This reporter has been watching the race for the Democratic nomination with great interest, and apparently so has America and the world. From the outset it appeared that Hillary Clinton was the presumptive nominee. With four other people in the race Barack Obama stood out only because of his race.
Fast forward ahead to the present, eight months later and we have Barack Obama appearing to be the presumptive nominee and Clinton trying to catch up. What happened in the interim? Obama has caught on like wildfire, running through ten states without a credible challenge from his opponent. On T.V. Obama is looking very presidential, much more presidential than Ronald Reagan when he lost the part for the president in the 1964 film "The Best Man". In person he fills the halls he appears in with what could easily be described as devotees. In a recent visit to Youngstown, Ohio Obama not only had the whole crowd rocking, they were in the palm of his hand. They hung on his every word. They all came there knowing what he was going to say, and like one does at a concert with your favorite musician, they waited to hear the part of his speech that resonated with their own feelings. He has found his voice and the people are listening! Not just some of the people, some of the time, but all of the people, all of the time.
Meanwhile, Hillary has been relegated to the sidelines where she lobs potshots at him every now and then. Unfortunately for her, she doesn't have the strength of purpose, or the clarity of mind to be able to focus her aim and score a direct hit. Obama has deftly deflected each and every one of them, including the ridiculous charges of plagarism, lack of substance and "hopemongering". Yes, Obama is a hope monger, and proud of it. He's taken everything that's been tossed at him and like a good martial artist turned the energy behind those blows back on the one who threw them.
Whether he wins or loses this race is not the question. He will come up a winner any way it goes, because he is changing the nature of politics as we know it, right now, not in some distant future. Evidence of this is clear in the primary elections that he's winning, by double digit margins. He is bringing people together from all walks of life right now and giving the American people something to hope for.
In the beginning they tried to label him "The Black Candidate", that only a Black person would vote for. When too many white people voted for him they called him an empty wagon, very noisy, but no substance. A quick look at Obama's record would tend to belie that statement, when you Google him and find out that the issues he most recently brought into his stump speeches are issues that he's been addressing the entire time he's been in Congress, such as the homeless vets, education reform, the economy, the war in Iraq, Darfur and global warming. Obama is not just paying lip service to these issues he's writing bills and getting the votes to have them passed.
The question now is, if Hillary Clinton or John McCain are elected to the highest office in the land can they get the votes they need in Congress? I don't believe they can, not without the popular support of the people. In Obama's stump speech he states unequivocally that the change we seek cannot be made without the support of the people themselves, and he's right. No congressman or woman will want to stir up the ire of their constituents and have them outside their door protesting. This is a real and yet unspoken fear. Obama talks about putting the lobbyists out of business, shutting down their operations. There's no way to do that without the popular support of the people. So, all the talk of empty wagons rolling down the street making a lot of noise, but carrying little goods, is just that, talk.
They say Obama needs a reality check. Well I beg to differ. The reality is Obama is not only the best man, he's the best candidate for the job.