Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Quit Barack-ing My Heart.

I'm not going to lie--I was excited last December when talk about Barack Obama announcing his bid to run for president finally got serious. I thought bsto would too--seeing as how he is a liberal from Illinois, I thought it'd be a no-brainer that he'd be overjoyed with the possibility.

I was wrong. I told him that he "didn't seem excited", to which he quickly replied "I'm not". I asked him "What are the other options? There aren't many other than Hillary".
"Barack is untested and he has done nothing that proves he deserves the right to run for the Democrats yet," Ben answered. "Hillary drew up a new health care initiative. Even though it got shot down, she is shaking things up," he said.

I took this to heart. Obama is only three years removed from serving in the Illinois legislature. So far, he is using his youth and exuberance as one of the better reasons to vote for him--he wants to be seen as the young outsider who is going to bring order to town.
The fact of the matter is that his youth might be the one thing that will cause trouble for him should he get elected. He is untested.

Do I think that he would do a good job? I used to think that the answer was an easy, straightforward, slam dunk "Yes". I'm not going back on my thoughts, but I am thinking about it more carefully.

Barack has made plenty of pretty speeches. He is charismatic. And, the fact that he is from Hawaii also really pushed me into his corner--and it made my mom proclaim that she would consider voting for the first time ever after meeting him at a Christmas Eve dinner. The fact that he is a strong African-American is also something that makes people favor him.

But, we must also look at the issues. Not looking at the issues is what got this country in trouble in 2000 and what definitely got this country into the quagmire it's in today as a result of the 2004 election. We can't vote on traits alone--we must look at where the candidates stand on the issues.

Will I vote for Barack? It's likely. It's also likely that I may vote for Hillary. We all know that Barack is charming and that Hillary has the teeth--but it is time to move past these things. We must start examining their stances on the issues and decide who best represents the Democrats. We have to stop letting Barack's charm make us bat our eyes and blush and we have to really start listening to what he has to say.