Obama was in second place until last night. He had charm and charisma … and yes, rhetoric. When are politicians going to learn that rhetoric is just tired speech that we are tired of hearing? Apparently even the fresh faces for President don’t get that either. Obama is fresh and new, but will his performance last night win him a place in Democrat’s hearts? I think it’s very possible. Unlike the former frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, Obama didn’t dwell on the past of mistakes by this administration as she did. He tended to speak his own mind and I felt he wasn’t fed his words. There were times when he slipped into the political rhetoric tub, but for the most part he stuck to what he believed was right for the United States.
Right off the bat, though, Obama gave off a sense of arrogance. He answered the question of what would make him more effective than someone else in the White House with somewhat of an attitude. He stated the obvious statement: I will bring people together. I will overcome lobbyists and special interests. But, then he said that he has spoken about change in the government in his current position and therefore, change will happen. He must have some magical power we are not aware of. I don’t know anyone who can speak any change into existence anywhere in this world. Change takes a plan and it takes work and support. If you don’t have a good plan, you won’t succeed. Regardless, he didn’t really answer the question to the best of his ability. This was about the time where he said he doesn’t take tax or special interest money. Gravel later pointed out that he does and Obama, in turn, pointed out that he created the law that made it possible for Gravel to know where he gets his money. Big deal. It still doesn’t change the fact that Obama has taken money from those sources before. That makes him a typical politician and he shouldn’t really worry about it.
Something, though, that Obama did well was to say no to African Americans who wanted reparations for the slavery their ancestors were subjected to. Instead, Obama made it clear that certain things in this country should be changed to better African American’s lives, but that reparations were not one of them. Good for him. That is the last thing that anyone’s tax dollars should go to. Speaking about race further, Obama goes on to say that the Bush administration hasn’t done enough about the race issue. How do comments like that help us know more about Obama? This is a big mistake. But, he didn’t only blame the Bush administration. There were times where he passed blame to the Clinton administration. I hope you all were able to see Hillary’s face when he said things like that. Because she was not pleased.
Like Hillary, Obama was given the opportunity to answer many questions. I did like his answers to the gay marriage and paying lip service to people of faith questions. He was very dignified in his responses. He did not follow the sheep. He made it clear he was a Christian and believed that no church should be forced to wed a gay couple if their doctrine said it was wrong to be gay. But, he did endorse civil unions between gay couples and said they should have the same rights as married people do. I actually liked a lot of his answers to these questions because he stuck up for his faith while still guaranteeing rights to everyone. When he talked about paying lip service to people of faith, he really stood strong. It was the most impressive statement I’ve ever heard from a Democrat. And I’m a Republican, so that is saying a lot. He said it was people of faith’s obligation to relay “religious values into moral terms to unbelievers.” And at the same time he made it clear that he believed in the separation of church and state. In terms of these two issues, he has got it right.
But, when it comes to the war, I think he is in la la land. He wants to pull all troops out by March 31, 2008. That’s less than three months after he would be inaugurated. I don’t think so. He also gave the same tired rhetoric as some of the other candidates did. He said the war was a mistake on the part of Bush, but that our soldiers were not dying in vain. It just makes no sense to me. If they’re not dying in vain, then they are fighting for something worth fighting for. Make up your mind Obama. If not for the Presidential race, for our sanity. And again he contradicts himself when he says he doesn’t believe in the draft, but that women should be required to register for it. This is a problem. Obama will never get elected as long as he has a leg on each side of the fence. If we have to have a Democrat in office I truly wish it to be him. He is young and maybe he is inexperienced, but if a change is desired in Washington DC, he may be the guy to do it.
When it came to questions about international affairs, Obama was great. He cited two presidents on both sides of the political spectrum: Kennedy and Reagan. And he said, in regards to talks with Middle East leaders, “We may not like them, they may be a danger, but we have an obligation to talk to them to find” even ground. Brilliant! This guy may be a Democrat, but he mostly talks like an Independent bi partisan politician. I couldn’t stand him for the longest time, but his performance during this debate changed my attitude about him. He was intelligent in most areas and a very independent thinker.
One thing that I hope he won’t accomplish if he gets elected into office is sexual education for kindergartners. That is something he said should be done, but never really defined what it is they should be taught. He should either define it or dump it. Another disturbing answer was “yes” to nuclear power. I used to live in Washington State and Hanford was something people talked about. I am not yet thirty and people still talk about it. I guarantee that while the people of Washington State may overwhelmingly vote for him, they will not want nuclear power anywhere near them. One thing Obama should remember while trying to clinch the Democratic nominee is that most Democrats are environmentalists and nuclear power is never an option with them.
Social Security was a big loser with him also. I now live in Texas and I can tell you people here like to be in charge of their money. If they were able to take part of their social security and put it in a fund that would grow their money for them, they would do it. Texas is a very red state and I doubt any Democratic nominee will get through with even a third of the votes here. Obama used the term “privatization” when he spoke about Social Security. But, that’s not what Bush was trying to do. It’s not about making Social Security privately held. It’s about allowing the citizens that earn that money put some into a fund where it can grow bigger. We earned it; shouldn’t we decide what to do with it?
Obama is also for Universal health care. He expects it will work even without the government mandating it. I don’t think he realizes that is pretty much what we have now. We have private health care and we have federally run health care. As someone who has dealt with both, I can honestly say that federally run and/or government mandated health care is not a good idea. It doesn’t work. But, my opinion on that is another article for another time. Bottom line is that government run programs don’t work very well. So, what makes Obama think they could handle health care?
I think, to a point, there is sensationalism in voting for Obama because he is of a different ethnicity than we’re use to seeing in the Oval Office. But, I do believe that a vote for him would be better than a vote for any other presidential candidate that was up on that stage last night. As for me, I don’t vote Democrat. I see more decisions being based on their emotions than reason and logic. That is disturbing to me as a US citizen. But, still if we have to have a Democrat in office, I believe Obama is the way to go.