There are policies that I disagree with him on (affirmative action and abortion, for example), but I love Barack Obama. He's intelligent, a fabulous speaker, and I believe one of the few politicians that's really in it to help people.
Born to a Kenyan father and a white mother with no particular wealth and living in Indonesia for a few years during his childhood, he knows what poverty and prejudice look like. It's a typical American dream story, he worked hard and learned a lot and after breaking out of the party lifestyle of his early college years ("Junkie. That's where I'd been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.") eventually graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. And is now a US Senator.
He's only a junior senator, but has been a political media darling ever since the 2004 DNC keynote address, of course. There's a reason for that: it was a great speech. Even Republicans had to agree with that. And now there's talk of him running for president or vice president. He was on the cover of Time last week next to the title "Why Barack Obama Could Be The Next President". I think it's a pretty long shot because there's not a ton of history to judge him with. We have little evidence to see what he'd be like as a leader. But he's only in his mid-40s for crying out loud, and perhaps his inexperience is a good thing. Something new and fresh and enthusiastic. It's all a lot of speculation at this point, of course, but still, he's one to keep an eye on.
On America's place in the world:
American leadership has been a mighty force for human progress. The steady march of democracy and free enterprise across the globe speaks to the steadfastness of our leadership and the power of our ideals. Today we face new and frightful challenges, especially the threat of terror. Never has it been more important for American to lead wisely, to shrewdly project power and wield influence on behalf of liberty and security. Unfortunately, I fear our once great influence is waning, a victim of misguided policies and impetuous actions. Never has the US possessed so much power, and never has the US had so little influence to lead.
We still have the chance to correct recent missteps that have put our principles and legacy in question. Indeed, it is imperative to our nation's standing and security to do so. It will take a change of attitude and direction in our national leadership to restore the values and judgment that made and kept our nation the world's beacon of hope and freedom.
On blue states and red states:
The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states. But I've got news for them. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach Little League in the blue states and have gay friends in the red states. There're patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all defending the United States of America.
On what the working class wants and knows:
Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don't want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or the Pentagon. Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach our kids to learn. They know that parents have to parent, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know those things.
Plus he's cute. And his daughters are adorable: