When the eminently prestigious Economist writes that Obama is the Frontrunner, then he surely is.
We think that Obama will win because Obama is a star. He has the kind of personal charisma that propelled Bill Clinton into the Chief Executive's office and frankly, the more media exposure Obama has, the tougher he will be to beat.
In our view, a visibly slowing 71-year old John McCain has no chance of beating a dynamic 46-year-old Obama at the polls. The Republican Party surely can not think that the majority of Americans - at this stage in America's development - will put their basket of hope in the hands of a respected but visibly aged war hero.
Ask anyone who went to the top law schools such as Stanford, Harvard and Yale, and you will know what it means that Obama became the first man of color to be President of the Harvard Law Review. THAT is an achievement. Only a man of extraordinary talents could obtain that honor.
At this point, we have little doubt that Obama will be America's first President of color. The amazing thing is that although he will of course receive a mass majority of the colored vote, the critical decisive votes will nevertheless come from a white population who will vote for him for his person, for his dynamism and modernity, and for his competence. The issue of color will play and has played as good as no role in the voting of the white folks. That is the amazing thing.
What about the other Presidential candidates?
We have discovered that one way to compare the leading candidates, including Obama, with each other, is to look at their websites online. If you want to see THE FUTURE, look at your preferred candidate's website and see how it stacks up. What messages are the websites of the candidates projecting? What political mindset do you see? What one sees there is what one can expect to get from that candidate for the next four years, starting in January, 2009.
Frankly, the Obama website is a model of modernity, dynamics, vitality, motivation, hope-engenderment, and a human connection to the voter base, etc. If we view websites as harbingers of the future, Obama wins across the board. One of Obama's website slogans is "WE are the change we have been waiting for". Brilliant "empowerment" of the voting citizens and an intelligent message in the right place at the right time.
John McCain is a fine man who deserves the utmost of respect for his background and patriotism. However, his rather dated website mirrors his advanced age (71) and surely reflects the old-fashioned direction of leadership that we could expect under McCain. We are in fact somewhat disturbed that his web page glorifies war at a time when it is not what the nation wants - or needs - to hear. It is understandable, given his background, that he emphasizes this, but it makes us take our vote elsewhere. Men want peace, not war. Also the slogan on the first page "Ready to Lead On Day One" is not optimal. All candidates are presumed "ready" to lead by the fact of their candidacy. How about "able"? In any case, the crucial issue is, WHERE are we going to be led? That should be at the heart of the campaign message. Leadership starts in the primaries: WHO is actually moving the people? and who is not? Our views on several issues in the campaign match those of McCain, but this is in our view simply not the man that America needs now if it is to move forward in this modern era. McCain represents the Old Guard of the Republican Party and stands for a distant political past and a war long gone, about which younger voters, for example, know next to nothing. It is not very relevant to today's problems.
It is now a time for modern change, and a time to move forward, not back.
Accordingly, we can not support Mr. McCain.
Hillary Clinton is a fine woman and we have the utmost respect for the manner in which she managed herself during the Bill Clinton impeachment period. Indeed, at the beginning of this Presidential campaign, we thought she was the prohibitive favorite to win the nomination and we still share common views on a number of issues. Her website is definitely more upscale than the rather stodgy website of John McCain, but it still lacks the dynamics that one finds on the Obama websites. Obama is 46 and Hillary is 60 - and it shows. The front page of her website also has a shockingly incompetent message as one of the revolving messages that appears on that first page, namely, "Help Make History". A statement like that makes you wonder who advises these candidates in their efforts to gain the nation's highest office. The citizens of the nation are not interested in making HISTORY. Indeed, your average voter has little interest in history. A wise campaign would stay away from that word. What that slogan should read is: "Let us Work Together to Make the Future". In our view, in any case, the slogans so used tend to reflect the actual mindset of the leader behind those slogans. It is a mindset of the past, not the future.
We obtain an image from the Clinton campaign and from her personal appearances that SHE wants to be President, and we have no doubt that she would be a good one, but the connection to the people is weak. She lacks her husband's charisma and often seems somewhat helpless on stage. In addition, she represents the Old Guard of the Democratic Party and the period of Bill Clinton's Presidency. It is a vestige of the past that America currently simply does not need to confront again. The future is elsewhere.
It is now a time for progressive change, and a time to move forward, not back.
Accordingly, we can not support Mrs. Clinton.
Mike Huckabee is a fine man who we find to be among the most personable of the Republican Party candidates. In our opinion, as the past Governor of Arkansas, he also has what might be one of the best executive track records of any candidate. However, by his own choice, he does not represent the broad spectrum of all of America and has concentrated too much on religion, which is reflected in his website's front page campaign slogan which puts "Faith" first, i.e. "Faith. Family. Freedom." Our instinctual reaction to this is "no". There must be a clear separation of Church and State and any candidate who mixes them up deserves to lose and must lose. A man can be of very stout faith and conviction and still not bring faith into the political sphere. We presume that most men have a religious faith of some kind - so what does that have to do with most political issues - nothing. Many of the world's serious political problems can be traced back to religious zealots mixing their deadly cocktail combination of faith with politics, shaken well, and the results can be viewed daily on TV - war and killing. No thank you. Churches are for preaching and for spiritual development and politics has to do with government. These are two different worlds, at least in the modern area. Some may want to return to the dark ages, we do not.
It is now a time for state of the art secular change, and not a time for a backward relapse into fervent and harmful religious idolatry.
Accordingly, we can not support Mr. Huckabee.
The nod goes to Obama.
If he wins, as we think he will, it will be interesting.
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