October 30th, 2008 by owenam

The typically-conservative Economist gives its typically eloquent reasons for endorsing Obama:

[T]he exceptionally assured way in which he has run his campaign is a considerable comfort. It is not just that he has more than held his own against Mr McCain in the debates. A man who started with no money and few supporters has out-thought, out-organised and outfought the two mightiest machines in American politics—the Clintons and the conservative right.

Political fire, far from rattling Mr Obama, seems to bring out the best in him: the furore about his (admittedly ghastly) preacher prompted one of the most thoughtful speeches of the campaign. On the financial crisis his performance has been as assured as Mr McCain’s has been febrile. He seems a quick learner and has built up an impressive team of advisers, drawing in seasoned hands like Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. Of course, Mr Obama will make mistakes; but this is a man who listens, learns and manages well.

Absolutely. I love their point that the character and conduct of his campaign as a whole, and his ability to run such a campaign, was just as influential in their decision (in fact, I think they imply it was more so) than any specific issue therein — exactly the kind of thinking that eludes the typical American analysis. My sense is that an external viewpoint is even more valuable in this election than others.