Obama: Good Guy; Can't Win

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Give Obama a rest! If Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is the Great White–er, Brown–Hope of the Democratic Party, the party's in bigger trouble than it was when it nominated Al Gore and John Kerry (two inevitable losers) for president in 2000 and 2004.

Don't get me wrong. I'm an Obama fan. I like the fact that the top two Democratic contenders are a woman and an African-American. But neither the woman nor the African-American in question can win. And one would think after handing over two victories–no, not merely handing over but virtually gift-wrapping them for the Republicans (how else could one explain the presence of George W. Bush in the White House?)–one would think the Democrats might have learned something by now.

Obama's virgin voyage to New Hampshire, that bellwether state for would-be presidents, was of the type reserved for visiting royalty. Neither Sir Paul nor the revivification of Princess Diana herself would have generated as much star power, hype, and enthusiasm. His two appearances–a book signing and a rally for New Hampshire Democrats–sold out days in advance.

Don't misunderstand me. Obama's bright. He's articulate. (That alone would constitute major relief from the maladroit maunderings foisted on us for some six years now by the present White House denizen.) But he's untested. He's green. He's unproven.

Yet he's smart–oh, so smart. His reaction to the fireworks of hundreds of flashbulbs and a full room? "Hey, everybody, my name is Barack Obama...And it must be a slow news day."