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In 2008, Who Could've Predicted This? (Fixed)

If in 2008 you had pondered the outcome of a winner-take-all matchup between president-elect Barack Obama and then Archbishop of Milwaukee Timothy Dolan, I think few would’ve considered it a fair fight.

As President-elect Barack Obama stood between the Greek columns giving his acceptance speech, not only the country applauded but the world. There were few who weren’t moved. Barack Obama was a man astride the Earth.

One can look back now and say he was just reading off a teleprompter or that the Republican Party had nominated a candidate who was never really sure he wanted to beat Obama. One could even say that the image of Obama between the columns was a foreshadowing of the overreach that would lead to so many difficulties later. But all of that came later. Think of the man at that moment. All things seemed possible for that man, at that moment. Even his opponents were proud of what his election said about the country.

And now oppose this image in your mind with the then chubby amiable archbishop of Milwaukee who had little national notoriety at the time. To most culture watchers, he likely would've been classified as likable middle management of a increasingly irrelevant institution. Dolan's own diocese was awash in allegations of clergy abuse. In his own words, he was “haunted” by the scandal.

But let’s face it, if some fever brained Vegas mind created a matchup between the president-elect and the Archbishop of Milwaukee, it likely would've been considered a warm up bout for Obama. An under card.

So...what happened?

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3 comments:

Siobhan said...

Great article, Matthew!

Anonymous said...

I never thought a single positive thing about the thug-in-chief. I knew this clown was trouble back in 2004 when he was elected to the Senate and the talking empty heads already had him picked as our next president. He is pure evil; Cardinal Dolan will need to bring everything he's got in order to put this punk in his place.

Foxfier said...

Even his opponents were proud of what his election said about the country.

I can't agree, at least not for me-- I was a bit too wrapped up in how nobody knew anything about him, and most weren't interested in finding out. Of course, I'm young enough that I've grown up in a country where racism is a random idiots problem, so I don't see some kind of need to prove otherwise. (Sure will be nice to deal with the over-correction for the psychological scars of my generation instead of two or three back, eventually....)

Even with that statement, though, I wouldn't have figured on Archbishop Dolan, given how folks aren't interested in finding things out and the news is near-worthless, so your point is even stronger!

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