Why I Like Obama

An interesting thread on the DNR discussion board this morning started in on the qualifications for President.  Talk of resumes, beliefs, and readiness ensued.  Here’s one blogger’s comment followed by my response.  It’s a pretty good summary of the reasoning behind my support of Barack Obama for President.  Read on….

BoDuke 319 said:

Rager you said: “It is becoming more common to find presidential candidates who didn’t serve in the military, yet their qualifications are adequate to hold the highest office in the land.”

I agree with the first part of that.  You don’t have to be ex-military to be a great president.  However, you must find adequate qualifications to hold the highest office in the land.  I agree with that.  Where we differ is Barack Obama.  I cannot believe that you are willing to give the ball to a JV player in the NBA championship.  Obama has no resume to be president of this country.  I undersatnd you not supporting McCain, but standing behind Obama like he’s parting the Red Sea is ridiculous.  You really have no idea what he plans on doing with this country.  I hear what he’s saying he plans on doing, but even that has switched up a few times.  How can you so passionately support someone you know so little about?

My Response:

Bo: Good questions..

I put great weight in Obama’s education at Columbia University, his reluctant acceptance of the position of President of the Harvard Law Review and his academic prowess at Harvard Law School.  A good education.

I also put great weight in the fact that he was a constitutional law professor (Senior Lecturer) at the University of Chicago.  That’s a difficult subject that he was evidently VERY good at teaching.  He’s a teacher and a learner.

I am very impressed with his community service work in Chicago.  From the US News and World Report:

“As a community organizer in the Altgeld Gardens public housing project in the mid-1980s, Obama, then 23, quickly emerged as a tireless and pragmatic advocate for the community-traits that characterize the kind of president he says he wants to be.”

He learned the ability to listen to folks and try to put together a consensus.  The word “pragmatic” is important to me, as is the word “listen.”

I respect his choice to enter the world of community service work and I think he’s the real deal simply because he turned down a much more lucrative career in the corporate world.

I’ve looked over his record as an Illinois congressman and pretty much agree with what he’s done there, and I’ve checked his Senate record and I’m impressed with what he’s done in the short time he’s had.

I respect but do not admire his political ability.  He’s a smart, tough politician who will say what he thinks will get him elected leading to some embarrassing flips and flops.  I’m not really convinced that he’s as liberal as he’s made out to be.  His views concerning the military budget (he will increase it, I want to cut it), the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, (to slow for me) and his cozying up to various lobbying groups dismays me.

I admire his ability to communicate through his speeches.  He’s very good at plunging into difficult problems and working for consensus. (the race issue for example). He also has written two best selling books that provide a lot of insight as to who he is, where he came from, and what he stands for.

He’s a husband and father and an active participant in the African American cultural and social community.  This is the big question mark for me and I’m still learning about what it means to have an African American man running for President. None of us have any real frame of reference, it’s never been done at this level (Jessie Jackson aside) so we really don’t know what to expect.  Various allegations of playing the race card have been tried and it seems that so far the electorate is working through the issue in fits and starts.

I put ABSOLUTELY NO WEIGHT in Obama as messiah, or Moses….  That’s just dumb.  The only ones who go there are the Obamaphobes.  Just silly.

To me Obama is still an open book and I agree that really don’t know what he will actually do as President. Unfortunately, that’s the way it’s gone with the last four Presidents.  They’ve all said one thing and done quite the reverse when they actually begin to govern so I think that argument is a wash. I strongly disagree with you in that I think it McCain who is the JV player.  Always has been, always will be.  An underachiever and wise ass everywhere he’s been.  Right now I’m leaning towards the education, the communication, the teaching and learning ability coupled with his pragmatism.

Thanks for asking!

1 comment

  1. I supported and worked for him in the primary with eyes wide open. In retrospect I do not regret this. He is still the only ‘hope’ we have. He’s the saner version of empire. The best thing about him is that his message fake or real moved people into coalitions that were new and different, so in that he is a uniter. Keep your optimism but be prepared as he says to work hard and actively to keep the next administration from going the way of the congress 06 debacle. The movement is what’s important not the man or even the party.      

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