Thursday, January 18, 2007

Don't Tell Mama I’m For Barak Obama

Well, not absolutely, not yet anyway. Neither is my friend Mark, who sent me an email with the subject nearly the same as the title to this posting, this link so I would see the video where he announced formation of a Presidential Exploratory Committee.

Mark tells me that “Don’t tell mama, I’m for Obama” is rapidly getting around as a slogan among Democratic insiders. Mama refers to Hillary. I favor putting his first name in the slogan as well because it gives the slogan a rhythm. You can also sing the line to the Tim Lehrer tune “So long Mom, I’m off to drop The Bomb”.

I like Obama for the fact that he would really help us out in Texas. We have lots of Black Democratic voters here who will fall all over each other getting to the polls to vote for him. This could be just the ticket to retake the state House. I also like Obama because everywhere I look I see that people think he is a coalition builder and can work with both parties.

Frankly, the only negative thing anyone has to say about Obama is his level of experience. He has only held political office since 1996. My friend Don likes to point out that by the presidential election year, 2008, he will have had just about the same political experience as Jack Kennedy. This intrigued me so I checked their CVs and he’s very nearly right.

Prior to becoming President in 1960, Jack Kennedy was Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts for 8 years. Prior to that he was Congressman John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts’ 11th congressional district. He served in that office for 6 years. Total: 14 years, all in federal legislative bodies.

Barak Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and served there until he won his US Senate seat in 2004. It was that year that he was vaulted to national attention when he gave one of the best keynote addresses I have ever heard. So by 2008, Obama will have served for 12 years in political office.

That’s only two years shy of Kennedy’s service but there are two things to point out: 1) Obama’s experience is at both the state and federal level – he has broader experience than Jack Kennedy had – and 2) Kennedy’s years in the Senate were punctuated by time that he had to take out for four spinal surgeries and recovery from them. I know, the second one is rather lame, but there’s that.

And consider this, in 2008, Barak Obama will be 47 years old. That’s four years older than Jack Kennedy was when he was elected in 1960.

Quite frankly the only thing that Obama lacks that Jack Kennedy had is a war record: Obama never skippered PT boats, never got stranded on a remote island in the Solomons, and never was played by Cliff Robertson in the movie that was made about it.

Finally, consider his “Star Power”. People talk about it all the time. Back in the Kennedy years, we used to call that "Charisma".


Susan said...

Call it "Star Power," some call it "Charisma," but it all boils down the The Elvis Factor.

You gotta have a little bit of Elvis in you for us to fall in love.

Seeing John Edwards' MLK Day speech, it looks like he's developing some Elvis.

Yeah, Mark's Momma isn't sold on Obama yet.

Fenway Fran said...

It IS charisma! Something we haven't had in a LOOOONG time...I don't want to write off Mama just yet...the woman has a brain AND balls, it's just that the rest of the country might not be ready for how about Mama AND Obama??? Or am I crazy? Can't I have them BOTH? Is the chemical reaction too devastating if we put them together? Probably. Dang.

Hal said...

Fenway and Suz, Girls, I know what you are both saying. Keeps me on the fence, too. I am looking for a clear leader here, and have not seen it yet in anyone. I think everyone is looking for the same thing. Edwards, who I liked so very much early on, is looking to be conventional, and that is a comfort to many.

An African-American and a woman on the same ticket may be too much for others, but it appeals to me on so many levels. Just who for P and who for VP? I really think America is ready for both, just who? It makes so much sense to me to combine our strength. Damn, if it wasn't that Edwards wasn't such a sensible choice. Ironic, isn't it, that the single thing that separates them is that he isn't a woman, and that he is white.

The times we are living . . .

Anonymous said...

Tell mama to bet on obama. Or His humor will connect with the younger generation. So will