Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Commentary: Obama has Made Politics Exciting Again

I realize I’m no political pundit or Washington insider, so my understanding of the political landscape is admittedly limited. However, my ‘newcomer’ status allows me a ground-level perspective that is often missed.

For all of the talk about how “words don’t matter,” I have to share that it is Senator Obama’s words that have inspired me to go beyond a “vote on the given day” level of involvement in politics. I have made phone calls, researched the various candidates’ positions, informed friends on the finer policy differences, and just recently began a blog that seeks to keep the world easily informed on the developments in this campaign.

I wager this is one of a variety of reasons for his campaign's success. So, in an effort to reflect upon my experience, here are my top 10 reasons for his success - in priority order.

  1. His message of unity – the idea of a UNITED States of America and establishing a “working majority” resonates strongly with those who see the gridlock in congress
  2. The desire to mitigate lobbyist and special interest influence in Washington
  3. His speeches (they ARE good – especially the one after Iowa)
  4. The "Obama" brand
  5. His general demeanor (calm, affable, and most of all he comes off as trustworthy)
  6. The generally positive tone of his campaign, even when responding to negative attacks from his opponent(s)
  7. His ability to bring young people into the political process
  8. The belief in “grassroots” politics and the idea of change “from the bottom up
  9. The relative consistency of his message (as opposed to the drastically changing tactics of other candidates [e.g. Romney, Clinton, etc.]
  10. The almost defiant slogan of “Yes, We Can” :-)
Do you think I missed any? Comment and let me know!

1 comment:

plagiarize said...

good post. i agree with a lot of the points here. i have for the longest time never understood the refrain that support of a candidate should only come down to their politic positions, and proposed policies. i've heard it from supporters of all parties (Al Gore supporters when he was running against Bush for example).

but it's been clear to me, since learning about FDR and his mastery in convincing the American people that entering WW2 was not just morally the best stance, but that it would be best for the country too, that it is no negative to have an eloquent likeable salesman of a politician.

i don't use salesman negatively. the reason the refrain 'change you can believe in' rings true with me, is that i can look at Barack Obama and believe that he can convince the country, and all the branches of government, that his ideas are the right way forwards.

replacing Bush with Clinton swaps a Republican who will be opposed at every turn irrespective of the strengths of the proposal, with a Democrat who will suffer the same.

the split of overly partisan politics pains me, espescially when looking at the last two elections and seeing how ridiculously close they came. a few votes one way or the other, and you're looking at a completely opposite goverment.

a race which is a metaphoric coin toss shouldn't throw the country into one extreme belief or another.

Hillary won't work across party borders. she couldn't even if she wanted to. few are more despised in Republican party than her...

and while i find myself leaning more and more to Obama of late, i find it reassuring to know that if nothing else, should he lose, that we'll be getting one of the most moderate Republicans in recent memory, and one who will also reach across party borders when looking for solutions.