The Talking Dog

February 9, 2008, College Daze

Your talking dog has had a tough week workwise, which has led to reticence here on the blog. But the affairs of state now allow me to resume... regular... blogging.

The Grey Lady treats us to this account of Sen. Barack Obama (then known as Barry) and his two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles (1979-1981)... the Grey Lady seems to be implying that Obama may have overstated his youthful drug use! The Times, of course, fails to note your talking dog's three years at New York's Columbia College (1980-1983), even though the last two of them were, interestingly, shared by Sen. Obama.

Whatever the reason, it seems that Sen. Obama-- who I have told you I support for the Presidential nomination, and will continue to do so as long as he is running [unless the Sainted Al Gore comes in somehow]-- kept an infinitely lower profile during the two years he shared not only in my small college (graduating class of around 800 men-- Columbia's last all male one), but my political science major and my international politics concentration... and I have no memory of his presence, whatsoever (let alone his drug use). This year will be our 25th reunion, so it's been awhile... but neither I nor anyone else I know knew him.

Which, to me, means that he is the kind of guy who is not the American ideal... the used car salesman. Even the Sainted Al Gore and John Kerry (and God knows both Bill and Hillary Clinton) were running for President shortly after emerging from their cribs... but it seems, Barack was actually in school for some other reason... to learn perhaps, rather than to demonstrate his alpha male (or female) prowess and make future networking connections? That the first Black President of the Harvard Law Review, who could have clerked for any Supreme Court Justice and gotten super-bucks at any corporate firm instead chose to be a community activist, state senator and law professor, may say something about his character? Understand... may, not necessarily does, but still...

Anyway... my point is that Barack may (not necessarily is, but may) be the real deal: a genuine long term thinker, capable of learning, insisting on a non-sound-bite campaign because unlike those he is running against, he is not fundamentally a used-car salesman. A guy who, in his developmental era, looked around and learned, and developed, and may well (unlike the current Used-Car-Salesman-in-Chief) not just "know in his gut" what the right decision is, but may actually study things to get to the right answer (rather than the expedient or popular one). Maybe he has long term principles beyond self-aggrandizement.

Maybe I'm missing something, and Barack is another DLC whore in the mode of Schumer, H. and B. Clinton and Joe Lieberman... but... maybe the reticence of the young Barry tells us something about the man. And right now, until proven otherwise... that's going to be good enough for me.