I'm a Libra. I like balance (though I don't believe in astrology, I'll unashamedly use it to make a point).
So I think it's great that Obama is moving more toward the middle of the political spectrum, now that he's secured the Democratic presidential nomination.
A few days ago I read a great column in the Portland Oregonian by some woman whose name I can't remember. I'd be quoting it like crazy, but my wife took our newspapers to the recycling center today, screwing up my blog post research.
Regardless, I'll unashamedly use the columnist's ideas as if they were mine (this must be a shame free evening for me).
Here's the deal: Obama has been saying all along that this shouldn't be a nation of red states and blue states, of Republicans and Democrats, of rich and poor, of whites and blacks – all those dualities that separate us from each other.
People love that.
So where are we going to come together? In the left wing of the American house? No. It's going to be in the center, by and large.
Columnist Clarence Page (who I was able to locate online) talks about "Barack Obama and his surge to the middle."
In recent weeks the likely Democratic presidential nominee has taken that risky road. He has softened or abandoned his earlier positions on a parade of issues, including wiretaps, abortion, trade with Mexico and Canada, gun control and public funding of his own campaign.
Liberal bloggers, like Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, have howled that Obama's selling out the left. But, viewed another way, he's buying into the middle. He's reaching for what former Secretary of State Colin Powell has called the "sensible center," that big, broad place in the political middle where most American voters live.
Good for him. When I listen to Air America, the progressive talk show network, it drives me nuts to hear so much airtime being devoted to whether Obama is acting exactly the way lefties want him to.
He caved in on FISA! He's willing to modify his Iraq withdrawal plan! He called for more faith based initiatives! He said there's an individual right to own guns!
So what? I happen to agree with him on most, if not all, of these issues. And I'm a good example of a long-time unaffiliated voter who recently turned into a Democrat just to vote for Obama in the Oregon primary.
Even when I disagree with Obama about some issue, I keep telling myself: "He's not perfect, but he's so much better than McCain." Unless all those aggrieved lefties plan to vote for McCain, they should shelve their criticism of Obama.
Jonathan Freedland has another nice take on Obama in his "Obama's shuffle to the right suggests this man is ruthless enough to win."
In this light, Obama's U-turns look different. They suggest that he is determined not to be just another principled loser - and the Democrats have had plenty of those. The clearest illustration came in Obama's most blatant reverse. He had promised to stay within the system of taxpayer-funded campaign finance, which would have obliged him to stick to an $85m spending limit. Once it became clear he could raise, and spend, many times that amount, he broke his pledge. Sure, it was unprincipled. But it suggested a man bent on winning and ruthless enough to make sure he does. That's the standard operating procedure for Republicans. For Democrats it takes some getting used to.
Oh, yeah, give me ruthless. Give me triangulation. Give me moving to the middle. Just don't give me four more years of a Republican president.