Well, this week Barack Obame finally clinched the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. As phony and transparent as I find Hillary Clinton, I was actually pleased at the outcome of the Primary, although it seemed to go on forever.
Hillary is now in the obviously uncomfortable position of having to decicde whether or not she’s willing to play second fiddle to Obama. He, on the other hand, is faced with the unpleasant decision of whether or not to offer her the VP slot. I don’t believe that choosing her for VP will do Obamas’s campaign much good or that she would complement him as a Vice President. The pundits are already highlighting the fact that as VP, Hillary would likely choose to toot her own horn, likely at Obama’s expense.
What troubles me is the lack of substance thus far of Obama’s platform. Ending the war in Iraq is easy to say but will be more difficult to accomplish – at least in any short timeframe post election which would satisfy his promise to end the war quickly. To think the United States could turn on a dime and withdraw troops in a matter of weeks or even a few months without it looking like another Saigon evacuation is naive. His stated position that he wants to talk to radical national leaders like Iran’s Ahmadinejad is also a risky proposition. As McCain’s camp has already noted, what would be a positive outcome of such discussions? Would the expectation be that Obama could talk sense into such a madman? Unlikely. More likely would be the enhancement of Ahmadinejad as a ‘player’ whom the U.S. fears and with whom we need to reach an accomodation.
Regardless of how many times Obama finds it necessary to distance himself from the likes of Wright and Pfleger, it seems to me that at least to a degree the old saying that “You are known by the company you keep” (or words to that effect) comes into play here. For starters, whatever distance he tries to put between himself and these kinds of people, the fact is he needs their constituencies to vote for him in order to be elected. If they do, it would not be unreasonable for them to expect some quid pro quo if Obama is elected. And of course we haven’t yet really heard from such established nut jobs as Sharpton or ideologues like Jackson. When these and others like them weigh in with their support , what will be the pound of flesh they will demand and how will such demands be addressed without appearing like Obama has betrayed them? And will he be able to resist the pressure which will be brought to bear on him by such supporters?
I plan on giving Obama fair consideration as the Presidential campaign proceeds but he’s got a lot of work to do to convince me of his electability. As a general statement I find it difficult to turn over leadership of the world’s most important and powerful natiol to an individual with no more than four years experience in the political arena. I can’t think of any sizeable corporation that would appoint a CEO with such a lack of credentials. We’ll have to see as time goes on.