While U.S. Senator Barack Obama officially announced his bid for President of the United States today, I find a few things strangely interesting. First, he is very young and relatively inexperienced. Second, he is no more black than he is white. Third, the Democratic race just got a lot more interesting. This leads me to a few conclusions.
First, I think Obama’s political youthfulness and inexperience can help him. It almost makes him a Washington outsider since he’s barely been there long enough to have been tainted by the water in that city. However, to counter this perceived advantage, inexperience has destroyed many young candidates. It’s easy to remember times in the last campaign when John Edwards and Wesley Clark said things came back to haunt them. (I guess you could say John Kerry did the same thing, though, and he has lots of experience in Washington — maybe the water got to him.)
Second, Obama’s father was from Kenya and his mother from Kansas. His father black and his mother white. I don’t see how this makes him a true “black candidate” as so many say. It could be said he’s just as much a “white candidate” — that is if we must go around assigning race which I personally think is childish and counterproductive. To be honest, I don’t care what color a candidate is on the outside but I do care a lot about their color on the inside. For example, are they yellow when it comes to the War on Radical Islam? Are they green when it comes to good stewardship of our resources versus radical environmentalism? Are they red when it comes to government versus private ownership of property and distribution of wealth? In short, it matters a lot to me what a candidate’s vision, goals, policies, and heart look like.
Third, the Democratic primary will be a lot more interesting now with someone who can stand tall against the backdrop of Hillary Clinton. My take on this though is that Obama is running this time not for President but for Vice President. I think he’s trying to get Hillary’s attention and a spot on her ticket. I think he’s also looking to increase his power and prestige in the Senate by invoking national appeal.
So that’s my 3 cents for today on the entry of Barak Obama into the race.