Monthly Archives: February 2008

It’s not not over until it’s not not over

And while it’s not over, it sure isn’t not not over yet.

By which I mean that while so many political commentators are fussing over the role the Democratic “super delegates” will play this summer, it’s far from a given that neither Obama or Clinton will have won a majority of delegates before the convention. With Maine, Obama has won four in a row and is gaining momentum.

I’ve been undecided between them for a while. Even though I was giving Obama money for quite a bit, I was leaning towards Hillary. She is smart, tough, knows how to work Congress, and knows how to play hardball politics (which is going to be very important in winning the election). But Clinton fatigue has set in already, and I find myself looking for someone who can inspire and unite the country. I don’t think I’m the only undecided, formerly Hillary-leaning voter experiencing this evolution. I think things are swinging in the Obama direction and that his majorities will continue to increase. If I was a betting man, I’d put a good deal of money on the notion that Obama will win the nomination without needing the super delegates, despite the proportional nature of the Democratic primaries.

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Fleisher Agonistes

I haven’t seen Leon Fleisher in years, but I still love him the way a grateful student always loves an important teacher, and the way a grateful music-lover loves a favorite artist. When I studied at the Peabody Conservatory, I had several coachings with Fleisher when I played sonatas and other chamber music with his students; not only did I always learn a lot, but I also felt he was one of the few people who really recognized and acknowledged whatever my musical gift is, and was much more interested in affirming it–something I really needed–than trying to change me (or his own students) into some sort of surrogate for himself. (Which is how so many otherwise fine teachers destroy the individual musical personality of their students.) I also had the privilege to be the principal cellist of the Annapolis Symphony during the final few seasons in which Fleisher was its music director.

This recent Washington Post op-ed piece by him, which my colleague Scott Spiegelberg pointed out today, is another reason to love him.

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