I enjoyed last night’s debate. I like both candidates. I believe both men have our nation’s best interests at heart, but have different plans on how we get to where we need to be.
However, both on this board and in private email conversations I’ve been asked about Barack Obama’s qualifications. I’ve posted about most of this in comments, but decided to make a separate blog entry for it. So here goes… a few thoughts on Barack Obama’s resume:
- Some make fun of the whole “community organizer” thing, yet fail to mention that his days as a “community organizer” were in the late 80s. That’s not a bad place for a young 20-something year old man to start.
- Obama’s undergraduate degree comes from Columbia University and his graduate degree from Harvard Law School. Ivy league, baby!
- He taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years.
- He worked for a 12-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development for 11 years.
- Even from his 20s, Obama’s goal was to work in Politics. He’s been preparing for this job most of his life.
- He was a state Senator for almost 8 years.
- He has been a US Senator for almost 4 years now, where he’s held assignments on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works and Veterans’ Affairs.
As we all know, a President’s term is highly influenced by his advisers. I think Ivy-League educated Professor Obama has the intelligence to put together a great team, and I am confident he will do a good job running this country.
Another objection that has been raised by more than one reader goes something like this: “Don’t be gullible! Sure, Obama talks well, but actions speak louder than words! He’ll never do the things he’s saying he’ll do!”
If you’re of such opinions, yet voted for George W. Bush, I ask that you watch this video of our sitting President, consisting of his “words” that were spoken during the 2000 campaign vs. Al Gore (compare these “words” with his “actions” as President):
As John McCain has voted with this “Dubya” more than 90% of the time, why am I asked to take John at his word, but not to extend the same courtesy to Barack?
Another subject frequently brought up when discussing Barack Obama is his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. As I wrote in a recent comment in regards to Mr. Wright’s sermons:
I can’t say that Jeremiah Wright’s message is all the unique. How many services have you attended over the years where Pastors have warned that God will damn America for this sin or that sin? Yet when Jeremiah Wright passionately says, “God Damn America!” we think he’s unpatriotic or, even worse, a threat to our country? I’ve never thought such things about the Pastors *I* heard preach similar messages.
When Pastor Wright compares some of the atrocities our own country has committed while discussing the horrors we experienced on September 11th, I’m not pushed out of shape simply because he more passionately says some of the same things other Pastors have said numerous times. And I’m certainly not going to project his opinions on Barack Obama. I’ve had conversations with a man who has attended Pastor Wright’s church and cannot recall hearing “inflammatory” sermons. I’m sure they were the exception, rather than the rule, but those exceptions sure come in handy when we’re trying to lambast a candidate for attending a “radical” church, don’t they?
As for Bill Ayres… Ayres was an angry hippie college student that got caught up in the emotions of the Sixties and went way too far. I would never excuse his actions, but I can’t help but notice that he’s now a Distinguished Professor at the University of Chicago and a respected member of society. He never went to jail for his crimes (what do you think of that?). By the way, Barack Obama was only 8 years old when all the nasty stuff went down, yet he should be held in contempt for being acquainted with a fellow University of Chicago Professor? Give me a break!
And where are Obama’s detractors when it comes to John McCain’s involvement with Charles Keating? If you’re going to sling mud about Barack, why ignore McCain’s short comings? Heck, today there are news stories questioning McCain’s link to the Iran-Contra ordeal. What about his cheating on and ultimately leaving the wife who waited for him to come back home from Vietnam? Why go silent on such, yet so vocally scream about his opponent?
The point is that there is always mud to sling. It’s hypocritical to justify slinging it at one candidate, yet not being willing to look at the other with the same level of “objectivity”, don’t you think? I think it’s absurd to justify one candidate’s shortcomings yet trumpet accusations against the other. If yer gonna sling it, cover both sides with an equal amount of dirt.
Who do you think won the debate last night? I’m surprisingly picking Obama. 🙂 If you missed it, here it is in full:
ADDED 10/9/08: Down in the comments area you’ll notice a perfect example of the paragraph above where I wrote about slinging dirt only at one side. What’s happening here brings to my mind all past elections sitting in conservative churches: the Democratic candidate is the devil, and the Republican candidate is our only hope as a country. I want to hear a person being just as vicious with both sides, and then I’ll open my mind to what they have to say. One – sided attack fests just make me put up a wall and stop listening.