Sunday, February 11, 2007

Obama Announcement

No surprises.

Barak Obama announced yesterday that, yes, yes he really is running for president. I watched the announcement live yesterday and had one observation that bothered me. Before I get to it let me reestablish my Obama-fides. I am a supporter and at this very early stage believe he is the best candidate in the presidential field from either party. Obama is the only candidate I have ever donated money to. Although his policy platform remains light he articulates a vision and direction for our country that I whole heartedly support.

So, yesterday, when he said the words I am running for president the crowd of faithful erupted. There was a chant of "O-bam-a! O-bam-a! O-bam-a!" On and on for at least a minute. During the chant the camera shot remained focused on his face and he calmly soaked it in. In that moment it really had the feel of a cult of personality and it was disturbing. It felt wrong to me. Obama did wave them off and went on to deliver a good speech yesterday.

On the Sunday morning talking heads shows he was all the rage. In the process Tim Russert on "Meet The Press" proved what a buffoon he is. First, he referred to Obama's announcement as "historic." Historic, how? By a long shot, he is not the first black man to run for president. Jesse Jackson ran twice as I recall. And loony bin escapees Al Sharpton and Alan Keyes have both run. Carol Moseley-Braun was also briefly a candidate in 2004.

Russert when on to discuss the criticisms of Obama and brought up the concept that he is not "black enough" for African-American voters. Who does he ask that of? Two stogy old white guys while also sitting on the panel is Gwen Ifill, an African-American reporter for PBS. Ifill had to bring the topic back up after Russert and the old white guys had already "resolved" it. She basically told them they were full of it.



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