Well first I should tell you that one of my coworkers showed me a clip from the Daily Show about the screw ups by Yahoo and CNN mixing up Obama with Osama. Kind of a big difference between the two names.
A lot of my friends have been talking about the potential Democratic candidates for the 2008 Presidential election. I'm in New York so of course I'm an avid supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, ducks knowing that name alone brings strong reactions positive or negative from Democrats, Republican, and Independents alike. She's been a strong Senator for New York as has Chuck Schumer, who I wish would run and I think would do a great job if he was elected, but has no intentions of running for higher office.
I'm not going to make this post a testament to Clinton. That's not my intention. My intention however is to talk about the man in the spotlight since his electrifying speech during the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama.
I've heard such great things about him, but I decided to find out a little more information on this would-be presidential hopeful. So like any redblooded American I went to the Internet and took a stop on his website:
Barack Obama U.S. Senator for Illinois
I paid particularly close attention to his stand on issues including the War in Iraq, Homeland Security, Crime, the Environment, etc.
On the Issues
I must admit I really liked what I saw. I'm definitely going to follow him closer as we approach the next presidential election. Anyway the next phase of my research took me to the people, via the Wikipedia entry on Obama.
This gave me much more background information on Obama than I've actually seen anywhere else or have heard about him, surprising considering you would think his site would trump Wikipedia's entry.
What the Wiki entry did was humanize Obama. I have often told my friends when you interview for a job you should be able to be honest and your prospective employer should be likewise. That way you know that you'll be a good fit for that position. Instead there are truths, and half-truths, and flat out lies, which wastes both parties time. Well what is running for the President or any major office but one great big interview with all the fixings?
I would rather for a candidate to say look I used narcotics when I was younger, experimented, than for some journalist to dig it up. We all know that people are built up and torn down in a New York minute.
Or in Obama's own words:
In Dreams from My Father, Obama writes about smoking marijuana and trying cocaine during his teenage years. Inviting journalists to contrast his earlier admission with Bill Clinton's remarks during the 1992 presidential campaign that he "didn't inhale" while smoking marijuana, Obama recently stated: "I inhaled—that was the point." Obama added: "It was reflective of the struggles and confusion of a teenage boy; teenage boys are frequently confused."
And before I get any eye rolls or anyone hissing at me I will state for the record
that I am anti-drugs. I've seen people devastated by narcotics use, especially families, during the crack epidimic of the 1980s. I'm applauding his honesty not his use of narcotics.
I'll close with a sequence of other meaningful slices from the mind of Obama:
No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.
When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never, ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.
I feel like I'm going to church now. Amen Brother Obama.
The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, we got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.
Now I'm dancing in the aisles.
This is what I want the most for the country, someone to bridge the great divide. Any candidate that can not only promise, but deliver will have my vote.
This is Excalibur and I approve this message.
Oh I have one last comment. I read this from his website as well and it really sums up how I feel about the War in Iraq as well-taken from Obama's website:
Since 2002, and now, as a U.S. Senator, Senator Obama has continued to critique the Administration's mishandling of this war, and believes that while our troops have done an outstanding job in Iraq, there can be no military solution to what is inherently a political conflict between Iraq's warring factions. The only hope to end this burgeoning civil war is for Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds to come together and resolve their differences...