The line being spread throughout the Democratic world is simply this: "don't tell mama, I'm backing Obama." Of course the Mama "they" are referring to is Senator Hillary Clinton. Mr. Excitement of the 2006 campaign season is looking at a run for #1. Actually, I think he has already decided he's going for the brass ring. He just wants it to look like that he is listening to the people. Yeah, right.
It has been two generations since the field for both parties' nominations for president are going to be wide open. A year ago, all we heard was McCain and Clinton. For what it's worth, I think it'll be neither. Before the announcements are all over there should be a minimum of 20 candidates for the office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Over the next year and a half, I'll touch on many of the two dozen candidates but for now; let me look at the junior senator from Illinois.
Barack took a couple weeks in Hawaii with family and close advisors to determine officially what he had decided months ago. He wants the nomination and the White House, in that there is no doubt. But he has a few things going for him. First, he is a fresh face in a field that will be overloaded with old faces. It's amazing that the convention speaker in 2004 has amassed such a following. He spent little time in the state senate and has been in DC barely enough time to find the men's washroom. So why is he the most sought after speaker on the campaign trail in '06? He's fresh. People don't know much about him and what they do know is looks in a 30 second sound bite. Yes, he's attractive all right but looks don't get you the nomination. If it did, Kerry would have been close to the bottom. They say the senator is brilliant but smarts aren't a prerequisite either. If they were, someone else would have been president the last 6 years.
So why is it Obama? I realize he is no Johnny-Come-Lately to the opposition to the Iraq war but Kucinich and Dean were there in late 2003 and during the campaign in 2004. Heck, I was there in 2002 and I don't have an exploratory committee. His ability to speak on the campaign trail in a stump is pretty good but he's far from the only one. Could it be that we are ready for (dare someone says it) someone of color? Is that the reason why he is getting the attention? I know that may sound tough but does it have merit?
The press has yet to have given him the normal political and personal "anal exam" and revealing skeletons in his closet and there are some. Maybe the question is, will they be able to give the normal examination of a candidate without being called racist? Is Barack "swift boat" proof? Can the smear campaigns against him work in his favor? But my question is can he really handle the toughness of the campaign? After all, a transplanted Alan Keyes (R-wherever) isn't much competition.
Personally, former Congressperson and US Senate candidate Harold Ford (D-TN) was much more attractive and had a track record to run on. And we know what happen to him in this last election. "Swift boated" by the race issue. Remember the blonde beauty "Harold, call me."?
I'm sure that the world will get a better look at Obama during 2007 and we will see if he has what it takes. Record wise, he doesn't even have it for a VP selection but that is probably where he will end up come summer of 2008. But, who looks at the record?
It's only the leader of the most powerful country in the free world.