Who is this guy?
Not even a year ago, the junior Senator from Illinois sat quietly on the set of Sunday morning talk show, “Meet the Press.” He addressed the topic of a possible run for the White House in 2008. Tim Russert pushed him for an answer to the question, “Are you planning to run for President of the United States and eventually Barak Obama conceded, “No.”
Obama at the time claimed his sole dedication was to the people of the great state of Illinois. He had absolutely no further ambition than finishing his own term in office due to expire in 2010. There were no ifs, ands, or buts about the conversation.
That was a wise answer on his part. It was the ONLY reasonable answer someone who had served less than two years in Washington could possibly offer. It was like a fresh Army ROTC graduate humbly declining to seek the position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Good for Obama. Relief for the nation.
Now ten months later, things have apparently changed. The recent ROTC graduate is now considering asking for the Joint Chief of Staff position. With recent appearances on “Oprah” and “Meet the Press” (again), the topic of an Obama-Random Liberal Tool presidential ticket in 2008 has emerged front and center. My how time flies when you are busy trying to kill Bush legislation.
The same freshman Senator who voted against each of Bush’s Supreme Court nominees (Roberts/Alito), against the Bush tax-cuts, and for halting NSA intelligence gathering to save our country from future attacks is now touted as a “new” kind of politician – one who isn’t tied down to any one party or school of thought.
That’s like saying some nut (the term fan is short for fanatic) from Green Bay who body-paints himself before each Packers game, builds shrines to Bart Starr and Brett Favre in his living room, is a “new” kind of fan. You know – one who is unbiased and should likely be asked to run as Commissioner of the NFL. Forget the fact he would wear a “cheese head” to work each day, or he would immediately pass a rule giving the Green Bay Packers an automatic two touch-down lead at the beginning of each home game. He would be a “new kind of commissioner” one who could bring all the fans together from the Seattle Seahawks in the northwest to the New England Patriots in the northeast – a group hug from sea to shining sea.
Obama is now called a “rock-star” by Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and CNN. His speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 is studied by Speech classes like it was the Gettysburg Address. Yet no one can tell you a single piece of legislation he has proposed or passed in Congress. Almost magically, however, he is now qualified for the most important position in the world.
Why? I guess it’s because Oprah loves the guy. He may have even joined her book club.
Rush Limbaugh dedicated an entire hour on his radio show this week to discuss the infatuation the liberal media have with Obama. He commented that it was disingenuous for Barak to consistently refute the charge that he is orchestrating his own run in 2008. Limbaugh says he is trying to position himself as the other option for Moderates for both political parties.
With the help of the “drive-by” media (a term coined by Limbaugh referring to the mainstream media that as a group that reports on issues without factual backing) Rush says that Obama will be able to create an image of a politician who only serves the people. One who is able to work with members of Congress on either side of the aisle.
That sounds great. What a find. Where can I contribute?
Imagine a man uncorrupted by the greed and power of Washington and able to hold hands with everyone. But, is it true? Can Obama recreate the political equivalent of the Coca-cola theme song of the 1970’s, “I’d like to teach the world to sing…in perfect harmony…”
I agree with Rush this is perhaps not the case with Obama. He voted with Democrats nearly 100% of the time while in the Senate. Apparently the only occasion when he may have reached across the aisle was to borrow a pen from a Republican senator. He record shows he is pro-choice, anti-gun, anti-military, and friends with Hillary Clinton. That doesn’t sound like a middle-of-the road dreamboat to me. That doesn’t even sound like a dream barge.
Consider also the fact he hasn’t accomplished anything substantial in the Congress – actually he has accomplished anything at all in terms of legislation. As of today he and I have the same number of bills passed with our names on them. Are you ready to vote for me in Iowa in February 2008?
There is no need to attack the man on a personal level. He is married with children and hails from the greatest city in the world. I’m sure he’s a nice man and even walks his neighbor’s dog while there away on vacation. He was top in his class at Harvard Law School so he’s no slouch. He comes across as likeable on screen and carries the stage-presence of a trained actor. However, when it comes to being Commander-in-Chief of the world’s greatest nation -- all that and a dollar will get you two plays on the jukebox.
Furthermore, as of late our Presidents have been governors, not Senators. Men (sorry Hillary) need experience running large operations with thousands of subordinates to get a feel for running a country as large as ours. While nothing can ever fully prepare you for such a momentous responsibility, even Democrats will agree with me that governors seem to learn things that Senators and Congressmen cannot while on-the-job.
I write this piece merely to point out that when it comes to thinking about voting for the President of the United States of America, it is our duty to look beyond the superficial images, photo-ops and sound bites. We need substance, not style as the race for ’08 White House heats up.
I’ll finish with a brain-teaser. Between style and substance Obama can deliver on big time on one, but little to nothing so far on the other.
Okay, now guess which one?