If life imitates chess — as Garry Kasparov would have us believe — then both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton rank among the elite grandmasters.
Their struggle in the Democratic primaries was indeed a chess game of sorts, with each player offering a succession of moves and countermoves. The ebb and flow was riveting.
Both Obama (in the opening phases) and Clinton (much later) faced daunting obstacles, but both relentlessly pursued their goal.
In politics, as in chess, there are mistakes and more mistakes. But there are also second and third opportunities.
Kasparov once declared, “It has never been my style, on the chessboard or in life, to back down when the odds are against me.”
Both protagonists delivered their blows, resisted those of their opposites, and altered strategies when necessary. Clinton used every resource conceivable — and more — to continue the struggle.
Obama has won, but he still must contend with Clinton. She has set up the pieces for a new game — a shadow game that he will probably have to fight through the upcoming election and beyond.
She is almost certain to be a player in at least one more struggle for the White House. Inexorably, she still fights the good fight. But, true to himself, her opponent is making no easy concessions.
The great world champion Emanuel Lasker conceived of competition and cooperation as inextricably combined. Perhaps that duality will be the ultimate narrative of Obama and Clinton.
Source: Columbus Dispatch
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