Sunday, February 17, 2008

What does Obama stand for?

"Would we call this a cult of personality?

Today that term is all around Barack Obama — perhaps because there seems so little other way to explain how a first-term senator has managed to dazzle his way to front-runner in the race for the presidency, how he walks on water for so many supporters, and how the mere suggestion that he is, say, mortal, risks vehement objection, or at least exposing the skeptic as deeply uncool."

The Charisma Mandate By KATE ZERNIKE The New York Times, February 17, 2008.

Most of my Utah Democrat friends (I know, that sounds like an oxymoron) seem to be excited about Barack Obama. It seems to me that they have given little thought to just what a President Obama would actually DO once in office. They seem to have bought into his mantra of "change" without asking the critical question "change toward what?" When I try to ask this question, I get back something like "Anything is better that the current administration!" I have to presume that they mean any of the Democratic candidates would be better that the current Republican occupant, because these friends would likely agree with me that Guiliani, Thompson, and Huckabee, at least, have the potential to be WORSE than GWB.

But that still begs the question of which Democrat would be the BEST for the country as President.

I have been following Obama longer than my friends have. I subscribed to his podcast when it was new, just after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, I thought he was intelligent and well-spoken. But as a Presidential candidate, I keep feeling that he is all style and no substance. My Democratic friends seem to be buying the package, but they have no idea what is inside the box.

Than I read the article cited above and I learned that his campaign without substance was a deliberate strategy. Here is the key paragraph:

"Accounts of the campaign’s “Camp Obama” sessions, to train volunteers, have a revivalist flavor. Volunteers are urged to avoid talking about policy to potential voters, and instead tell of how they “came” to Mr. Obama."

This strategy may be effective, but I find it disingenuous. Mr. Obama's campaign strategy is to offer himself as a "savior" to a troubled country. By avoiding any specific policy details, he can appear to be all things to all voters.

I, for one, prefer substance over flash. I want a President that I know and trust. I want a President that will get things done. With John Edwards out of the race, I am supporting Hillary Clinton.