Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Obama the Messiah?!...


"... a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany ... and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Obama" - Barack Obama Lebanon, New Hampshire.
January 7, 2008.


I follow politics pretty closely, and with the Republican race all over but the shouting, I have my eye on the Democratic side. If you visit the left-leaning {I am being diplomatic when I say that] web sites like The Huffington Post and Democratic Underground you can see the real war that is going on between the supporters of Hillary and Obama. It's getting to the point where it looks like which ever of them wins the other side will stay home rather than vote for the winning candidate.

The Hillary campaign started with the sense of inevitability, which is something that the candidate and the campaign fostered. If potential opponents saw the futility in going up against Hillary, they wouldn't even bother to enter the race. Of course, you need some token competition to give the appearance of a real choice, so we had the vanity candidacies of Biden, Dodd and to some extent Edwards. I think Richardson was always just running for VP anyway (and I think he has a good chance of getting it regardless of whether Hillary or Obama wins the nomination).

The problem with Hillary's campaign was that she was supposed to have everything locked up by now, so she didn't plan on needing an organization in Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas and the later primaries. She is nearly out of money, needing to loan her campaign $5M of her own money.

The cause of her current misfortune is Barak Obama, a first term senator making a surprising run for the presidency. He is young, just 46 years old. Conventional wisdom would have suggested that he run for governor of Illinois after a term in the US Senate to give him some executive experience, and then in 8 years to run for president. Instead, he has cast the die to take on the tag team combo of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Obama is running on "change". Like "justice", "change" is something that is difficult to be against. There is always something that needs fixing in our lives and in our country, so change is necessary and change is inevitable. The only thing we can do is impact the rate of change. And Obama, apparently, wants to be elected in order to act as a change agent.

If change is inevitiable then the natural question is what kind of changes would occur under an Obama presidency. That's where things get pretty murky. There are few specifics about exactly what would be changed. According to voting records, Obama is the most liberal senator, beating out the likes of Reid, Kennedy and Dodd. That should cause some of those independent voters in the center to take pause. Many are expecting quite a lot from the young Mr. Obama. His wife said in a speech this week that he would fix our souls. Hmmm, I'm not sure that mine is broken, or if it was that Obama is the one I would want to "fix" it. It does seem that in watching the Obama campaign there is more than just a wiff of "Amway" feel about it.

Speaking of that, check out this blog that collects stories on how his supporters are treating him as more than just a political candidate. It took me a few minutes of reading to determine if this blog is very pro-Obama, or if its purpose is to try to make these more avid supporters to look silly (it's the latter).

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