In the past 48 hours, Obama has:
1) Re-affirmed his support for direct diplomacy with Iran, even after Iran conducted a missile test and McCain and his fellow necons couldn't barely keep themselves from drooling over the prospect of a fresh war.
Now is the time to work with our friends and allies, and to pursue direct and aggressive diplomacy with the Iranian regime backed by tougher unilateral and multilateral sanctions. It's time to offer the Iranians a clear choice between increased costs for continuing their troubling behavior, and concrete incentives that would come if they change course.
Obama did not use this is as an opportunity to shift his position or try to blur his position with McCain's, on a critical matter that the next president will surely have to address.
2) While campaigning in a red sate, explicitly embraced a role for our government in stopping unethical lenders:
"Like the president he hopes to succeed, Sen. McCain does not believe the government has a real role to play in protecting Americans from unscrupulous lending practices," Obama said in remarks before a few thousand people in a high school gymnasium outside of Atlanta. "He would continue to allow the banks and credit card companies to tilt the playing field in their favor, at the expense of hardworking Americans."
3) Backed equality for women as a strategy for economic growth, while on NBC's Today:
"It's not that women are unique in feeling pressure under this economy. It's the fact they get paid 78 cents on the dollar compared to men, and 62 percent of families rely on women for at least half and maybe more than half of their income," Obama replied. "So if we can raise wages and incomes for women, if we can make sure that they've got paid family leave, if they've got more support for child care, that doesn't just benefit women. It benefits all American families."
4) Encouraged people to quit worrying about "English-only" laws and start worrying about getting our kids to learn second languages:
"You know, I don't understand when people are going around worrying about, 'We need to have English- only.' They want to pass a law, 'We want English-only,'" Obama said. "Now, I agree that immigrants should learn English. I agree with that. But understand this. Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English -- they'll learn English -- you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish. You should be thinking about, how can your child become bilingual? We should have every child speaking more than one language.
"You know, it's embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe, and all we can say [is], 'Merci beaucoup.' Right? (Laughter) You know, no, I'm serious about this. We should understand that our young people, if you have a foreign language, that is a powerful tool to get a job. You are so much more employable. You can be part of international business. So we should be emphasizing foreign languages in our schools from an early age, because children will actually learn a foreign language easier when they're 5, or 6, or 7 than when they're 46, like me."
So can we end this ridiculous talk that Obama is going to run as Republican Lite?