On October 10 I attended a rally here in Columbus for Barack Obama. It was a very large, very spirited, very positive outpouring of support for the Democratic presidential candidate - the mayor and governor both spoke, among others (which means a great deal in this battleground “swing state”). Obama spoke about the current financial crisis and outlined his plans for implementing a long-term solution, as well as his other ideas for revitalizing America in what is, by any standard, a stressful time in its history.
I voted for Obama on October 6, however ever since he announced his campaign for president, I’ve tried hard to not get caught up in all the hoopla surrounding the man that has made him out to be some kind of amalgam of Martin Luther King and Jesus Christ.
I can understand it. The past eight years have been, to say the least, a nightmare. George W. Bush has screwed up this country in so many ways I’ve lost count. People are hungry for relief, for a 180-degree turnaround, and Obama has set an extremely high standard for himself and others to follow. I guess for a long time I believed he was simply too good to be true… that somewhere down the line the other shoe would drop and we’d see the emperor has no clothes after all. That may still happen - but right now, after seeing him up close and in person, after hearing him speak live, I am more convinced than ever that he is what America needs.
However, let me be clear about this: I have not and will not put him on a pedastal. Obama, like John McCain - like every politician before him - has made a lot of promises, and I believe it is incumbent upon we the people to make sure that as president he lives up to those promises and to not let him slide if he backpedals. Zod knows the Republicans won’t. At the end of the day, Obama is a politician, and he will say what he feels he needs to say to get elected. Our job is to hold him accountable to the things he says. That’s why I hesitate to say things like “he sounds sincere” or “I believe in him” because I have no doubt McCain supporters feel the same about their candidate.
Is this an endorsement for Obama? Yes - but I urge you to not be blinded by the cult of personality surrounding him, not now - and especially not when he takes office as president.