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Obama's Use of Narrative

11:02 PM, Feb 19, 2008 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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Paul Waldman has a very interesting piece on Obama's use of narrative. It includes this striking passage:

[I]f he should find himself facing Obama, McCain will discover that his own weaknesses fit in neatly with the story Obama tells. Where Obama is young, dynamic and optimistic, McCain is old, subdued, and prone to telling voters that things are likely to get worse before they get better.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, McCain offers no indication of where we as citizens fit into his story, what a vote for him is supposed to say about us. And this is precisely where Hillary Clinton has had trouble countering Obama, despite her prodigious policy knowledge and disciplined campaigning. [emphasis added]

It's striking not because I think it's necessarily right--I can envision a few ways in which a vote for McCain does become a personal statement--but because it does get at a very fundamental aspect of the Obama movement.