SCRIVENER'S NOTE: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, carrying on with his Mideast and European tour, visited Amman, Jordan earlier today and gave what the mainstream media is calling his most important press conference of this election cycle.
The pundits already are awarding him high marks for his explications and his remonstrations concerning his intransigence on the issue of the "surge." Is this sounding wordy? Wait until you read about Barack Obama's phraseology du jour:
Yes, Obama seemed studied and well-briefed today in his first full-fledged press conference of his current world tour. "Obama's Gravitas," trumpeted the headline of my favorite political blog, the Washington Post's "The Fix" by Chris Cillizza.
But Chris buried his lead. He noted a few paragraphs down that in referencing John McCain, Obama said he wishes not to engage in a "colloquy" over Iraq with his opponent. Cillizza, his antennae thus stimulated by Obama's bookish vocabulary, dryly noted that he had to look the word up.
Then, without comment, Cillizza printed a quote in which Obama, discussing the various options facing policymakers, used the word "Manichean" -- the word that this scrivener had to look up. Of Arabian origin, the adjective is a reference to the choice between good and evil.
Geesh... why didn't Obama just say that in the first place?
While Obama's performance exhibited his studied preparation and obvious grasp of the subject matter at hand, it also underscored his ongoing dilemma -- in a most Manichean, colloquial sense.
"Manichean Colloquy" will prove to be the Obama mirror image of Dan Quayle's "POTATOE."
In one tortured elocution, Obama told us this morning why he probably will NOT be elected President of the United States.
Also, it was an object lesson on why the mainsteam media has failed to grasp this truth earlier.
The problem, dear readers, is not in the colloquy; it is in the candidate himself -- in the whifty, over-intellectualized choice of verbiage issuing forth from Obama's ochre lips.
Purple political prose, indeed. Obscene, only in the sense that it's unfathomable that even after their (Manchurian, not Manchean?) candidate has been branded as "effete" and "elitist," Obama's handlers have been unable to make this self-absorbed young man change his self-defeating rhetorical stylings.
This is a shame; for this is a man with promise. So much promise that the "audacity of hope" once again has trumped his good, common sense.
Get off the pedestal of verbosity, Barack, before your legion of now-questioning followers pulls you down. Your highbrow hubris, apparently, cannot be contained.
Not even your masterful hook shot, your well-executed lay-up, can compensate for an overwhelming air of snobbery that colors your otherwise well-played political game.
Some time ago in this forum, I suggested that Obama do a long day's journey into the bowels of New Jersey with Bruce Springsteen -- from the oil refineries in the north, to the central shoretown bars, to the shuttered factories all over -- so that "the Boss" can teach him how to relate to his Jersey crowd...
... the workin' at the car wash guys; the high-haired diner waitresses; the shift workers; the casino dealers; the Vietnam veterans now doing duty making sub sandwiches; and their homeless Iraq war brethren begging on the roadside -- all among the folks he must bring along if he is to carry through on his "improbable journey" to the White House.
As of this moment, Obama is caught up in his "Manchean colloquy" and no verbal extrication can free him from this oratorical trap.
Only getting down and dirty with the real people can fix this one -- along with a curbing of that elocutious tongue.
IF YOU CARE ABOUT DEMOCRACY, THE RULE OF LAW
AND THE RIGHT OF DUE PROCESS, CLICK BELOW: