Saturday, January 26, 2008

S. Carolina Obamarama

Good on Obama for his big win. Good on the Democrats for turning out a record primary turnout. I just wish I could be happy about the results.

I suppose I should offer a quick disclaimer that none of the candidates really excite me. That said, I also have a distinct uneasiness about Obama and his cult of personality. He is remarkably intelligent and carries a shocking charisma, but he is young and lacks a depth of national experience I feel a president needs. I worry that he won't command enough respect on the international stage—a concern that should be central to this election cycle. After all, whoever is elected will have a lot of fence-mending and relationship rebuilding to do.

Back to the personality question, though... I must admit that I am inspired by his speaking, but then I look past the impassioned rhetoric. What I find feels a little too much like a lot of pretty words without the kind of policy depth and substance I want from the person who is going to undo the mistakes of the past eight years.

Ultimately, I guess that's what I'm most looking for in a candidate. We are in a horrendous morass in Afghanistan (remember that one?) and Iraq. Our international standing is in a shambles. Our economy is teetering on the brink of recession, or worse. Our social structures from education to health care and beyond are a mess. The downside of government by and for the corporations is finally beginning to show from quality of consumer goods to danger to our food chains. The next president must be able to take the reins with respect and the right team from day one. I worry that Obama may not be the answer.