30 August 2008


How odd for someone to say they do not know about Sen. Obama's campaign staff and advisors, when the information is readily available. (Do they truly want to know?) Sorry if you were looking for something mysterious and, I suspect, sinister, in his "handlers": They are ALL known and vetted.

They tend to be moderates, perhaps moreso than Sen. Obama himself. His Campaign Manager is David Plouffe, who also worked on Dick Gephardt and Tom Harkins's campaigns. There's Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett who was Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's Chief of Staff and city department head. There's Chief Strategist David Axelrod a well-known political consultant with a national reputation. There's "key advisor" David Bonior, former Michigan U. S. Representative.

Yes, experience is something to assess. But based solely on experience, you would not have voted for Abraham Lincoln nor John Kennedy. Kennedy was a very young Catholic distrusted by Protestants. Lincoln, who was born in the "wilderness," lost his very first election, for the Illinois House, and later lost his campaign for the U. S. Senate. Was it perhaps an advantage for Lincoln--and the nation--to have been born into a different background?

Re Sen. Obama: his two memoirs show how deeply self-reflective he has been, probably sparked by his mixed-race heritage and being born into a "different" background. Is this perhaps an advantage? Which other politician has been so open to reveal who they are? Sen. Obama has done this. It is there to read.

This is one thing that has impressed me about Sen. Obama. He knows who he is because he has examined who he is. This, surely, is a tremendous asset for someone in a powerful position that will be of benefit to us all. To adapt the adage by Michel de Montaigne ("The unexamined life is not worth living"): I say that the unself-examined politician is not worth voting into office.

Barack Obama has not only been self-reflexive, he has opened the book for us to read. Its authorial tone and character development and narrative are positive and revealing. Barack Obama's life so far convinces me that its yes-we-can narrative shall have a felicitous denouement for America.

No comments: