Hardest on the Ones We Love

Photo of spaghetti sauce cooking by Joey Rozier under a Creative Commons licence.In high school, my friend Jenny was mortifyingly embarrassed of her mom. Jenny would yell if her mom spoke to me. “Nobody cares what you say!” She would bad mouth her mother to me–her stupidities, her clothes, her hair.

I always thought this odd. Jenny’s mom was nice to me, and always let Jenny take the car. She wasn’t rude or dirty or inappropriate (we didn’t use the word inappropriate back in those days, but she wasn’t). But Jenny knew her mom as a stupid old woman. Who reflected poorly on her.

Progressives who think Obama “lost” Friday’s debate remind me of Jenny. Familiarity makes them overly-sensitive to any potential misstep–not aggressive enough, should have hit harder, McCain didn’t implode so if Obama didn’t hit it out of the park he did poorly.

Here’s the thing, Obama has run a very good campaign so far. And his campaign knows that he doesn’t have to convince his supporters. He needs to work on the undecideds. The people who have just tuned into the election process.

Newly engaged undecideds and independents see the candidates freshly. They are checking out and evaluating the men that they are seeing now. And trying them on for President. That’s who Obama is trying to win over.

Those of us who have been engaged from Iowa see different candidates. I hope Jenny made up with her mom.

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