Alex Massie

Making government “cool”...

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What a choice Americcans have! There's the elderly candidate with precious little interest in domestic policy whose signature legislative achievement was to abridge the First Amendment and whose running mate, for all her charms and freshness, is not someone you'd be terribly comfortable seeing running the country. Then there's the young fellow who, for all his political gifts and for all his capacity to inspire people, can come out and say something like this:

Obama would, he said, "transform Washington" and "make government cool again."

May heaven preserve us all. To be fair to Obama, he was speaking at a youth forum at Columbia dedicated to the notion of national service. In that context, suggesting that the government is a great ennobler is more understandable. Equally, it fits with Obama's fairly traditional liberalism. And if you take the view that Washington is crippled by a bitter partisanship that fosters a corrosive public cynicism then you probably don't mind this sort of thing. But still, it's the sort of thing one can imagine Tony Blair saying circa 1996-97 and, well, you know... 

Standard disclaimer: I'm more cynical than some people and, like Megan, I'd probably vote (if I had a ballot) for Obama rather than McCain, largely because it's the Democrats turn to disappoint and the GOP has forfeited any right to hold on to the White House.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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