Watching Barack's victory speech in North Carolina--a better than normal version of his usual stellar job of populist preaching, it was interesting to see the level of applause based on talking points--he consistently gets the most response out of his "get out of Iraq" and "tell the truth" rhetoric.
But the noticeable change was more moderate turn by focusing on core American values that sounded quite conservative, even referring to his maternal grandfather's flag-draped coffin. He's now facing McCain, not Hillary. And he was laying out his path for us--Maverick doesn't share his new moderate traditional vision of the American dream because he supports victory in Iraq and tax cuts for the rich--and everyone else.
All in all a fabulous speech, but it's still unclear as to how he'll get us to the promised land. Through the fog here's what I heard. He will,
1) force control of the oil companies to redirect their profits to his whim
2) get out of Iraq,
3) stop the Bush tax cuts
4) toy with protectionism via giving tax breaks to companies hiring American
5) get out of Iraq,
6) start universal health care
7) get out of Iraq
8) raise a lot of taxes
But nuance doesn't always matter--people want a visionary, a leader, and someone who gives them hope for a better future in a president, not just a policy wonk or expert. And especially now, with all the critical things happening. Go back through recent history and that seems in evidence with noted failures like Nixon and Carter. Neither Al Gore nor John Kerry were able to emit that warm feeling to their electorate and both still almost beat Bush.
McCain has a difficult task ahead of him. He must stress that he is not Bush and HIS reflection of the American dream is more deliverable than a man who desires to tax, spend and regulate his way there while promising a huge moral victory for our enemies and a guarantee we'll be in another war in the Middle East in due course.
Can Hillary go nookular after all this? Put nothing past the Clintons. But the pressure will soon be huge to leave.