At Fox News, there's an interesting (read: tedious but what else is on?) debate about whether this election, which seems to be trending big for the Dems all around the horn, is a coff-coff game-changer in American politics. Are we moving, ask the pundits there, from a center-right country to a center-left country?
Fortune's Nina Easton says it's the latter and that the election (so far) is a repudiation of laissez-faire economics, deregulation, blah blah blah; she also says that Obama has told her he's a pragmatist, not an ideologue, and that he's surrounding himself now with centrist Dems such as Robert Rubin and old warhorses such as former Fed head Paul Volcker. Her take (which is at odds with her general take on the meaning of the election) is that Obama isn't going to mess with NAFTA or basic free trade policy.
Juan Williams argues that we don't even know Obama's stance on card check, which would suspend secret ballots for union votes, or any number of other issues. Fred Barnes argues that the Republicans are losing big but not because anything or anybody is changing in the country. Go figure.
I suspect that the toughest thing to figure out about this election is simply the fact that, with the possible exception of single-payer healthcare, virtually every scare scenario you can generate about Obama (many with good reason) has already been put into place by the current GOP administration, typically with the enthusiastic aid of Republicans in Congress. Whether we're talking about the Medicare prescription drug benefit or the war in the Iraq or the federalizing of education policy or the PATRIOT Act (which recycled Janet Reno's law enforcement wish list) or trade sanctions or regulatory overload or the freaking bailout, the Bush admin has been there and done that.
Which isn't to say that Obama won't be terrible in his own particular way, especially since Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will stand taller come January. But he's really going to have work at it to distinguish himself from his predecessor.
Hit & Runners, what worries you most about the new day a-dawnin' in America?