Saturday, January 12, 2008


"Change" is the undisputed stump word for the turbulent presidential campaign. From where does this word get its spellbinding power.

As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said about pornography: "I know it when I see it." This year's primary candidates seem to have a clear view of it. Hillary Clinton speaks of her years of experience "making" it. Mitt Romney wants to bring it "to Washington." Barack Obama promises you "can believe in" it. John Edwards proposes "we need" it. Fred Thompson says it "has been a part of every election since the dawn of elections."

In 1976, Jimmy Carter offered himself as "a leader" for change. In 1984, Walter Mondale held that "America needed" it. But Ronald Reagan avoided mentioning it as did Bill Clinton in 1996. President Bush too turned away from it in 2004.

Voting for change. Will it work its magic in 2008?

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