Thursday, December 14, 2006

Okay, you pulled my arm....

Since AI - master of all that is political - has invited me to, I've decided to make a few statements on the supposed hero of the 2008 election, Barack Obama. Since his unheard of ascension to the United States Senate in 2004 he's gathered much attention as a strong national leader and potential executive (or vice-executive) for America in the coming years. Here's a few responses.

Is he really that eloquent?
One comment generally (and undeservedly, in my humble opinion) given to Obama is about his stage presence. This can be reflected in the blogosphere, in fact - many people support Obama on the premise that he can eloquently speak on topics. However, here's what you must keep in mind:

1) He's a Harvard Trained Lawyer, and
2) Given his touring, he likely has a PR and speech writing staff the size of a military squadron.

Given this, it is no surprise that when he speaks - whether at the 2004 DNC or at a random stop on the "Obama 2007 Shuck 'n Jive to the White House" tour, he comes across as an amalgamation of MLK and Kennedy.

To me, what would stand as a better test is how he sounds when he is in an impromptu discussion. Or even a potentially scripted one (did anyone see when he was on Jay Leno?). In these points, we can see glimpses of his true idiocy. After seeing this a few times - scripted Obama versus conversational Obama - I renamed him Barack 'Uh'bama.

My point: A polished performer can get people to believe anything. And we've seen actors make their ways in Federal politics before... Ronald Reagan anyone? And being genuine can be very easily mimicked as well - Even George W. Bush can seem to really care about the people of Iraq at times....

"I don't really have a platform, how about this?"
With two years as a Senator, Obama has developed quite a national presence. However, in my time watching him, I've concluded that this presence could not have come from his knowledge of the Issues. Instead, I would attribute this instead to his ability to pass himself as the American dream... which he somehow manages to do in EVERY SINGLE CONVERSATION HE HAS. In essence, Barack would rather us marvel at his past than wonder about our collective future. Good call, Senator.

Instead of offering substantive commentary on the issues or even a definitive idea, Obama generally touches on themes of consensus growth, believing that we can work together to accomplish our goals. Fair enough - if a seasoned politician made such a stance. However, when a Junior Senator makes such a statement, it means one of two things to me:

1) He is gearing up to appeal to a larger base (OBAMA 2008)
2) He has no particular ideas of his own.

Deconstructing Obama
And for the record: Remember, Obama's the product of two well educated parents, and was exposed to the world at a young age. From there he was able to attend two Ivy League Schools. He is far from your average American, don't believe the hype.

The Audacity of Obama
Only in America would someone like Obama even receive the attention he's getting. We must look at the facts:
1) He's been in the national headlines for essentially 2 1/2 years,
2) He's had a less than impressive - which is to say unsubstantial - record in the senate (freely admitted by his fans, I might add - they call him a "stealth candidate," I call him a "waste of votes"),
3) He's being looked at as a contender for the 2008 election

Perhaps its more a tribute to how pathetic the Democratic Primary will be (Vilsack? Kucinich? Okay, sure.), but to me Obama should be getting laughed off of The Hill. The apparent appeal of Obama so far stands as yet another victory of style over substance. My only comfort in this would be that he would likely scare Hillary - the only person who I dislike even more.

My point:
If Obama wants to run, Zeus bless him and good luck. I'm sure some people will vote for him on some noble principle ("A black guy should lead the country now." Wow, voting by skin color would never hurt the country), but it will not come from the issues. Barack Obama has utterly and monumentally failed to offer us a definitive vision for the future besides in a form that he makes $13.99 off of. Instead, he hopes to perform a magic trick: throwing a seasoned speaker but juvenile politician into a hat and pulling out a credible leader of our country. But some of us are onto his tricks. With any hope, the people of this country won't be duped when the primaries come in 2008.

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