Barack Obama in 2008 !
I know . . .he hasn’t even been sworn in as Illinois’ senator yet, but already many people see him as the fastest rising star within the Democratic party. He has even said, “I don’t even know where the restrooms are in the Senate and don’t even know how to work the telephone system, at least give me a chance to do the job I was elected to do.” The other day on “Meet the Press” he was able to sound conciliatory on the one hand, but fiercely determined on the other, to make sure this Congress does it’s job for the betterment of the country as a whole, not just a few lucky ones. Naïve? I think not !
Will necessity mandate that he run for President in 2008? Will the Democrats be so desperate to find a candidate who can reach across the “cultural divide” that they will draft Obama earlier than his time? He just turned 43, and has been very humble about his place within the upcoming Congress as the 99th senator listed out of 100. By 2008 he will be 47 and will have served 11 years in state and federal legislative positions, more than George W. Bush ever did.
Let’s think “inside the box” for a moment about who might be likely from the Democratic party to end up running for the biggest office in the land. Three years out is a long time to project, but right now the Democrats have Howard Dean, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich, and all the others who joined the early fray in 2004. Some say Kerry will run again, but history has not been kind to losing candidates running for the Office of the President and Kerry will likely be more effective in the Senate now that he has name recognition and more importantly, a better idea of what it’s like outside the beltway.
Each one of the above candidates would have tremendous problems overcoming the “negatives” that have built up over the years regarding their political biographies. More importantly however, none of them have the ability to bridge the “cultural gap” that keeps popping up all over the place as they are too heavily tied into their own demographic. Bill Clinton’s success as a two term President had as much to do with his human relations skills as his intelligence. Of the above list, Hillary is by far the most intelligent and driven of the lot, but her negatives are so high, she would have no chance of winning the number of states she would need to declare victory. I’m sorry but the bubbas just aren’t going to join in on that one and many conservative women voters would also be put off by Hillary’s candidacy.
Let’s look “outside the box” for a minute. There is Barack Obama from Illinois, former Senator Bob Kerry from Nebraska, Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico, and perhaps someone lesser known who emerges during the next session of Congress. While all three of these men are very capable of leading our country, Obama by far is the most electrifying and personable one of the lot. In '04 he went into many areas of downstate Illinois that have been Republican strongholds for years and met face to face and door to door with the voters themselves, and ended up “sharing” 1 million votes with Bush in that part of the state. As you probably remember he trounced the carpetbagging, trash talking, ultra right-winger Alan Keyes by an astounding majority. He is the only one of the bunch who could win back those voters that Clinton and Reagan won over to put them on top.
He has a very unique ability to talk to people as if he’s known them his whole life. His life experiences are very similar to most blue collar, middle class families; families who are struggling to put food on the table and provide health care for their children. He considers basic needs a “moral” issue. He was raised by his mother and had to be very self sufficient as a child, but never lost his positiveness to help others and to see the needs of society as a whole. He is the antithesis to the Bush regime. He calmly persuades and respectfully listens to other viewpoints, then makes his decisions after considering all sides of an issue. Once he decides, he is commited to an idea, but would have no trouble “tweaking” it if necessary to work with the realities of the situation, unlike Bush. He would truly be most happy if everyone was actually the recipient of the greater good, unlike the present group who is so exclusive of those unlike themselves. He has a high moral fiber, yet doesn’t use it in immoral ways to get what he wants. He appeals to the good and positive in people, he does not rely on fear to cajole or scare voters to “see things his way.”
My feeling with Obama is, the worry about voting irregularities would be lessened. He would win enough of a majority that everyone would in effect, be a “proxy pollwatcher” and if the dirty tricksters dared partake of more funny business, they would be appropriately exposed and humiliated. Plus, I think by 2008 many voting kinks will be worked out. Hey, how bout everyone votes absentee? Think about it. It could resolve a lot of problems.
Would there be those who would work against him? Of course, the bigoted, narrow-minded, small-brained contingent present during every election would try to do whatever damage they could to him, but it would be to no avail as his record would be too clean and his motives too high, his support too strong.
There will be many Republican candidates declaring themselves as candidates for the 2008 nomination, but all of them have the same problem as the Democrats (except for Obama) mentioned above. High negatives. For example, Rudy Guilani had the highest negatives of any mayor in New York history, then 9/11 came and he sprang into action (doing quite a remarkable job) and completely changed his public image. New Yorkers either forgot or forgave the obnoxious attitude that Guilani possessed before 9/11 with quite a few examples of publicly embarrassing episodes that often made the daily headlines in NYC, but he did a great job of making himself a jerk again during the 2004 campaign, joining in with the Bush crowd by lying, deceiving, and misrepresenting Democratic positions. He would self-destruct.
George Pataki, governor of New York State, may also be interested in running, but remember, Northeasterners don’t usually get elected President, even Republicans. The last Northeasterner to be President was JFK in 1960, winning the electoral vote, but losing the popular vote to Richard Nixon.
Other possible Republican candidates are John McCain, Jeb Bush, now governor of Florida (in spite of what he says he’d LOVE to run), Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition blah, blah, blah. No, Arnold will not run because the Constitution would have to be changed, and it won’t be for that. Bush is going to burn all his energy trying to get an anti gay marriage act constitutionalized. That will fail too by the way.
I would love to see the dirty tricksters find themselves up against Barack Obama. He would be able to cut through them like warm butter because there is no defense against a superior opponent, especially one who always takes the high road. Keep your ear to the track on this young, exciting upstart; he could just be our answer in 2008.
a couple of links about him are: