Sunday, September 7, 2008

Obama's bad luck

Well, if you remember the most memorable and moving part of McCain's convention speech, it was the recounting of his time as a prisoner of war, told to us not to make himself out to be a hero, but to show his recognition of true humility, which led to his deep love of and desire to serve his country.

If you have not yet seen the speech or read it in full, do. But here is the relevant excerpt:

Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. I was blessed by misfortune. I mean that sincerely. I was blessed because I served in the company of heroes, and I witnessed a thousand acts of courage, compassion and love. [...]

I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.

I’m not running for president because I think I’m blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.

You know who else was moved by that speech?

Barack Obama. Recognizing the power behind the story (or sermon as M. Simon characterized the speech), Obama came up with this today:

"I have friends whose parents were in the military. There are a lot of Army, military bases there.

“And I actually always thought of the military as an ennobling and, you know, honorable option. But keep in mind that I graduated in 1979. The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren't engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it's not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”

Shorter Obama: "Hey, I coulda been a POW, woulda been a POW, just like McCain. I coulda been a hero, woulda been a hero, just like McCain. But damn my luck there was no war on. You really shouldn't give McCain so much credit for his good luck and my bad luck."

Good luck with that.

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