Jan 17, 2007

Surfing the Obama wave.

Recently Barack Obama has officially announced his candidacy for President in '08. Oops. I mean he's just launching an exploratory committee. Yeah that's it.

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone as he and some of his staff were spending quite some time in Iowa testing the waters. Obama has storm of supporters in the media who are giving him press even when no events warrant it. Friends and family seem to be taken with him, well at least the idea of him.

I for one find Obama a charming politician, well spoken, intelligent, unafraid to ask direct questions during senate committees, and shares a few political values that I do. The problem is I really don't know that much about him and guess what? Neither do you.

And that's the problem. Anyone I speak with concerning Obama seem to speak of him as if he were a matinee idol, but none of them can tell me what specifically stands for. Okay he's a Democrat, but that as you know is vague. No one seems to know anything about his Senate voting record, but everyone will snap their fingers and say 'oh yeah he went to Africa and helped some people.'

A true saint this Obama is. One friend even told me he's going to vote for the first time for Obama. When asked why he said because he's black. (My friend is black as well.) He told me that many other black people he knows will come out in droves to support him. Given that Obama shares blood with many races I find this rather amusing, especially when Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton still won't endorse him.

We're all sick of the corrupt administration and yes we all want change and Obama may indeed be the next American political hero. We want to see a minority in the White House, qualifications be damned even. The public feels Obama will be great for the country and they'll profess that belief with almost religious zeal.

Many people jumped on the Bush and Arnold bandwagon and telling their peers that they feel both would do a great job. Again none of them could explain why or what they stood for. Both were elected of course and you know the rest. History does repeat itself constantly in politics.

I'm not saying you shouldn't vote for Obama. If you feel he's the best qualified person for the job then so be it. I might vote for him too, but please tell me you'd vote for him based on his record rather than his ability to charm you. I can certainly understand the need for heroes in these dark days, but let it be a person of substance and not one of hype.

"My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or blessed, believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success." - Barack Obama


Scott said...

I think that Obama is the antithesis to "Bush" so people are excited about him, and let's face it, who else to the Dems have to put out there?

Mattbear said...

It is sad that these days a President gets elected because of hype and vague perception. We the people are not informed enough about the candidates and people we elect.

I think a lot of that is because so much of the political dealing is shrouded from us due to corruption, dirty dealing, and the "old boy network" attitude.

I've been reading up a bit on Obama, and intend to dig deeper into his voting record and such. He may actually be a good candidate. But I'm going to research more before I make up my mind about that.

I think a lot of the hype about him comes from the way he speaks about hope, helping people, and improving our country. He doesn't do as much political bashing or fear mongering as other politicians. That makes him very likeable and a very positive figure in an otherwise negative and grim realm.

I'll be making up my mind about him based on his voting record and whatever else I can find out about him. But if he's the best person for the job, I don't care if the rest of his votes come from hype. At this point, I'd take anything just to get a decent human being in the White House.

Reverend Sumangali Tania Pink said...

Well you know...when was the last time the American public voted for a president based on the issues.

Wait, actually, when was the last time the American public voted in a president.

I'm sure that the current one rigged the last election like his first victory.

But seriously - Voting for a person because they are black is like voting because they are a woman. There are plenty of capable black professionals and women professionals -- but to be voted just for their 'minority interest' diminishes the value of those who work hard to rise up.

Just my 2 cents worth. Since I'm a Canadian, I can't vote anyway

GeekManGreg said...

He's got my vote.

He was against the Iraq War since its conception. So was I.

He believes that teachers should be paid wages that equal that of lawyers by the time they near retirement. So do I.

He supports stem cell research and defends marriage equality. So do I.

Unlike some other politicians, he's unapologetic in his political views. And I think this guy is experienced enough to sit in a seat that has been occupied by the likes of Abraham Lincoln, John F Kennedy, and Harry Truman, all of whom had very little Federal experience before they held the office. Sometimes, 'lack of experience' can be a VERY good thing. Besides, I think of his 'lack of experience' more of as a 'lack of being tainted by politics.' Unlike Hillary or John Kerry, Obama's record and history is very sound.

And while I think charisma isn't the only important attribute in a viable presidential candidate, it is still VERY important. The president needs to be that guy that we all look up to. He/she needs to be that person that we stand in awe of when he/she speaks. Everytime I hear Obama speaks, that's how I feel, and I haven't felt like that in a very, VERY long time.

Check out his books. You might be impressed with what he has to say. I sure was! :)