. . . the central component of Obama’s meteoric rise was that politics had become too cynical and small, and that it was important to have a more substantive debate on the pressing issues facing the nation.
Obama was going to be a new kind of politician who did not engage in the petty politics of the past, a leader who showed respect for opposing viewpoints, who treated his ideological adversaries with dignity.
In contrast to his rhetoric in 2008, Obama today is running for reelection by waging perhaps the “lowest, meanest most negative campaign in history“. George Will delineates the striking contrast between the Democrats’ negative campaign today with Barack Obama’s lofty rhetoric of 2008:
He on whose behalf the Soptic ad[*] was made used to dispense bromides deploring “the smallness of our politics” and “our preference for scoring cheap political points.”
Obama is trying to win by going to gutter, by leveling shameful, dishonest attacks on his Republican rival. And yet the crux of his 2008 appeal was that he would be a new kind of politician, elevating our political discourse. If the Democrats wins this year, he wins by playing that old kind of attack politics.
So much for hope and change.
*Link not in original op-ed, added for those who don’t recognize the name. From Will’s column:
Romney embraced Ryan after the sociopathic — indifferent to the truth — ad for Barack Obama that is meretricious about every important particular of the death from cancer of the wife of steelworker Joe Soptic. Obama’s desperate flailing about to justify four more years has sunk into such unhinged smarminess that Romney may have concluded: There is nothing Obama won’t say about me, because he has nothing to say for himself, so I will chose a running mate whose seriousness about large problems and ideas underscores what the president has become — silly and small.