The Executive vs. The Visionary

Democratic race offers a competing views of the presidency
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2008 11:29 AM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., addresses the current economic news and attacks Sen. Hillary Clinton's economic positions during a speech on the campus of Furman University...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The choice between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama boils down to two fundamentally different views of the presidency, writes the New Yorker's George Packer—the political pragmatism of Clinton or the inspiration of Obama. Clinton embraces nuts-and-bolts governance and scoffs at political naivety. Obama has a far more visionary view, and Packer finds that even some longtime Clinton backers can't resist.

More than one draws a comparison to Robert Kennedy. "You realized that his magic lay in his effect on others rather than in any specific policies," said Robert Reich. Obama achieves the same, "almost effortlessly.” The White House needs more than a technocrat, Packer finds—and Clinton may have to "transcend her own history" if she hopes to return.