Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Democrats - Barack on Track?

"It's a time where you can go to any town hall or street corner or coffee shop and hear people express the same anxiety about the future; hear them convey the same uncertainty about the direction we're headed as a country. Whether it's the war or Katrina or their health care or their jobs, you hear people say that we've finally arrived at a moment where something must change." Senator Barack Obama, Take Back America Conference

Democrats have a new star in freshman Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Wags, wonks and pundits of every stripe are having a field day with the crowds and compliments Obama draws as he stumps the country for Democratic candidates in the upcoming November election.

Speculation is running rampant. Will he run for President in 2008? Is he qualified? What effect would his candidacy have on Hillary Clinton? The Democratic Party? The country? And on and on and on.

At this point, I don't care.

As a registered political wonk myself, I have to say it's refreshing to see a Democrat hit the national stage with such agile grace. And with such genuine charisma. (Long time since we've seen that word.) Not just another facile politician, Barack Obama fits virtually every checkbox on the Democratic clipboard.

He's black, he's white. He's an immigrant, he's from Kansas. He's spiritual, he's pragmatic. He's sophisticated, he's down home. He's married with children, he was a hellcat when single. He's not too young, not too old. He knows the grim South Side of Chicago and the hallowed halls of Harvard. He's got an experienced world view, he's a progressive moderate.

Barack Obama is also a marketing dream, manna from heaven to Democrats desperate for a savior. Conceivably a bankable winner, the most promising figure to emerge thus far. An he's putting all those wags, wonks and pundits into Headline Heaven.

I've been taking notes, here are a few that stand out:

Obamalanche of Publicity

The Barackobubble


Being Obama


Barack Obama Boomlet
And of course, my own humble headline effort above.

Barack Obama is the media darling of the moment, and it's obvious he will have much more than 15 minutes of fame. But will he make it into the history books as the country's first African-American presidential or vice presidential candidate in 2008? Too soon to tell.

One thing is certain: he's breathing life back into the Democratic party, helping turn it's symbol from an impotent old ass into an elephant ass-kicker. And setting the bar higher than it's been for a long, long time.

It remains to be seen if he can clear that bar himself.

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