In the last couple of years, and especially in the last few months, Barack Obama has enjoyed unprecedented popularity, media exposure, and renown, due in large part to the expectations thrust upon him by the American people. The announcement of his candidacy in the Presidential election of 2008 has moved the entire election process up by several months. The publicity that he is receiving from people like Oprah Winfrey and the cable news stations is taking making it difficult for lesser-known candidates such as Bill Richardson from New Mexico, who has infinitely more experience than Barack Obama, to get their message out. When you add in well-known, experienced candidates such as Hillary Clinton into the mix, it becomes next to impossible.
So why would electing Barack Obama President be potentially disastrous? Quite simply, he is untested, unproven, and most people don’t know his record (which isn’t very long as it is). As Hillary Clinton stated herself, we can’t afford to have a President who needs on the job training. While I disagree with her analysis of President Bush (as well as many of her beliefs, values, and actions), I do agree with that statement. We need a President who has been tested time and time again. At this point, Barack Obama hasn’t even been through a contentious campaign; he wasn’t in Congress during the shake-up and test of leadership that was 9-11.
For many people, he is a young, blank slate that holds a lot of promise. That’s a dangerous situation. What if the wrong people get a hold of him once he is in the White House? If he was elected to a second term, he could mask as a great person and leader for years, and then show his true intentions. There’d be nothing that the American people could do about it. We need a leader that has a long political record of accomplishment, someone who can truly lead us through this tough time in American history.
However, the situation I described above and the premise of the article is a long shot at best. While it would be disastrous for Barack Obama to be elected currently, there is a long, tedious election process that needs to be followed. I predict that his candidacy will fall under the weight of much more experienced political leaders such as Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson. If somehow the Democrats choose him as their nominee, he’d have to face the likes of Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, among others. Let’s face it: All of the likely contenders, on both the left and the right, have more experience than Barack Obama.
No matter how materialistic our country may become, we still hold our Presidential candidates to a higher standard, whether you agree with them or not. I may be naïve, but I’d like to believe that the American people would elect their next President on something other than how he looks in swim trunks. Can you imagine the uproar if a female candidate tied to play the sex appeal card? Her candidacy would probably be over even before it began.