Barack Obama has received a lot of press this past week. He, if you didn't know, announced that he is considering a run for the presidency in 2008, subject to the usual procedures and such. I've not had the chance to really flesh out any thoughts about him yet, since he has been in politics for what seems like only 4 years, and during that time didn't make much of a name for himself. His career, at a glance, is typically Democrat; support for the left, hate rhetoric for the right.
For many Canadians, he seems like the best thing since Bill Clinton (most Canadians are shamefully unaware of Bill's personal involvement and financial profit in the tainted blood scandal of years back, nor are they aware of Clinton & Gore's scuttling of Kyoto). For many Democrats, he is the small 'em' messiah, the one candidate who offers respite and hope from the crustiness of the old guard of Kennedy's and Kerry's and the gilded feminazifuhrer who goes by the name of Hilary Rodham Clinton.
For many conservatives, Obama is something of an enigma. He is charming and he is the first non-white Democrat in a long while to have a shot at leading the party's presidential bid. It is known that he is a born-again Christian, and that he has worked with social conservative heart-throb Sam Brownback on at least one occassion.
But what is Obama really like?
He's pro-choice: NARAL and other pro-abortion groups have consistently found him to be a reliable ally. He voted against a bill which would have offered medical support to surviving babies of botched abortions, and has voted against a ban on partial birth abortions (the ones where the baby is halfway born, then the 'doctor' cuts its spin in half).
He's anti-marriage: He has said that he personally believes that marriage is between only one man and one woman, but then voted against any constitutional entrenchment of marriage. This either makes him forgetful, or the perfect example of a hypocrite. You decide.
He's anti-war: Well who isn't? The problem is Obama hasn't made it clear how he sees the West protecting itself from its enemies. Hoping for reconcilliation is one thing, but believing that it is the Democrats of America who are the ones to foster it is dangerously close to hubris.
So is he a better choice than the other Democrats? Probably not, but he will have much more success selling himself to the public than the others.