Barack made himself one of the Founding Father's today.
"Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered... and launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy... This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign – to continue the long march of those who came before us."
He elevates himself so that he can promise to elevate us. And in elevating himself he steps away from the mud.
In this case, it will be fun to watch if Barack's re-positioning trick works. Because this is different than saying "politics is dirty, let's you and I go do it a better way and the world will follow."
In this case, the mess is Barack's. In this case, we're getting an insight into the man with no experience, who we know precious little about, but who wants to be President of the United States. He says I Will Lift You, he says Together We Can, he says Trust My Judgment.
How do we trust the judgment of the man who hasn't been asked to make any decisions?
We look to what meager track record he has to offer. The people around him.
Certainly it caused some concern when his wife expressed her anger at America, saying she'd never been proud of this country before. The country that gave her an education, that gave her affluence, that gave her a safe community to raise her children in, that gave her a U.S. Senator as a husband. She's never felt proud before. Odd.
Now we have context. We see a pattern to these opinions. We know where she got this dark view of our land.
"This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story... it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one."
Barack's wife doesn't like her country, his preacher and political adviser says, "God Damn America," and his closest political supporter from day one of his career, dating all the way back to the 1990's, is on trial for corruption. Barack believes we are truly one, but his close friend/ally/aide/preacher calls this nation the KKKA.
We see Barack's judgement.
Now we have context. Barack has kept race out of the campaign, and that has been nice. We thought it was because, as George Will puts it, Barack is post-racial. Now we know that he is steeped in an environment of race and class based division, but not because he shares the belief systems around him, just because he loves the haters.
He loves the Preacher, we are told, like an uncle. In fact, he compares the Preacher to his grandmother, who sometimes spoke in off-color ways that Barack found uncomfortable.
But a Preacher is not family. A Preacher is chosen. If the chosen Preacher is appalling, then you go find another one. You can't do this with a grandmother. With a grandmother, one is stuck cringing.
But even if your grandmother was your Preacher, you would stop going to church if she talked like Preacher Wright.