Barack Obama for President

When Barack Obama first announced that he was running for President, I had my doubts. I had my doubts that he could seriously take on the most powerful Democratic Machine in a quarter century and give it a good fight.

I understood his reasoning for running for President NOW. In fact, I thought it was a smart strategic move on his part in this sweepstakes known as The First Black President.

I cheered him on because I thought it was time that places who had never seen a Black candidate up close and personal in this country, would get that opportunity. I wanted for the country to see that a Black Man could run a credible, serious campaign for President and the republic would not fall apart. I had wanted to see that with Colin Powell, but I didn’t get it with him.

The initial question was: was it the ‘ right time’?

I had to laugh at that one, because nobody ever uses ‘ Black’ and ‘ the right time’ in the same sentence. You take the time given to you and you run like hell with it. Obama understood that the door opens rarely like this, so you have to step up or let it pass you by. I would like to take this opportunity to thank George W. Bush, for if he hadn’t of been such an utter failure on so many levels, then the country wouldn’t remotely be open to the ‘possibility’ of a Black man as President.

The “Experience” Question

Hillary Clinton is a One Term Senator. Period. THAT is the extent of her experience. Don’t give me the swill of her being someone’s wife equals solid professional experience. If that’s the case, then sign me up for the Laura Bush for Governor of Texas Exploratory Committee.

John Edwards is a One Term Senator. Period.

So, Barack Obama is a First Term Senator. It’s about even for me there.

The Question of Ideology

Obama is by far the most consistent Progressive, according to those who do the evaluations on that sort of thing. It’s not that Clinton and Edwards are far far to the right, it’s just that Obama is to the left. So, let’s leave it at that.

The Question of Electability

I have written many times that those who argue about electability better be arguing for John Edwards. If you bring up the fact, that in the history of this country, only a White male has been elected, and thus, this is why they support Edwards, I wouldn’t have to like it, but I could accept it.

I will never accept an Electability argument for Clinton over Obama. You have polls that BEGAN with Clinton at 45% of the electorate saying that they will NEVER vote for her. The latest one, a year out, before any real attacks on her, have HALF OF THIS COUNTRY saying that they will NEVER vote for her. HALF before a single GOP commercial being run against her. Don’t talk to me about electability with her. She gets Democrats. Period. She doesn’t get Independents and she doesn’t get Republicans. Basically, her strategy is 50%+1, and haven’t we ‘been there and done that’ already?

The recent polls have shown that Obama is strong in General Election polls. In REAL polls versus REAL GOP Candidates, Obama is winning in every single contest by wider margins than Clinton. Here’s the latest Electability Guide from Newsweek.

I am NOT naive. I am NOT delusional. I understand race in America as well as any Black person that has grown up in this country. I know that Obama could be subject to a Bradley Effect. But, the truth is, there are times when you have to choose optimism over pessimism. You don’t have to be Pollyanna, but you fight, you push forward, and you hope. If you’re ultimately disappointed, oh well, but it won’t destroy you.

I have written plenty of times that I DO NOT KNOW if White people will, when push comes to shove, vote for a Black man.

I only want THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION.

I believe it’s time for that answer.

Obama’s Campaign Approach

It has been disheartening to read ‘Progressive’ after ‘Progressive’ deride Barack Obama because they don’t believe he’ll be an attack dog like Hillary Clinton or Edwards. I don’t know why it took me so long to vocalize this, but it came to me:

Barack Obama and no other Black candidate would EVER

and I mean EVER

campaign on a theme of ‘attack dog’, or anything remotely dealing with ‘attacking’ the opposition.

THEY WON’T GET ELECTED.

This doesn’t mean that they roll over and play dead with the opposition. They will debate on the issues. They will be strong against their opponent. Being forceful without seeming nasty. They could never be the nasty, vengeful attack dog that Progressives seem to want. There is NO Black candidate that can to into an election with the strategy of “50%+1″. It might TURN OUT that way, but there is no way that they can go into an election with that kind of strategy. Just won’t work for them.

Look at the campaigns of Black candidates who have gone after something larger than a safe gerrymandered Congressional seat…what is their campaign focused around?
Reaching out to the ENTIRE community.

They have to, because they are Black. And, the ONLY way that, as a Black candidate, you will be able to WIN, is to appeal to a broad constituency. It’s the ONLY way.

Barack Obama does it. (he won the Senate)
Harold Ford did it. (he lost the Senate)
Deval Patrick did it. (he won)
Adrian Fenty did it. (he won)
Douglas Wilder did it.(he won)
Tom Bradley did it. (he lost)
David Dinkins did it. (he won)
Harvey Gantt did it (he lost)
Roland Burris (Illinois) and Carl McCall (New York) did it. (both lost)
In the midst of one of the most racially polarizing campaigns in the history of this country, Harold Washington did it.

The MINUTE Barack Obama turns into that ‘attack dog’ that the Progressives are clamoring for, what will happen?

He will become THE ANGRY BLACK MAN.

He knows it.

I know it.

And, then, THERE will be ANOTHER excuse as to why they can’t vote for Obama.

Obama understands that and is NOT going to fall into THAT trap.

That mode of campaign doesn’t work with Black candidates. It’s not an option for a Black candidate – not if they want to WIN. And make no mistake, Barack is running to WIN.

My Bottom Line

If forced to, I would have to say that the two things that Barack Obama can offer me, as a voter are:

1. The Disposal of the Imperial Presidency.

Of all the things that George Bush has done that are detrimental to this country, none of have more potentially long lasting implications than his shredding of The Constitution with The Imperial Presidency. The respect for The Constitution should be above all else, considering that you swear and oath to it. My stance could be called ‘ hokey’, or ‘ are you for real?’, and yes, I am. I am an AMERICAN of AFRICAN descent, and I respect both. The Constitution, IMO, is probably the greatest modern document ever written. It’s brilliance is that it lives and adapts, but the dedication to the rule of law is what I believe. Without it, and believing that all its citizens, no matter how rich or powerful, are subject to it, is a fundamental for me. To have it trampled on, as Bush & Co. have done, is so offensive, it brings with it a deep sense of rage.

The Imperial Presidency isn’t wrong because BUSH is doing it. It would be EQUALLY wrong if a Democrat were doing it too. What’s best for the country is to be rid of it- PERIOD.

I believe Barack Obama would rectify that. I believe he would respect and honor the Constitution. I don’t have any reason to believe that John Edwards wouldn’t also get rid of the Imperial Presidency. But, I don’t believe for one minute that Clinton would get rid of it.

2. The Election of the First Black President
The symbolism of it. Don’t short shrift symbols. They are very powerful, and very meaningful. There is a Black kid somewhere, and his parent, grandparent, teacher, is telling him/her that they can be anything that they want to be. You have to tell kids that, because you can’t begin them with the obstacles that would be placed in their way. You teach them later, as they age, about how to deal with the obstacles. To be able to point to PRESIDENT Barack Obama as an example of success – through education, hard work, and skill – that you can use your mind and achieve unimaginable success- yes, that’s a powerful symbol.

I don’t now, nor have I ever seen Barack Obama as some sort of ‘Black Messiah’; I have Jesus, don’t need another Messiah. I have seen him as an example of what is possible. He wasn’t born to money; he wasn’t born to power. Nobody handed him anything; not his Illinois State Senate Seat, nor his Illinois Senate Seat. Each time he worked hard, starting at the bottom and working, from the bottom up, to find those voters who would listen to his message. And, the pattern has been repeated here, with this election cycle. He began, ten months ago, with nothing. Brick by brick, he did the hard work, the grunt work, building, from the ground up, a political apparatus that, 48 hours before the Iowa Caucus, is poised to take on the most serious Democratic Machine in a quarter century. By lasting this long, Obama has stunned many skeptics and pessimists. None of what he has done was supposed to happen, but it has.

So, for me, Barack Obama is:
Qualified
Progressive
Electable
My best chance to rid this country of the Imperial Presidency
Would be the First Black President

Add all these together, and it’s the sum total of why I support Barack Obama and wish him well tomorrow in Iowa.

Related Articles:

Boston Globe Endorsement

Nashua Telegraph Endorsement

Sioux City Journal Endorsement

Ottumwa Courier Endorsement

Iowa City Press-Citizen Endorsement

America has a clear-cut choice: the candidates of hope or fear

Related Posts with Thumbnails