Perfect pitch

Barack Obama speaks to Central Pennsylvania.

Barack Obama tunes his fiddle to the minor key of Central Pennsylvania. Mighty pretty tune.

And note that Obama doesn’t appeal to that mythical character “Joe Six-Pack,” who, in the minds of campaign consultants and reporters, cares only about his paycheck. Obama doesn’t get much of a cheer for talking about global warming. But when he promises to close down Guantanamo and restore habeas corpus, and say “You’ll have a President who as taught the Constitution, who believes in the Constitution, who will obey the Constitution of the United States of America,” the crowd is on its feet, cheering.

You can get 5 1/2-1 betting on Obama to win Pennsylvania. Those sound like attractive odds to me. He just might pull a surprise.

Depressingly, the NYT reporter thinks that Obama has “sheathed” his oratorical sword, just because he’s speaking more directly to the needs of working folks. “A thrill these talks are not,” he complains. The Harrisburgers seem to disagree, and I’m with them. Watch the video and see which side you’re on.

Update and correction: The stricken-through sentence from Powell’s article referred to Hillary Clinton’s speeches, not Barack Obama’s. My apologies to Mr. Powell.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: