Sunday, October 22, 2006

Barack Obama

Every time I've seen Obama speak, I've been impressed. He has that "IT" factor that true leaders possess. Kennedy, Reagan, and Clinton all had it. I watched him on Meet the Press today and again was impressed. He doesn't dance around like so many politicians. You ask a politician what his take on increasing taxes is and he'll say, "Well, when I was a boy, we played a game called Red Rover. Ever hear of it? Well, it was about breaking through a line of people trying to stop you from accomplishing what you want to accomplish. I feel I have to break through a lot of lines, I have broken through a lot in the past, and I'll keep breaking 'em if that's what it takes to fight for the American people."

Right, but what's your take on increasing taxes?

The question never gets answered. With Obama, he answers the questions. Tim Russert played a tape of him from two years ago saying he would not run for President. What happened between then and now, Barack? Obama says that he felt that way at the time, but he's been talking to a lot of people and running is something he is now considering. He changed his mind.

What I think has happened is the Democrats are looking at their possible candidates - Rodham Clinton, Edwards, Feingold - and they see themselves losing to John McCain. So they're trying to find someone who has the charisma, the x-factor, that undefinable something that will capture the hearts of all of America, not just the Democratic party. And that someone is Barack Obama.

This is from his speech at the Democratic National Convention:

"The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."

This morning he talked about how the old fights between Democrats and Republicans are outdated. He used big government vs. small government as an example. It's not about either of these two concepts, but rather about smart government. In other words, when it's important for government to take a greater role in an issue, it should. And when it should take a smaller role, it should. Smarter government is what this generation of voters wants. And that's absolutely right.

I plan to read his new book and see if I agree with all of his politics as much I as appreciate his leadership and speaking abilities.


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