May 31, 2006

President Obama?

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin recently advised fellow Senator Barack Obama that he should consider running for President of the United States.
"He draws a larger crowd than any politician, and that's a testament to the fact that he has a message that resonates with people," Durbin said during a news conference at his Springfield home Sunday afternoon.

"I think he really has the capacity to bring a lot of red and blue states together for a change so that we start seeing common goals in this country. Younger people are in particular inspired by his message, and people like Barack don't come along very often."

Durbin said he told his colleague to give a possible presidential run serious consideration and determine if it's the right time, even though it's early in Obama's political career. Obama, 44, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

"As far as I'm concerned, he should seriously consider it, I think he could bring a great deal to the national race for the presidency," Durbin said.
What do you think of an Obama candidacy for president? Should he go for it now, or wait until a later date? How would he do if he ran?


At 5/31/2006 8:13 AM, Blogger Polt said...

i would LOVE to see an Obama presidency. I don't think now is the right time. It's too soon. Maybe in 2012 (if a republican gets elected in 2008) or 2016 (if a democrat does).

I haven't heard all that much from him, but what I have heard, I liked. He's young, charismatic, and very elect-able.

At 5/31/2006 1:25 PM, Blogger Carl Nyberg said...

Crowded field. Who knows?

I like Feingold, but I am concerned that RF's approval is only 50% in Wisconsin.

Most of the rest of the field are buffoons.

I must be coming down with something b/c I'm actually warming to Gore being the nominee.

At 5/31/2006 3:23 PM, Blogger Polt said...

Oh GOD, it's it horrible, the warming up to Gore thing???

I saw him give a speech on TV earlier in the year. He was passioniate, engaging, almost, dare I say it, Clinton-esque in his delivery. And I was impressed. I couldn't help but wonder where this guy was 6 years ago!

But if he can be like that and run again..........

Hey, Nixon did it in the 60's right?

At 5/31/2006 5:23 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

I think that Obama is highly overrated. I am not saying he is bad...but I do not understand what people see in him.

There are people in politics who are just as intelligent and articulate as is Obama. I don't get it. Is it because he is half Black and because he has a deep voice? I don't understand.

I tried reading his autobiography and I found it rather boring.
Why do young people find him inspiring? Does Obama say anything that has not been said? It is the same platitudes. Has he ever said anything that deviates from the same old liberal orthodoxy? Has he spoke out against judicial activism? No.

I don't understand how Obama is presidential material. Durbin is really stretching here. I mean I could wake up in the morning and say that my hairy arse would make a good CIA Director. But would that make it true?

And while we're at it, the guy who works the counter at the post office should be Postmaster General and the girl who works at the local Burrito Palace should be a great Ambassador to Mexico. Hey why not? I said so, so surely it must be a great idea. And maybe the Trib should put it on the front page the way they did this stupid Obama pipe dream.

At 5/31/2006 7:15 PM, Blogger Philosophe Forum said...

Yeah, maybe one of these days. 2008 is too soon. Obama needs "seasoning" since he just got to DC. JFK/RFK he's not.

At 5/31/2006 9:39 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I think you showed your arse when you condemned Obama for believing in core liberal values. It's clear that that alone is enough to make you not support someone.

Judicial activism? You mean like the Supreme Court annointing Bush president while saying it was a one time only offer and shouldn't be considered precident?

Judicial activism is an issue which is clearly in the eye of the beholder. The right engages in just as much judicial activism as anyone on the left.

Look at the bozo who thought he could plop a two ton monument to the ten commandments in the middle of a courthouse. Is that not "activism"?

That whole red herrring is essentially as meaningless and false as "liberal bias" or "defense of marriage" or "death tax reform" "Patriot Act" or "Healthy Forest Act" or any of the numerous fictitious problembs trotted out to justify measures which the public would soundly reject if they realized what they actually were.

Just totally misleading schemes blatantly misrepresented, promoted, and enacted by the Republican right.

But I digress.

Your larger point that perhaps there's not enough substance to Obama to justify his incredible popularity may be arguable.

But in this day and age, attractiveness, ability to generate "buzz" and excitement, thus manpower and lots of the mother's milk of politics, ready cash, isn't something to sneeze at.

There's certainly superficial reasons for Obama's appeal.
Yes, his youth, his handsome looks, and his deep voice are surely major reasons for his appeal.

But then again, about the only thing people say got Bush in office (aside from not counting votes and a crooked supreme court) was that he was a guy people would "like to have a beer with".

If that's good enough for Bush, surely Obama's got a hell of a lot more than THAT going for him.

At 6/01/2006 11:58 AM, Blogger IHG said...

It is far too soon to speak of Obama as a Presidential hopeful. Yes, he is an attractive candidate, however, what credentials does he have? He needs to be more than a guy who gets elected from a very Democrat state.

My understanding is that his State legislative career was somewhat undistinguished and he certainly has done nothing (outside of the TV lights) to warrent political excitement. In addition, the worst place in the world to try to get elected from is the Senate.

If he has Presidential thoughts, he needs to come back to Illinois and run for Governor. He would win and then, if he could get the job done, he could run from a position (Governor) where Presidents get elected from.

At 6/01/2006 2:55 PM, Blogger Huck Finn said...

I think Obama should consider a run for President, but he's got a few months to decide. The party needs a good strong primary to help define its future in America. And I think Obama would help that happen.

We're faced with two probable candidates in Senator Clinton and "movie mogul" Al Gore. I don't think either of them are electable, even from within the primary system. Maybe I'm wrong.

The debate is stale. Sen Clinton's positions are mobile and convenient to her desires. Gore's views were strong and he debated well, but the bitterness of his defeat overshadows the content of his views.

There's still plenty of speculation that Senator Mark Warner of Virginia will run. Warner did very well as Governor in Virginia before becoming Senator and he would make an excellent candidate.

I think Obama would add a lot to a presidential primary race, even if it's just to fuel a good debate about the direction of the Democratic party. If he doesn't win, I don't think he'll lose support of Illinois voters and it could make him a stronger Senator if he keeps a positive tone. If he doesn't run now, he may have to wait 8 years to try again. Will a 56 year old Obama still inspire and motivate?

If he's a good candidate, he should run. And I think he's good.

At 6/01/2006 4:43 PM, Blogger DookOfURL said...

ihg has a point about why Senators don't get elected as POTUS----it's called a "voting record".

There is a story about JFK (Kennedy, not Mr. Reporting-For-Doody) that when he sent feelers out about running for POTUS, the elder statesmen of the Democrat Party advised him to wait and get a few Senate elections under his belt before running for POTUS. But Kennedy, being the wise and mythological creature he was, said that if he stayed in the Senate, with an eye on the WH, that he would end up being a very bad Senator.

We see this now, with presidential hopefuls in the Senate calibrating their votes with an eye on the WH. It's sorta sad and pathethic, but it's our system, for better or worse.

At 6/02/2006 7:16 AM, Blogger nicodemus said...

You are right dope, I will concede the point that Obama has at least the same qualities as did Bush in 2000 and probably more. Yes, Bush was thin on substance (boy was he ever shallow) but he had the "buzz" and yes, the likeability factor. For the record, I worked for John McCain and I always got so frustrated wondering what in the hell people saw in Dubya. Why did Republicans and later the electorate impress so easily?
Obama won't be able to clear the field financially the way that Bush did in 2000. Hillary is being coronated with cash and backing.
BTW, we will have to disagree on the "crooked recount". I disagree. If your boy had carried Tennessee we wouldn't have this conversation. But I digress.
I have a better suggestion for a candidate. Rep. Stephanie Herseth of South Dakota. She can carry Red States that Obama cannot. She is smart, attractive and articulate. She would appeal to young voters. Also, polls show that the electorate will back a female who doesn't have all the baggage and negatives of Hillary. Stephanie Herseth is the perfect candidate.
Unfortunately, Democrats are not very creative in thinking outside the box. They tend to "play it safe" in choosing nominees- trying to please everybody and in the end pleasing nobody.

At 6/02/2006 10:20 AM, Blogger tiz said...

I love Herseth, but she's only 35 right now. I can't see her party playing that card so early. As someone else said, it's easier to be elected POTUS from the governor's office - I think if she has POTUS ambitions she'll follow her grandfather's footsteps and run for governor after she's spent some time in the house.

It would be foolish to play Obama's card this early as well. He'll be 54 in 2016 - the same age Dubya was when he took office. I think Hillary will get her one shot this time around. I don't necessarily think Hillary would be the best candidate but think about this - what can be used against her that hasn't been used already? I think it would force the GOP to nominate a moderate this time around (like McCain) so either way we're better off than we are now.

At 2/29/2008 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A year and a half since this post went up and the question of a President Obama was raised. In that year and a half he has gone from a somewhat unknown freshman senator to raise millions of dollars, inspire millions of people and has won primary and caucus battles across the country. He has knocked out of the race Biden, Dodd, Richards, Gravel, Edwards and it looks like Hillary will be gone soon.

Now it looks like this man may indeed be the next President of the United States!


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