Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Obama Runs: Point/Counterpoint

So, Barack Obama is in it to win it in '08.

Point: Senator Obama, I'd like you to meet Senator Edwards, another one-term wonder who thought his charm and personality would carry him from the hill to the White House. Turns out, not so much.

Counterpoint: Senator Obama, I'd like you to meet Rep. Harold Ford, Jr., your predecessor in the Diversity-Darling-Child-of-the-Democratic-Party Club. He missed his shot, perhaps waited past his superstar shelf date, and didn't move to the upper house. Lesson: strike while the fire is hot.

Of course, buried between the point and the counterpoint is the glaring, uncomfortable subject of race in America. Obama is certainly what should be the face - or at least a face - of America. But then again, the dust-up over what was widely considered a racially charged ad again Harold Ford, Jr. during his bid for the U.S. Senate illustrates either our continuing national reluctance to get out of the white male rut - or our PR-hyped inability to refrain from focusing on race to begin with (and by that I mean the minority opinion - and by minority I mean, less widely held, not minority - that the anti-Ford ad was not playing to old stereotypes. Or at least not stereotypes younger generations, or geographically removed people, would pick up on).

It's messy - I think we can agree on that. But I will be curious to see how race actually plays out, and how the racial melodrama so beloved by the MSM plays out - don't confuse the two. One is real, one is really manufactured. Neither will be appreciated.

7 comments:

jvgordon said...

Obama is interesting, because he is seemingly so likable as a person, but not clearly associated with any strong political positions. As a candidate, this will be a very difficult position to continue to hold, as he will be forced to take a stand on various issues. He may have the skills, abilities, and convictions to choose those positions wisely enough to beat out Hillary and Edwards, but it's hard to imagine that for a candidate that has never had a truly difficult campaign. I suspect his best option will be as the vice presidential running mate to Hillary, which would set him up well.

cd said...

Set him up for what? A resounding loss?

I'd like to think Obama is the alternative to, not the companion for a Hillary '08 ticket. Barf.

If we nominate her, we're dumber than I think we are.

It's not that I dislike her, but many, many people do - and vehemently so. And I think she's the old school, safe, Nor'easter democrat that we just don't win with because, oh hell, do we really need to get into all the reasons?

And Obama just hasn't put the time in yet. He seems capable and smart - but he's untested. Learn from Edwards - grow a bit, then run.

Anonymous said...

I say strike now. Over the next two years narrow-minded Americans can get used to the idea.

While I've given up on being able to travel through wormholes and transporters during my lifetime, I do want to be alive when either a Latino, African American, woman, or other "minority" is elected to our nation's highest office.

Race becomes less an issue as more and more of us hold public positions (elected, entertainment, etc.) And if it takes a few attempts to do so and to help America "get over it" so be it.

We'll have plenty of time also over the next year or so to see how he handles the challenges of an attempted presidential bid...from how he develops/articulates his policy positions, to handling the nasty elements of racial politics in America (the latter of which, I'm sure he's had to face before).

run' obama run!

jvgordon said...

Time will tell, but even though Obama seems to be evolving into the current anti-Hillary, I just don't see that continuing on into the primaries. Obama has the same problems Edwards did as a candidate in 04, which is that he just doesn't have the experience to be President yet. And those thorough NH voters will probably not reward that. I doubt the race issue is much of an issue, especially with the Democratic base.

While I don't disagree with CD that the Democrats would be better served by running someone besides Hillary, whose negatives are probably close to Bush's, I don't see Obama as a credible alternative to Hillary, long-term. I'm afraid I don't know who that credible alternative for the Democrats is, though I would suggest finding a governor from the Midwest or South. Jennifer Granholm would have been decent, but I understand she was not born a U.S. citizen, and is therefore not eligible for President. Perhaps Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, who by most accounts has done a pretty good job there?

doughnut70 said...
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doughnut70 said...
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Fred said...

"And Obama just hasn't put the time in yet. He seems capable and smart - but he's untested. Learn from Edwards - grow a bit, then run."

Finally someone who feels the way I do about Mr. Obama. He needs to be more seasoned. Right now he's a hunk who runs shirtless on the beach. And THATS why we're supposed to vote for him? I don't think so.

On another, more seperate, personal note, congratulations and thanks for the email.