In which a nation reeling from years of war and scandal turns its back on the GOP and its eyes towards a fresh-faced progressive just oozing good vibes. Why, even the final shot here looks familiar. In fairness, though, thanks to his embarrassing pandering on Trinity, the flag pin, the preparations/preconditions kabuki, and the meeting with Petraeus, I’m starting to detect a reassuring pragmatic Clintonian streak in Obama. Jimbo will lay a wreath on Arafat’s grave, call Israel an apartheid state, and go in for the bro-grab with Hamas and never think twice. Obama may or may not be similarly inclined, but even on an issue like race where he’s got Absolute Moral Authority to spare, electoral realities weighed heavily enough on him that he didn’t speak up until Wrightgate forced him to. That’s why I’m (cautiously) optimistic that he’s going to take Sullivan’s advice and start inching away from the knee-jerk pessimism about the war that characterized his predictions about the surge. Not because he thinks victory is important, but because the public might start to. And Barack Obama, for all his vaunted insight about Iraq, isn’t about to roll the dice by following his own judgment instead of theirs the way Bush has. Click the image to watch.