Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Idea of Obama Versus the Actual Candidate

The problem with the Obama candidacy is that the public doesn’t know much about him. We know he’s an excellent speaker, a charismatic and charming guy; but we don’t know much about him of substance. To his credit his campaign has brilliantly utilized this by featuring change as a theme. The change theme promises something new and different without really having to say what that change is. The question becomes are people going to be satisfied with the promise of change without any real clue to what that change entails.

I have to admit that I’m one of the people that started out simply liking the idea of a President Obama. I love the idea of a non-white and/or non-male president. It promotes the idea that anything is possible and it shows that the country is showing signs of growing up and getting beyond past prejudices. Senator Obama’s message of unity is also very appealing to many of us who are fed up with political divisiveness and bickering. However, there is a lot more to being president than broad concepts. There has been little focus on the who’s, what’s, where’s, why’s, and how’s of change. Understandably some people have been caught up in the grand speeches and broad concepts, but responsible voters need to also consider the policies and experience of a candidate.

The reality is that Senator Obama would have a difficult time being a ‘uniter and not a divider’ because he is so liberal. He’s ranked as the most liberal senator and his positions reflect that. Whether it is health care or taxes, his positions are not ones that engender compromise. In foreign policy, it appears that Democrats have taken to pandering to the far left, and forgotten to listen to the experts. Withdrawal plans put forward have not only been unwise, but functionally impossible. The lack of knowledge and experience in foreign policy matters is problematic. The presidency is not for beginners, and while Senator Obama has tremendous promise, earning ones stripes as president is risky at best as it leaves citizen hoping we won’t need another change candidate.

1 comment:

Peter said...