President Obama

By now it looks like the world will be saying hello to President Barack Obama in January 2009. After his latest string of victories, one would think his momentum is unstoppable. Barring huge losses in Texas and Ohio March 4, he is assured the nomination.

The NYT Caucus blog posts on Hillary’s interesting comments at the end of last night’s debate, which I did not see. Once again, I had no idea there was a debate on. Am I the only one who feels debates have been well publicized only after they happen? Of course, not having a television in my new apartment, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. The gist is that Hillary’s comments amounted to a concession. You’ll have to watch the video and decide for yourself, but my take is that it was not a concession as much as a hedging of her bets. She clearly recognizes that her candidacy has become a long shot and so she is taking the first step toward healing the party’s rift by supporting its candidate.

For good or ill, Clinton is a victim of her own name and past. She’s clearly a smart woman who would probably make a decent president, but the country has simply had enough. Between the dynasty question of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton and the prospect of re-living the Clinton presidency as First Gentleman Bill channels his leadership through his wife, it was just too much for the voters. The young people of this country want to move on, and Obama is our man.

As for that other person running for president, I just don’t think McCain stands a chance against Obama. McCain’s liberal streak may have attracted some Dems who can’t stomach Hillary, but he can’t steal those votes from Obama. And as long as he has to withstand attacks from the Rush Limbaugh wing of his party, who would rather watch the election from home than vote for him, how can he be expected to gather as much support as Obama, who has become a living political phenomenon? The short answer is: he can’t.

Can’t Fool the Youth

Moreover, the youth of this country are getting back into the political game and we don’t want to face the possibility of an old white guy turning 80 in the Oval Office. Although the personal, dictatorial power of the office of the president has been expanding since the end of WWII, ultimately the president cannot impose his will on the country without the complicity of Congress (the people’s representatives have shown a disturbing deference to Bush II’s expansion of presidential power, but that aside, the office is not yet a dictatorship).

We need a leader who will inspire people, someone who will reach out to all parties for solutions, not “rally the base” and try to overcome by force. President Barack Obama will, simply by being who he is, present a radical new face of America to the world. A young black man, with experience living overseas, the product of an international family – this instantly presents a change from the white man born of the cultural elite and carefully groomed for leadership that has defined every president this country has ever had.

The president is our country’s international representative. In a time when America’s image in the world has been tarnished by imperial ambition and reckless policy decisions, we need a president who offers a clean break from the past. I love the fact that Obama has “no experience,” his detractors’ only avenue of attacking him. That’s what we want! Someone with common sense and common values who has not been tainted by our country’s ugly partisan politics. This writer is looking forward to the administration of President Obama.