Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Obama in 2008? Let's Not Go There Yet...

I like Barack Obama. But, I'm not ready to annoint him as the next Presidential candidate for the left. In 2008, he'll be 4 years into his first 6 year Senate term. That's not enough experience. Yes, he won big in this most recent election but his opponent was Alan Keyes -- a carpet bagger who has no broad appeal in any community and who was probably sent to Illinois with everyone knowing that he'd lose in order to test Obama against a fiery speaker in a national campaign. Obama passed that test, which is good. But, a victory over Alan Keyes in a Senate election in a state where Keyes doesn't even live is not, I hate to say, a big deal.

Obama's original opponent, Jack Ryan, had to pull out of the election when legal documents in his divorce from actor Jeri Ryan revealed that he wanted to have public sex with her in kinky Paris night clubs. Before it was revealed that Jack wanted to do what millions of girl-deprived Trekkies have always wanted to do to "7-of-9," Obama was in a close race. Conventional wisdom says he would have won, but, beating Ryan would have been a better test of Obama's abilities than beating Alan Keyes.

I think Obama can be President some day. I just don't think that day is in 2008. Obama needs to be nurtured and developed as the future of the Democratic Party. He's young and Democrats should be looking to run him in 2012 or 2016. And, for every day over the next 8 to 12 years, the party should be looking at him as the not-too-distant future, positioning him as a national leader, giving him strength and support the whole way.

Here's one big lesson we can learn from the Republicans -- they lived 8 years with Clinton, a man they despised, as President. And they spent that time building the machines that have now won them 8 years of payback. Let's take the long view and let's make Obama part of that. But let's not run him too soon and diminish him.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home