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Moving toward the center

Posted by Richard on July 12, 2008

Obama is discarding (at least outwardly) a lifetime of far-left, radical beliefs and is moving toward the center at breakneck speed. McCain long ago embraced the center, that vast muddled ground where conventional wisdom says elections are won. 

Mo'thanskin brought up this issue the other day in a comment to my post about revolting Republicans.

Leave it to a liberal Democrat to recognize what should be obvious to Republicans, but isn't (emphasis added):

It is hardly unusual for a candidate to move toward the middle in a general election; in fact, it is fairly standard operating procedure. That is part of what bothers some on the left.

Ben Austin, a former Clinton White House political deputy and early Obama supporter, called the senator's perceived drift "unnecessary and potentially counterproductive" for a candidate who aspires to be a transformational figure.

"To the extent progressives see him as the Reagan of the left, Reagan didn't tack toward the center," Austin said. "He moved the American electorate to the right."

Reagan didn't pander to the whiners and those with class envy, either. Reagan focused his campaigns on positives and an optimistic vision of the future, but he wasn't afraid to criticize the bad ideas of his opponents. And he didn't campaign in some kind of spineless, timid, unfocused "can't we all just get along?" mode.

Like some people I could name. 

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