a) hiring ethically-challenged peopleI'm shocked!
b) hiring lobbyists though he said he wouldn't (to the extent those aren't synonymous)
c) caving and allowing his party to craft a crappy stimulus bill
Now I can't get too wound up about a) or b). I'd rather have effective people than perfectly virtuous ignoramuses. But c) was perfectly presaged by the fork in the road, by that moment of moments, by that reverse Paul-on-the-road-to-Damascus moment when he faced the awesome temptation of whether to honor his very public word and accept federal campaign funds if his opponent did.
McCain did, of course, and Obama came to the Rubicon: would he sacrifice a chance at the White House in order to do the right thing even if might actually help his chances by showing his adherence to principle? No. And that made him a typical, cynical politician. He bet, correctly as it turned out, that it would be better to having a lot of money in his campaign chest than a lot of character in his own chest when the voters turned out on November 4th.
I don't hold him any ill-will. Lord knows we're all sinners, and I'm first among them. And change is possible, of course. But we certainly can't be surprised by how Obama is more interested in tone than substance. He's likely going to govern as he campaigned: with hope and inspiration rather than effectiveness and seriousness.