WAITE: ‘Some candidate’ needs to voice own opinions

When Barack Obama spoke on campus Friday, he never mentioned another candidate by name. Instead, he decided to beat around the bush, consistently referring to his opponents as “some people”: Some people call Obama naive, some people tout their experience working the system in Washington, some people are self-absorbed pretty boys with $400 haircuts.

He didn’t really say that last one, but he might as well have. Obama may think he’s taking the high road, but he’s really just being passive-aggressive, and it makes me doubt he could ever be an effective president.

In the campaign so far, every word out of Obama’s mouth has been carefully designed to avoid direct confrontation wihin the race for presidency.

The “some people” euphemism is one example. Another example is his response to questions about his experience. When asked whether he has enough experience, Obama typically responds with two factual statements: “There’s a difference between experience and judgment” and “I opposed the Iraq war from the beginning.” He refuses to say, “I have better judgment than Hillary Clinton” – something he obviously believes – because he’s afraid saying it out loud would tarnish his “hopeful” image.

Obama consistently dances around the obvious in an effort to preserve his reputation, and that’s definitely not a virtue.

When someone else bombards us with subtle criticism and waits for us to connect the dots, we call it what it is: passive-aggressive bitchiness.

It’s time we started calling Barack Obama’s rhetoric what it is: passive-aggressive bitchiness hidden behind a beautiful speaking voice.

Obama’s track record of avoidance made much of Friday’s speech ring hollow. He claimed he would tell Americans what they need to hear, not what they want to hear, but that clearly wasn’t true.

If Obama really is this year’s best candidate, Americans need to hear that Hillary Clinton is bad for America, not that some people have made empty claims about experience. At Iowa State on Friday, Obama clearly went with what we wanted to hear: Everything on the Democratic agenda will happen as long as we have the audacity to hope for it.

If Obama is too insecure to let people disagree with him, he will never be a good president. He likes to call himself a uniter, but so far, Obama has only demonstrated that he can unite a Democratic crowd in cheering for an inspirational speech about hope. If he wants to unite 100 senators in changing America, he will have to change some senators’ minds, and he can’t do that if he’s not willing to stand up for his own beliefs.

If Obama can start being direct, he could easily be the Democrats’ best candidate. But if he insists on making vague statements about “some people”, then some Daily opinion writer will be voting for some Carolina pretty boy.

– Bill Waite is a graduate student in computer science.