A Barack Obama Presidency: Standing on the Doorstep of History
As election day draws near there is a growing Obama buzz in the air. Of course that’s here in a state that’s so solidly blue it’s hard, at least here on the west coast,
to find even a hint of red.
The media, of course, loathe to see any potential viewers turning off the pundits when there is still 14 days of advertising inventory to be sold. So they are busy ginning up every possible angle to keep you from walking away from the television and perhaps enjoying a beautiful fall afternoon.
But if all goes as the polls are indicating, in a little more than two weeks we should be talking about President-elect Barack Obama. Still, the historic significance of this election is going to take a lot more than a few weeks, or a few months to fully absorb.
Meanwhile, John McCain‘s people are busy looking for the “light at the end of the tunnel.” But as that fateful day draws near it seems increasingly apparent that any light that they may peer in the distance is most likely the headlamp of a speeding engine and it appears that history is driving that train. Elections historically are reactive to the immediate past. Americans, ever the fussy buyers of all things political, have heard the arguments and experienced the last eight years. W was blessed to arrive on the national stage at a time when people were tired of a slick talking, ethically dubious guy. W, for all his faults, was plain speaking, and from solid family stock. He may not have had the flashy intellect, but people had grown tired of Bill Clinton‘s gold platted words.
Enter Obama at a time when intellect is greatly missed, eloquence is in short supply, and inspirational leadership is desperately sought. If that were not enough, the current president has abysmal popularity ratings and for all his efforts to distance himself from Bush, McCain comes from the same side of the aisle as W and that alone may be enough to sink his ship. Al Gore knows all about carrying the heavy burden of a previous president’s misdeeds.
Sure there is much that McCain and his team could have done better, starting with their pick of Governor Sarah Palin. But in fairness, I believe, this was simply not a good year to have “Republican” stamped across your forehead. And as presidents from Washington to W can tell you, when it comes to politics, you have to be in the right place at the right time. Given the force of the movement that Barack has built, and the strong currents of history, if we awake November 5 to a McCain victory, the Republicans will have been spared not by the fifty percent of Obama that is caucasian, but the fifty percent that is not. And if that’s the case, this nation is truly headed for a bumpy ride.