A few nights ago, everyone in America got word that Barack Obama won the Iowa caucus. The juggernaut known as Clinton 2.0 petered out for a night, and change seemed to overwhelm consistency. Whether or not change can pull through in the end remains to be seen, but I am delighted to see a flicker of excitement in the never-ending election bandwagon.
It seems all but impossible to me that after seeing the faces of Guilliani, Obama, Clinton, McCain and everyone else with buckets of money, plastered on magazine covers for well over a year, that we are still almost that far away from the election. Towards the beginning, I did my best to stay updated with all of the latest candidates, reading insightful profiles in the New Yorker, or tuning into Keith Olberman to see their latest digs at one another, but about four months ago I began feeling extreme campaign burnout.
Now, with things gaining momentum, I'm beginning to reconsider my views surrounding the race for the White House (sensationalized much?). My biggest fear, like many others, is that based on my limited experience following the debates, I don't know if I completely understand what Obama stands for. It's time for me to begin doing my homework again.
His victory speech at the caucus this week brought more of the same; inspiring rhetoric about change and unity without much in the way of "how". Granted, a victory speech isn't the primary place to be discussing details of policy change but it would have been nice to hear a little more. When it comes to being a suave politician, Obama looks the part. He pauses for applause in all the right spaces. Just as Angelina so eloquently states in her Obama post,
I want to believe in Obama. When he talks in his victory speech about
being the "United" States again, rather than disconnected red and blue
divisions of space, I feel for those brief moments when he's speaking
that it's possible. However, after 8 years of Bush, I'm looking for more than looks and am dubious of politics in general.
The electability of any of the Democratic candidates is my biggest concern. After eight years of dismal leadership, I fear that America will go for something safe. That rules out both Obama and Clinton, who by their race and sex would be making history purely by being elected. In turn, that makes me fear that a Republican victory isn't as unlikely as I would hope.
Perhaps the Obama victory in Iowa is a sign that things aren't as dire as I sometimes believe . Perhaps this is the sign that signifies change is going to come. Although Huckabee's victory worries me. With New Hampshire moments away, I am beginning to wonder if, unlike Howard Dean in the last election, Obama could pull through without losing momentum. If, in the meantime, he can keep developing before our eyes as a politician, then maybe he'll be victorious.
One sure fire way? Bring me on as his campaign manager and use the following video on all of his campaign stops. Is there any 90's music video MORE ridiculous?