Tuesday 24 Nov 2020 | 14:46 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 24 Nov 2020 | 14:46 | SYDNEY

Obama: Now or never?


Sam Roggeveen


21 January 2008 10:23

In a NY Times feature piece about how the current crop of Republican candidates is trying (and failing) to assume the mantle of Ronald Reagan, author John Broder unintentionally hits on a parallel between Reagan and one of the Democratic presidential candidates:

(Reagan) had become a hero to conservatives overnight with an enormously effective speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater in 1964 called “A Time for Choosing,” which was broadcast nationwide a week before the election. Mr. Goldwater was demolished by President Lyndon Johnson, but Mr. Reagan’s political star was rising.

That sounds rather a lot like Senator Barack Obama's address to the 2004 Democratic Convention that nominated John Kerry (later trounced by George W Bush), and which made Obama a national identity. Obama's star is still rising, but maybe he doesn't quite have the numbers in this primary season. Trouble is, presidents tend to be returned for a second term, and then are usually replaced by someone of the other party. What's more, the Senate is known as something of a graveyard for presidential ambitions. So if Obama doesn't win this time, what will he do for the next 16 years?