Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Obama's Pre-Victory Lap
What's remarkable about Barack Obama's Middle East tour is how unprecedented it is to see a presidency begin before the actual election. But that's obviously what's happening here. For both Obama, who has overnight assumed the presidential air he was by some accounts lacking, and for the leaders he's meeting, who are very clearly eager to get a head start on getting to know the next American president, this is a pre-victory lap. And he hasn't even touched down in Europe, where the buzz around him has already taken on the dimensions of a cultural phenomenon that's being compared to the Beatles' first tour. Obviously, no one here gets to vote, but I can't imagine the American electorate being unmoved by the sight of a candidate for president having this kind of effect everywhere he goes. It would be silly not to put that to good use.