Don’t blame Obama. Blame yourself

Don’t blame Obama. Blame yourself

He added the words in one of the later drafts. The announcement speech had been missing something, a direct response to the creeping cynicism of the previous decade. Why would this time be any different? What was so special about this political novice, that he thought he could solve all of these intractable problems on his own?

That is why this campaign can’t only be about me. It must be about us—it must be about what we can do together. This campaign must be the occasion, the vehicle, of your hopes, and your dreams. It will take your time, your energy, and your advice—to push us forward when we’re doing right, and to let us know when we’re not. This campaign has to be about reclaiming the meaning of citizenship, restoring our sense of common purpose, and realizing that few obstacles can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.”

Much has been written over the last few weeks about the limits of presidential power. Some smart observers have pointed out that these limits are not new; that historically they have had less to do with the personalities of our leaders than the structure of our democracy. The founders, reluctant to entrust any executive with the kind of authority that was so abused by the king they revolted against, created a separation of powers between co-equal branches of government.

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