I watched his announcement from New Orleans (in a repeat on C-Span), and I was struck by a few things:
--He’s smart for announcing early, before the New Year’s “announcement rush.”
--The setting and his wardrobe were key elements of his message: a back yard in New Orleans wearing jeans and a shirt, surrounded by kids. He’s the candidate of the people, concerned with poverty, youth development and at ease with himself.
--The press kept trying to get him to say he’d raise taxes. They asked him questions about Katrina response at the federal level, troop levels in Iraq, raising the minimum wage; all of them ended up with some variant of “are you advocating raising taxes for blah blah blah?”
--They kept coming back to his relatively modest background in foreign policy as a potential commander in chief. His answer was fabulous: over the past six years we’ve had potentially the most experienced foreign policy team create policy and then conduct this war in a manner that is a disaster by any measure.
--I loved his emphasis on “being patriotic about something besides a war” and on getting people active in service to the country, even before the next election.
--The kids standing behind him looked really bored.