Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Political Conversation Beware

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.

Barack 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...


Seth said...

Great post! I really enjoyed walking through your experience of "meeting" Sen. Obama.

Independents for Obama

Excalibur said...

Thanks! I might be on the campaign trail in a few years if he continues to impress at the level that he is currently impressing me at. I'm officially on the bandwagon.

I'm glad that you visited my blog!

Jessica said...

Senator Obama is almost too good to be true. It would be wild if he ran for 2008. So charismatic! I can't wait. :)

Al said...

I swear to God, this man makes me weep tears of joy when he speaks. He's brilliant (or at least I think so) and I like him for several reasons - as a person who does not feel comfortable committing to either major political party, he seems dedicated to a bipartisan government where, dare I say it, Dems and Republicans work as a TEAM. As a woman I also feel comfortable voting for him. Plus, he's part Kenyan. You just can't fight that :) Actually, you should hear people's opinions of Obama in Africa. The man is like a demigod. The Kenyans I spoke to about him beamed when I said his name. They said "If Obama is elected, he will make the United States care about Africa." While I do not know whether or not this is true, I hope it is. And their optimism was wonderful to see. Ok, I'm rambling, LOL. Good post dear, especially being a *cough cough* New Yorker and *cough* Clinton supporter. ;)

Anonymous said...

I just read your post about Obama. I totally agree! I love that he’s an open book and that his secrets are all out in the open. He has a fresh outlook and I really like that about him. I’m hoping he goes far!

Excalibur said...

For the most part I thought I'd stay away from politics on my blog, for fear of the wrath of people reading the posts. Now I realize it's so cool to be out in the open and let people feel free to agree or disagree (as will happen with politics)--with my opinions (which I don't have a problem with in every day life).

Thank you to everyone that has commented on this and other posts on this blog. I encourage everyone to post comments, even anonymonously. It makes me feel like the posts that I spend time writing are worth the effort.

Thanks again.

coldploy said...

i have no comment! ;-)

T1 said...

Poltics aside, that may be the best piece of writing you have ever done.

Im not so knowledgable about Obama.Or should say wasn't. I need to read more about him. I will say this, in one of your comments I think Al mentioned Bi partisan and teamwork and when I was reading your blog(his words) that was what I was feeling. I was feeling this may be someone for the middle of the roaders-you know my beliefs and you know how I am often attacked by people who feel that because of who I am and where my people came from I should feel completely another way. I feel at times that I am perceived as so far to an extreme where really my beliefs are so split between the party lines. I would love to see a bi-partisan gov't based on team work.....

Another thing in your blog- you mentioned about honesty in interviews and not wasting time. It reminds me of an interview where I got to the meeting and realized quickly that the job was well.... not for someone in the field but rather for someone just starting out. You and i had spoke about the time wasting with bad interviews- you called it an "opt out" clause.DUring the interview I stood up shook the mans hand and explained i was more experienced then what he needed and I explained the jamaal clause and said- I am opting out- no need to waste any of our sure you are as busy as i am...He offered me the position anyway but understood when I declined. I vowed then never to complete a terrible interview-lord knows i go on enough as I am an employment nomad.

The only thing I have left to say is
...really now, hilary for president? Are you for
This is where appreciating the difference of opinions comes in.

Excalibur said...

I expected for you as a history major to be able to appreciate a candidate that basically summed up the goals of the founders of our great nation, and you certainly didn't disappoint.

I should've known a slight against Hillary was coming from a couple of you, winks, and you know I'd debate you all day, just not today, LOL, not feeling well.

Thank you for your extended comments. I really absorb people's opinions like a sponge, usually regardless of whether or not I disagree or agree.

Obama really sounds good on paper. I know he'll obviously have some major challenges on his road...people that will criticize his limited political career...some that wouldn't vote for him because of his race...some who claim he's a closeted Muslim that shouldn't be elected...and let's face it an all star cast of challengers.

And you know what we need to see how he stands up against all of these obstacles. It will give us a clearer indication whether or not he is ready. Courage under fire, Obama, that's what I hope you'll have.

You've brought back so much from the conversations that we had so long ago.

This is why I love to blog.