There is a awfully long time until the next presidential election, so I’m not really taking any campaigning that seriously yet, but I keep running into Obama links and activities online and finally decided to check out his Web site.
Before I talk about the results of my investigation I’ll share the only three pre-conceived notions I had about him before I took a look at his site:
- He’s African-American.
- He’s a smoker.
- He’s got very little political experience.
Certainly none of these things has any bearing on whether this man would make a good President, but that’s about all I thought I knew about him. So, here is what I learned after I visited his site…
The first thing I did when I arrived at BarackObama.com was to watch this video. I must say, he is an excellent speaker.
I then decided to read a little of his background. Did you know:
- His father was born and raised in Kenya, moved to the US and met his mother in college. This makes Barack a first generation American, just like myself (my father moved here from Greece and met my mother in college).
- His undergraduate degree is from Columbia University, and he got his law degree from Harvard. He was also the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review.
- He served for 8 years in the Illinois State Senate before being elected as the third African-American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate
- He is not, and never has been muslim (despite rumors to that effect). He is a Christian.
- His wife Michelle is also a Harvard educated lawyer who has also been involved in community service and currently serves as VP for the Univeristy of Chicago Hospitals.
Generally speaking I agree with his statements on the environment, healthcare (including stem cell research), Iraq (including phased withdrawl unless Iraqi goals are met), political corruption (especially the Google search function for the federal budget), immigration (especially the views on immigrant US Troops), and even… wait for it… religion.
I’m also happy to hear that he supports women’s right to choose (re: abortion), and at least that he supports civil unions & gay equality – if not gay marriage. My advice to gay people would be that there is no electable politician that is currently going to publicly state that they are for gay marriage so this is as close as you’re going to get and it’s better to have some progress than none at all. Incremental steps will move you closer to the goal, this is not an all or nothing game.
Now, getting back to religion, what I appreciate about Barack’s view is that although he is a Christian he seems to be tolerant of other religions or even people who choose not to believe. Here is a speech he gave on this specific topic.
“No matter how religious people may or may not be, they are tired of seeing religion used as a tool of attack.”
So, that’s about all the time I’m willing to dedicate to this today, but suffice it to say that I’m impressed. This man does have a shot at winning my vote. We’ll see where that goes.
Oh, and one last thing. Barack is also half white. So maybe he’s got the best view in the house on how to help bridge the gap between the races.