Sunday, November 05, 2006
Obama for President?
In Cleveland Heights at the Civic Saturday night, 1,600 people gathered to hear one of the political rising-stars of our country.
Barack was at his usual confident and oratorical best. The Democratic faithful patiently waited thru speeches from the entire Ohio delegation, before Obama spoke and eventually introduced Sherrod Brown.
He did not disappoint. It was apparent why some people think this guy is going places. His passion and articulation is not found in many places, in particular; politics.
But is that enough? As John Balzar mentions in the LA Times today after reviewing Obama's book, Democrats are going to need plans as well as passion if the tide turns our way on Tuesday. From California to Maine, passion will have to formulate actions so as to not end up in the same vacuum of ideas that the Republicans now find themselves.
Through a concerted effort--aligning with the evangelical right as well as the scientific analysis of apportionment--Republicans have mastered control for over ten years nationally and fifteen in Ohio. Not because they had the majority of American opinion on their side (as the last two Presidential elections have demonstrated) but because they were just better politicians. Now that the Democratic machine has figured that out they can no longer can be complacent about the mechanics of politics, let’s hope that they have as much focus on policy tactics as they do on fundraising.
But I suspect the mechanics of politics will not be the future playground. One positive thing I see happening from this past Republican control period; voters get charged up and interested when we send young men and woman off to war as well as when an expanding economy doesn’t put additional money into the hands of working people. Those issues tend to piss regular people off. Pissed off people creates a charged politic atmosphere.
Unfortunately, for the Dem's, they'll need to do something about this pissy feeling the voters have obtained. Passion alone won’t satisfy their hunger. It will take plans and action. If Barack's passion can get aligned with some bold and positive tactics, this country may never have to deal with the likes of a Rev. Ted Haggard or Dick Cheney again. The Republican's will certainly learn the new rules in short time. What will make the Rebublican's more difficult to deal with in the future will be the likes of Ted Flake from Arizona, a hard working, pragmatic and articulate politician. Someone who can speak as well as Obama, and lean to a new center.
In Ohio that means the Dem's need to fix school funding, enabling innovative industries without raising taxes, making higher education affordable and re-tooling our workforces. Nationally it means getting out of Iraq, lowering healthcare costs, resolving the debt crisis and fixing bad trade policies.
I like this Obama guy. He’s bringing a pragmatic and balanced intuition to the national discourse. I don’t know if it’s time for him to be President in 2008, but his time will be coming, that I do not doubt.