viera also showed a certain commanding presence that for the moment seems to be lacking in other candidates. So, she’s not exciting like Barak, but, in my mind at least, somewhat presidential.

John Edwards also comes across as someone whose style says executive leader. He has a clear message and a self-confidence that comes across easily. “I’m not talking about individual responsibility; I am talking about responsibility for your country.” Listen carefully as Edwards answers every question by smoothly introducing and re-introducing his theme of community responsibility and sacrifice.

. . . As opposed to Tom Vilsak, whose video seems a wee bit confessional. To be sure, the point of the spot is to be conversational, and for this, Vilsack ought to be commended. Because it shows he’s reaching out to ordinary people.


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