Obama In '08 -- here's why
by Cogitator, Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 09:41:39 AM EST
Barack Obama in '08.
There, I've typed it.
Being one who would rather see Montana Governor Brian Schwetizer or Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold in the White House (neither of which are going to happen in 2008), I have settled on Illinois Senator Barack Obama as my choice.
Barack Obama can achieve at least three things no other Democratic candidate can and can offer more than any other prospective candidate:
One, he can enthuse this country's youth into both believing in the political process once again and in the value of voting. Can you imagine John McCain connecting to young people in America? Neither can I. In fact, there is nobody on the GOP side that can match Obama in this regard. You say Hillary? Quit pulling my leg.
Two, Obama can win the Mountain West and Southwest states against a Republican presidential candidate because a right-wing, evangelical-driven Republican nominee or a GOP fundamentalist newbie (a converted McCain?) is not going to triumph in either of these sections of our country. Only McCain and possibly only in Arizona will have a chance in the Mountain West and Southwest against Obama.
Three, Obama can also achieve a higher degree of perceived or real political reunification of this country than any other candidate, Democratic or Republican. He can forge a winning degree of affiliation between Democrats and Independents as he proved in Illinois--even dragging some Republicans over to his side. This is the long-missing but much vaunted 'blue' national victory coalition.
Four, Obama represents newness but, more importantly, NEW HOPE and such will be an undefeatable combination in 2008. Voters are already fatigued over the venal level of politics and campaigning and will be desirous of backing a contemporary quasi-neophyte over the same old-same old. This will be true regardless of what how such an individual actually plans to govern.
Five, Barack Obama is LIKEABLE! He exudes a level of charisma heretofore unknown in so many of the Democratic presidential candidates. Can you say Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, John Kerry, Jimmy Carter? Obama can also choose someone a la Wes Clark as his running mate and quickly sooth any concerns about his lack of foreign policy experience.
Six, some of the tricksters in the world like Putin and those in China will quickly put Obama to the test if he wins the presidency but name one other candidate, Democratic or Republican, who will be able to remove the poisonous nature of our recent worldwide foreign policy as quickly as Obama. Europe will embrace him, Africa will love him, Aisa will be intrigued.
However, here's my Obama concerns:
Yes, Obama has but a partial term in Congress and time as an Illinois representative on his resume. It is skimpy. But what exactly did George W. Bush have to offer? Being governor in Texas was more of a mantlepiece position than anything else, as the legislature contained the power in that state. Also, becoming infected with U.S. Senator-itis, like too many of the other zombies on Capitol Hill, is not what I want to see Obama acquire. More terms as a U.S. Senator will make him susceptible to this plague.
Also, some will still argue that '9/11 changed everything' and that decades of foreign policy experience will be a necessity for anyone hungering for the presidency. That simply isn't going to sell in 2008. Who will want to remind voters of the 9/11 'skirt' the failed Bush Administration has continually hid behind?
Obama has also been dinged by some for not being bold and definitive enough to date in Congress. There is some truth to such but a counter argument for that is what exactly can a junior Senator from Illinois achieve in a Republican-run Congress? Sure, I would viscerally enjoy some fire-breathing anti-GOP rhetoric from Obama's mouth but such would probably achieve very little and might even upset some of the more senior Dems who would then fear their media time and exposure was being usurped by a rookie.
I also have concern over how much Obama will be connected to corporate interests/the K Street mafia--this is actually my biggest worry. But I think that is an area where the netroots can provide significant influence in abating such a happening..
To me, the significant positives of an Obama candidacy far, far outweigh any possible negatives. But this is not choice solely about electability or holding one's nose to back a winner. Obama stands head and shoulders above all those in the middle and the left in both how the mainstream media and U.S. populace preceives him. He can and will define himself---how many other candidates will have that prospect. There is no one else with a bigger upside. He has a head and heart working in conjunction with each other.
Now is the time.