Obama's hidden benefits
I was thinking past the election for the first time. I know the election isn't wrapped up yet, but I was wondering what Obama has to accomplish to be considered successful. That led me to think about the disaster of the last eight years.
In retrospect, if Gore had taken office, he would have been successful in comparison to Bush just by keeping us out of Iraq alone, not to mention avoiding all the various constitutional abuses. But if he had been elected, we wouldn't know just what we had avoided. Especially considering the lies Bush told during the campaign about his agenda. No nation building indeed. Gore would probably have been judged on his handling of 9/11 and the economy. Not knowing how badly Bush fucked it up would actually work against Gore.
So too, for Obama. It's a little different, because Obama will be judged against the failures of the Bush administration, but he'll also be dealing with the consequences of those failures. The lingering effects of our current troubles could well work against Obama. And we all know McCain is a dangerous hothead, and it's hard to argue against hypotheticals. The fact that McCain may get us involved in further dangerous foreign entanglements that Obama may avoid won't necessarily be reflected in Obama's approval rating. Nevertheless, it's one of many reasons that just keeping McCain away from the reins of power is a success in itself. I hope we never have to find out what bullets we may have dodged.