Obama is genuine in his claim to approach politics without the rancor and divisiveness of the boomers caught in the culture wars (of whom the Clintons have become (willingly or not) the patron saints). Their idea is that to be a part of a Clinton or Bush America, one must walk in lock-step with his/her fellow ideologues that stymie action to deal with issues and challenges that we know (and have known for a long time) must be dealt with. After all, says the partisan, to deal with the issues and compromise is to "sell-out." If we solve the problems, what will accuse the other side of being responsible for in our next campaign?
Generational change is underway, and Obama speaks for it. Old politics, where taking a side means keeping the other side from accomplishing anything or even maintaining its dignity has to end, and as those of us born after 1960 come of age, we will increasingly be able to work together because we know that the challenges we face are more significant than the petty partisanship that keeps CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and a million polarizing Internet sites operational. I believe it was Bill Clinton who said, "That which unites us is far more significant than that which divides us." I bought it in 1992, but he was not able to deliver, and in the last 72 hours, his attacks on Obama have cast great doubt on his sincerity in having made that pronouncement.
Obama has really not wavered. Politics of unity and a refusal to vilify the opponent is called naive. It is taken as a sign of inexperience, but we have all had plenty of experience with the divide and stalemate approach, and Obama offers genuine hope that we can change that experience.