Complete Score: 25 / 42 = 60%
Though I’m personally voting for Ralph Nader, there is much to respect in Barack Obama and how he’s ran his campaign. Say what you will about the man or his political stances but he’s clearly led one of the best campaigns in our modern history. Sure, the fact that Obama has much more financial resources than other candidates helps him push out this campaign, but his targeting and ability to motivate citizens to get involved is admirable. No matter your political affiliation, the fact remains that we will have a huge, huge voter turnout today and no doubt Obama is a big reason for that turnout. Though I see Barack Obama as being politically closely tied to John McCain, at least Obama has shown that he can lead, which with our current crop of candidates is a rarely seen trait. The only other person I would say has shown true leadership capability is Ralph Nader, though his campaign has not nearly been as well managed as the Obama campaign.
Photo credit to seiu_international.
So Obama can get people motivated via his eloquent speeches, but in terms of bang for his buck, Obama is not the most efficient of candidates. That honor clearly goes to one of the third party candidates, who’ve compiled dedicated fan bases with little financial support. In terms of value he would provide to the USA, I find very little that differentiates him from his moderate comrade, John McCain. They’re both in favor of expanding the war in Afghanistan, increasing the wealth of health insurance companies, “clean” coal and “safe nuclear (empty rhetoric since coal is not clean and nuclear is not safe), keeping the Patriot Act, wasting taxpayer money on failing corporations (e.g. poor understanding of economics), increased corporate power, increased surveillance of the American public (FISA), and the list goes on.
Score: 2.5 / 5
If Obama runs the country like he’s run the campaign then we’ll be OK as Obama has shown he, unlike many of the other candidates for President, has some leadership characteristics and is able to organize and manage a large organization. On one side of the spectrum we have John McCain, who has proven that he is highly incapable of organizing, managing or leading a campaign, yet alone a country, on the other side of the spectrum we have Obama who has shown that he is more than capable of running a huge campaign and possibly a country. If nothing else you have to admire the man’s campaign and ability to capitalize on his strengths while cloaking his weaknesses. I might not agree with him on many of his political stances, but I sure am glad Barack Obama is an American and not running for president of some other country.
Score: 4.5 / 5
Photo credit to EricaJoy.
Barack Obama’s internet presence is huge and rivals that of internet phenom Ron Paul. The social network aspect of Obama’s site has helped him create a grassroots movement that has since built up into a huge national collection of voters working and volunteering for Barack Obama. He’s also introduce legislation and ideas that would open up government for citizens to see what’s going on, which amazingly is innovative considering the immense secrecy of the Bush administration. If nothing else, we can say Obama is creative, though many of his progressive ideas do come from other sources (Nader amongst others), it again is innovative to listen to others instead of relying on your own secret sect for all solutions, ala the Bush administration.
Score: 4 / 5
As noted in my review of Bob Barr, we need to recognize what’s happened over the last eight years and put in safeguards to ensure it does not happen again, not simply hit the reset button. Barack Obama however is a return to the moderate Democrat politics of Bill Clinton, not a progressive movement to improve this country. Voting for Barack Obama is quite literally like hitting the reset button and pretending that George W. Bush did not happen.
On too many issues Barack Obama has taken a moderate stance highly similar to John McCain. For instance Obama’s support of clean coal, safe nuclear are empty rhetoric as clean coal is not clean and safe nuclear is not safe. These stances lead me to believe that Obama cares more about businesses and less about what’s good for our society as a whole. We have the technology today to begin relying on cleaner energy from solar, wind, geothermal and tidal sources. It is time we leave behind coal, gas, and nuclear and progress towards an independent and clean energy future.
Score: 2 / 5
Photo credit to Allison Harger.
Look, I like Obama’s personality. He’s a very charismatic guy and will likely regain many of America’s allies. However, he is not a progressive figure and will merely steady this country, but not vastly improve it. I hope I am proved wrong but I find that Obama is full of hype and empty on true progressive substance. Many of my friends believe Obama will shed his moderate stances once in office and truly work to improve this country and introduce legislation to open up the political process, including making ballot access fair, allowing third party candidates to attend national debates, and empowering citizens to enact change and protect themselves. Obama would score much lower in this category if deep down I did not hold out hope that my friends are correct and that Obama truly is a progressive figure hiding in a moderate’s cloth, but that hope runs close to empty.
Score: 12 / 22
You can learn more about Barack Obama at Vote for Change.
Complete Score: 25 / 42 = 60%