'Either of the two Democratic contenders will swing the pendulum. Their marginal policy differences notwithstanding, they are both orthodox liberals. As the party’s voters in 22 states step forward on Tuesday, the overriding question they face, as defined by both contenders, is this: Which brand of change is more likely, in Kennedy’s phrase, to get America moving again?
Lost in the hoopla over the Teddy and Caroline Kennedy show last week was the parallel endorsement of Hillary Clinton by three of Robert Kennedy’s children. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed article, they answered this paramount question as many Clinton supporters do (and as many John Edwards supporters also did). The “loftiest poetry” won’t solve America’s crises, they wrote. Change can be achieved only by a president “willing to engage in a fistfight.” '
'The rap on Mr. Obama remains that he preaches the audacity of Kumbaya. He is all lofty poetry and no action, so obsessed with transcending partisanship that he can be easily rolled. Implicit in this criticism is a false choice — that voters have to choose between his pretty words on one hand and Mrs. Clinton’s combative, wonky incrementalism on the other. '