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Details, Details

Gail Collins made this memorable observation in a column last April: 

The candidates have already resigned themselves to wooing people with political attention deficit disorder. They know that if they embark on a 12-week tour of the nation to publicize their signature issue of dropout prevention, on the day it’s over they will turn on the TV and see an undecided voter in sweat pants saying: “I’m waiting to hear what they say about dropouts.”

I couldn't help but think of that when I read Joe Klein's report from a focus group, where one representative attendee was described thus:

"No more oratory," one woman said. "Give us details."

and when Sean Wilentz writes in Newsweek:

But will Obama, amid the pulsating theatrics, also attempt the less glamorous and more difficult task of explaining specifically where he wants to move the country, and how he proposes to move it, above and beyond reciting his policy positions?

Be specific, Senator! But no policies, please.

By the way, isn't it odd that pundits and voters are constantly demanding more detail of Obama, who actually has detailed positions on everything under the sun, and not saying this about John McCain, who is frequently unable to identify his position on major issues, and whose platform is incoherent, riddled with holes, and frequently contradicted by various members of his staff?

--Jonathan Chait