Then there were Obama's once-lofty progressive principles. Yet no Northern Democratic liberal like Obama has won the presidency in a half-century. So everyone knew that Obama sooner or later had to move to the center in the general election to win over independents.
For the hope-and-change candidate, those natural readjustments now appear insincere and opportunistic — especially given that he had to move so far from the left to get to the middle. On campaign-finance reform, FISA, NAFTA, abortion, capital punishment, guns, Iran, Iraq, the surge, and drilling offshore, Obama has fudged on his earlier positions in the normal way of savvy pragmatists — but not in a manner befitting angelic idealists.