Friday, November 03, 2006
Run Barak, Run!
A few weeks ago, Barak Obama announced that he was considering a run for the presidency in 2008. About 24 hours later, the comments began - "great candidate!" "Too inexperienced, he should do another term in the senate and then run" "sure loser" etc.
I don't know whether he could win, but I sure hope he runs. And I hope he wins. Perhaps Obama does not have extensive governmental experience but it is a bit disingenuous to have that be a critique from the Republicans. After all, their last candidate had only the experience of a few failed businesses and then the governorship of Texas... a position that I understand is by the state's constitution one of the weakest governorships of them all. That candidate, in spite of being from a family of privilege didn't even have a passport and hadn't even had the cultural curiosity to ever travel outside of the US except to Mexico. Talk about a lack of experience.
Obama has the experience of living with his feet in many cultures from Kenya to Harvard, poor sections of Chicago to the halls of power in DC, black and white. He is intelligent, thoughtful, charismatic, mature, has integrity, and from what I have seen so far, seems to embody what I would characterize as the best of the American experiment. And hey, he has a sense of humor. The photo came from his official website! He knows how to think through complicated issues and work to get things done. What more experience could he need?
So why not wait and run after another term in the Senate. Surely the experience would help him, right? While the experience may be helpful, the getting of it would not. When was the last time a senator was elected president? There is a reason for that. Being in the senate does nothing but put targets on a person. Bills always involve compromise and compromise always looks weak in a 30 second TV ad. Bills change as they work their way through the legislative process so reasonable people may be for a bill at one point and against it at another... which looks like flip-flopping. Riders that are not good get added to good bills and a legislator may vote in favor because the good outweighs the bad... and then is portrayed as supporting whatever riders were attached. Conversely, good riders may get attached to bad bills that everyone knows will pass and so the senator votes for that bill to get the rider enacted. You get the picture. If Obama wants to run for president, he should do it now. I for one hope he does... run Obama, run!