David Ploufe, the Audacity to Win, and Obama's Presidency so Far

David Plouffe, the campaign manager for Obama's 2008 campaign, just wrote The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory, examining the ideals of Obama's campaign and what he has done so far in Washington. Arianna Huffington wrote a great article on the book: Obama One Year Later: The Audacity of Winning vs. The Timidity of Governing.

For a life-time Republican who voted for change when I voted for a Democratic presidential candidate (the first time in four adult presidential elections), some of the initiatives Obama has pursued are the ones that I held my nose when voting while what I voted for has disappeared. Is what he has done a glimpse into what he really wants? Are the bigger ideas that he ran on meaningless? Or has lost his way in the Beltway?

I voted for withdrawal from Iraq and would like it to extend to Afghanistan, but he stated in his campaign that he would increase troops in Afghanistan. He's living up to that. I voted against corporate profiteering on the backs of the working class. I voted for Universal Health Care, for decisions to be made without "consulting" corporate lobbyists, for a line by line examination of the budget that would cut government spending and head us in the direction of a balanced budget, and a change in approach to foreign policy. Only the last has he given us.

I am pretty sure President McCain would increase troop levels in Afghanistan after having tamed Iraq, be against the public option in a health care policy, and would have cut spending. McCain, like Obama, likes Cap and Trade. A corporate man, Geithner, is on the cabinet, so I don't see how McCain could do any worse. Did I only get hate crime laws, extension of abortions, embryonic stem cell research, and another increase in taxing smokers when I helped elect Obama?

There are valid alternatives to stem cell research other than the much heralded embryonic stem cell research. Crime should be punished based on actions rather than thoughts, even if the thoughts are horrid. Smokers, even if it is for something good like health care for kids, should not carry an increased burden to pay for the health care of this nation's children. And no federal dollars should go to abortions because there are so many in this nation against them. Yet that is what we have received so far from the Obama presidency.

Arianna's article reminded me why I voted for Obama. I hope the book reminds Obama why he wanted to be President. It even made me believe once again that Washington could be changed. That our nation could head down a different political path and be better.