Believe it or not, I did watch some of the 2004 Democratic National Convention on television. Looking back, I remember seeing this smooth, eloquent individual by the name of Barack Obama delivering the keynote address and all I could think was: who is this guy?
It seemed evident that the DNC had chosen their new rising star. However, I wonder if people like Hillary Clinton and John Edwards ever dreamed they’d be facing him in the 2008 primary. After all, Obama was only a state legislator then. He hadn’t even be elected to a statewide office, much less a national one.
So I wonder: “What is so special about Obama?”
As you may have seen from the recent music video “I Got a Crush on Obama,” he’s got a certain degree of sex appeal. He’s smooth, eloquent, and articulate. He’s got a multi-ethnic background, which appeals to wide variety of Americans. He’s got that certain JFK charm. But is that all?
In an effort to delve into the actual substance of Barack Obama, let’s look at his political history. In 1996, he was elected to a Illinois state senate seat in a predominantly Democratic district of South Chicago. That doesn’t seem terribly difficult for a man of his talent, especially in a place where most of the voters are already in his political corner. While he did win re-election by a large margin in 1998 and 2002, he failed to win the 2000 primary against his incumbent opponent in the U.S. House of Representatives. Perhaps the world was not quite ready for him to make that big of a splash on the national scene.
But Obama’s luck took a turn for the better in 2003, when he began seeking the office of U.S. Senator. The seat he wished to fill was vacant, so he didn’t have to run against an incumbent. One of his primary opponents decreased in popularity due to scandal, which allowed him to win the nomination by a substantial margin. Upon winning the nomination, Obama’s somewhat formidable Republican opponent by the name of Jack Ryan (not to be confused with any of the Tom Clancy novels) also had to bow out due to a scandal of his own. Ryan was replaced by Alan Keyes, a last-minute longshot opponent for Obama. As a result, Obama won his 2004 election by a tremendous margin.
With such little opposition along his political path in one of the bluest of states, it’s almost hard to understand why his popularity has spread like wildfire. What does he have to offer besides a charming personality and well-spoken demeanor?
From the outset, I’d say virtually nothing. His political career amounts to a lack of experience when stacked against his even his fellow Democratic candidates. To my knowledge, he has little or no governing experience.
However, his popularity is undeniable. He’s easily the most popular candidate on the Internet thanks to bloggers like myself. By the way, Barack: you’re welcome. His poll numbers speak for themselves. For the Democrats, he’s the guy to beat. Even Hillary Clinton is getting frustrated by him.
But behind the exterior of wild popularity is a candidate with limited substance and a relatively short political career. He’s all bark and no bite. He’s been on a blue-state easy street throughout his time in office. If he’s wise, he won’t resign his Senate seat until the 2008 election is over.
Here’s my prediction concerning the fate of Obama: either he will win the nomination and be defeated in the general election, or he’ll take second place to Hillary in which case he will be her running mate. You can forget Hillary running as his running mate; she’ll never have it.
I think America will see through Barack Hussein Obama, which brings up another thing: his middle name. Americans will be a bit hesitant to elect a candidate with a name like that. I know that’s probably discrimination or just plain paranoia, but it’s true. While it’s unfortunate that they see him that way, a name like that in this day and age makes some Americans uncomfortable. You’d be surprised how people I’ve heard claim that he’s actually a Muslim (even though he’s not). Of course, this has nothing to do with how well he would manage the country. But it certainly does affect whether or not he can gain the support he needs to win the White House.
I see Obama as a faberge, a fancy decorated egg that may have a high value placed on it, but in reality, there’s nothing inside.