The novelty of minorities seeking the White House has occluded the more profound historical importance of this year's contest, Gary Hart says. The 2008 election is a hinge moment that could usher in a new era in American life, writes the former senator in the New York Times, and a victorious Barack Obama would have a chance to define "the next cycle in American history."
Hart broadly defines the last 80 years of American history as the ages of Roosevelt and Reagan, with the Bush presidency bringing the latter to a close. A President Obama would have the chance to found "a post-New Deal, post-Morning in America era," predicated on smarter national security, economic transformation, and environmental responsibility. "Old politics, old parties and old policies are increasingly irrelevant," Hart prophesies.