Losing

I’m keeping a distant eye on the Democratic Convention.  The American way of politics is remarkable.  I do notice some similarities to our Canon 4 – tho’ fortunately the speech of affirmation from the candidate’s spouse and guest appearance by the children has not yet been written in by the Canons Committee.

Hard to miss the handing on of the Kennedy flame by Ted [whom today’s Times described as ‘gravelly-voiced and terminally ill’] Kennedy.  Most interesting of all the extent to which Hillary has and Bill Clinton may manage a full-throated, unqualified endorsement of the candidate.  I’ve always been interested in the spiritual challenge of losing – part of my life with the Ulster Protestants and my visits to the white South Africans.  The press have clearly been attuned to the idea that an open-hearted generous-loser affirmation from Hillary would have enormous power – but one which was in any way qualified or which had an eye to the possibility that a Republican win might open up possibilities for 2012 – could be very damaging.

If you haven’t read Obama’s book, I can recommend it.  He’s an FDR fan and he has an academic’s view of the subtle balances of the American constitution which is very instructive.  But it’s the unknown unknowns that he needs to watch.

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