I wish I had time to write more, but I don't. So, telegraphically, I think that people who dismiss Senator Obama as an empty suit without message, who can be easily beaten by an opponent willing to define him, are missing two things:
1. It appears that he's beaten the Clinton machine, or at least come closer than the Republicans ever managed.
2. "There ought to be a black president" is a perfectly valid campaign platform. It's even, in contradistinction to many good platforms, true. There ought to be a black president. Lots of good things could come of that, including things that conservatives would recognized as unalloyed good. It might, for example, be a little harder to argue that ours is an inherently racist society. I'm not willing to give up other policy preferences that Obama would trash (strong defense, a rational economic policy, lower taxes, etc.) to get a black president, but other people have different policy preferences and weight them differently. That is, after all, why we have to have elections in the first place. To deny that this is a real policy position on which Senator Obama can't be beaten is to close our eyes to reality.