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March 26, 2010

Obama on Offense: Taking Off the Mitts (and the Karls)

Obama Romney Rove bookstore Iowa.jpg

If the McCain campaign set in place various toxic narratives about Obama as a narcissist and a celebrity, perhaps that cultural programming is still getting in the way of seeing just how confident a person Obama is, and to appreciate it as a healthy thing and just one part of his personality.

So far, the American public has seen Obama operating from pretty poor field position. With the health care win, however, he’s already jumped way out on offense. (You could see this coming, by the way, just by watching how Team Obama and Nancy Pelosi expertly framed the passage of health care — for those last three weeks — as inevitable.)

Beyond the confidence, though, what makes this a significant image (another view) is how much it flies in the face of the typical humility and “know your place” expected of Democrats. In this photo op in an Iowa book store, in fact, Obama not only goes out of his way to mock the Republicans, past present and future, in good humor — in notable contrast to the grim, angry and fear-mongering opposition — but does so with, umm, no apology.

(photo: Jason Reed/Reuters. caption: U.S. President Barack Obama holds up books by former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President George W. Bush’s political strategist Karl Rove (L) as he shops for books for his daughters Sasha and Malia at Prairie Lights book store in Iowa City, March 25, 2010.)

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