Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Obama, ahead of his time?

It’s no surprise to hear Barack Obama has put his hat into the ring for the US presidency race – nearly two years early.

If you said Who? then you’ve already missed the boat. Time magazine picked him for its cover – for this reason – some time back.

Neither should it be a surprise that there was such a flurry of hats shooting into the ring in the wake of the mid-term elections. The Democrats can smell blood – that of Bush, his cronies, and anyone who comes within an ideological whiff of being tainted by the neo-conservative agenda, the oil agenda, or even the very mention of Iraq.

Ah, Iraq. Yet another chance for America to get confused, without even knowing why. Hey, we’re meant to be the good guys, remember? So why’s everyone being mean to us?

Why indeed? You didn’t, after all, create the war on terrorism. ...did you? Well, You certainly made it more of a, well, war, and less of a dialogue. And there’s that little matter of that bastard child of yours, that you keep giving pocket money to, so it can, well, play the bully.

Ahh, I digress. But why not? These people need a bit of a kick in the reality.

No, I was talking about Democrat presidential candidates. At this point in the cycle, the race has never been so NOT wide open.

Obama may have captured some people’s imagination. Partly because he’s the first black (yes, I know his mother’s white) to get a realistic lookin as a major party candidate. Partly because he has a young, dynamic turn of phrase, and seems to say the right things, if sometimes too generalistically. And partly because some relish the Great American video Game turning into Obama versus Osama (although, the sophistication of American politics being what it is, some will think he is Osama).

Yes yes, that’s a bit glib. Harsh, even. His achievements as Senator suggest there is substance behind him. But capturing imagination is one thing. It’s another thing (or two) to:

  • As a relative novice, avoid stumbling under the intense media blowtorch that turns to ash most candidates;
  • Capture the warchest that Hilary has.

Ah Hilary. Synonymous with “polarizing”. That’s another post, another day. And we’ve barely even started on Obama. Good luck to him on that blowtorch thing – I’m quite curious to see how he weathers it. Maybe in a few races time, Barack. Oops, I almost forgot you were black. And America just couldn’t vote for a black. Even harder than voting for a... woman.

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