Friday, October 27, 2006

Senator Barack Obama

I see the sudden interest in the Senator and I am strangely reminded of a book I read in the 70's "THE MAN." A strange book but very similar in its political context.

Obama is, of course, a worthy subject. He is the smartest, savviest, handsomest and most charismatic man in the Senate--sadly, the competition is not great. In an era when America's political class lacks character and intelligence, he stands out. What little the nation has seen of him, it has liked. But none of this quite explains the magnitude of the Obamathon currently taking place.

Perhaps what the nation has liked most is not what Obama has said or done but what he is. In short, Obama is a black man who does not scare white people. This is mostly not Obama's fault. He is who he is. He has a life to live, a job to do and a book to promote.

Obama does not have to try so hard. He was raised in Hawaii and Jakarta by his white grandparents and mother and Indonesian stepfather. He brings with him no familial tales of slavery or Southern segregation--his father was Kenyan. He does not have the "messianic style" that Columbia professor Manning Marable notes is characteristic of that generation of African-American leaders raised in the church. Not only did he not attend the March on Washington, he was only 2 at the time. He is the first prominent black politician of the post-civil rights era
I wonder how warm a reception Obama will get if he says he will run next year. Majority America may forget he is part this or part that..but remember he would be viewed as possibly the first black President in the white house...Interesting.


Kurt said...

I like what he has to say, and his charismatic personality. My only problem with him is his lack of experience. As Bush has said, repeatedly, "It's a hard job."

Leo said...

I'm not ready to jump on the Obama bandwagon as I don't know enough about him, but as far as a lack of experience goes, Bush had no experience in federal government, and frankly after Bush anybody looks good to me!