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The Blueprint for Change:
Barack Obama's Plan for America
BOOK REVIEW by Massscorecard.org:
This campaign booklet is not actually a printed book, but a 64-page PDF that the Obama campaign would like voters to treat like a book. Since we here at Massscorecard.org are happy to have candidates lay out their platforms in writing, we DO treat it like a book. It's available for download on Obama's campaign website.
Each of a couple dozen issue topics has a speech excerpt summarizing Obama's stance on the issue; then an "At a Glance" bullet list; Obama's definition of "The Problem"; "Obama's Plan" for details on how he would address the problem; then finally "Obama's Record" for a list of his accomplishments on the issue.
Obama has been accused of generalizations instead of policy. He could counter, "All the policy details are there in my 64-page booklet." But that would not sound like Obama. It WOULD sound like Al Gore, who said that so many times about his campaign booklet that the press took to calling it his191-page Economic Plan. George Bush's considerably shorter campaign booklet,Blueprint for the Middle Class is, like Obama's booklet, full of bullet points and vision. It's clear from Obama's choice of the term "Blueprint" in his title which model he chooses to emulate. Unlike Gore's wonkish level of detail, Obama's booklet is indeed very long on rhetoric and short on policy. This booklet is DETAILED in the sense that Obama lays out his vision clearly and explicitly. How exactly that vision will get accomplished is not here. Perhaps Gore proved that being a policy wonk is not a good way to get elected, and that Bush's vision-without-details is.
We'll close with an excerpt from Obama's "Opening Letter", a 2-page-long signed statement entitled "A Message from Barack":
"Thank you for taking a look at this booklet. I believe it's critically important that those of us who want to lead this nation be open, candid, and clear with the American people about how we will move forward. So I hope this booklet gives you a good sense about where I stand on the fundamental issues facing our country.
-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@Massscorecard.org, Feb. 2008
Barack Obama's Plan for America.