Monday, July 12, 2004

Inaugural Candidate of the Day: Barack Obama

Of all the candidates running for office in 2004, Obama might have the brightest future in Democratic politics. Two weeks ago, GOP nominee Jack Ryan was forced to withdraw from the race due to a sex scandal. The Illinois GOP, already in shambles due to former Governor George Ryan (no relation), is scrambling to name a last minute replacement. One state senator is so desperate that he suggested former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka as a possible replacement. As of press time, Ditka expressed no interest in running for public office. Jim Edgar, the former Governor who declined to enter the race last year, would have been the GOP’s last chance at holding this Senate seat. He has once again decided not to seek the seat. After one non-eventful six-year term, Republican incumbent Peter Fitzgerald decided not to seek re-election. All of this means that Obama, barring a minor miracle, will join Sen. Dick Durbin from Illinois in the United States Senate. I won’t say this often, but I would refrain from sending money to Mr. Obama. Simply remember the name. He will be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come. Of all the 33 Senate races in 2004, this is the most likely Democratic pickup. Obama was a slight favorite before the Ryan scandal. It has gone from leaning Democratic to very likely Democratic.

Obama has tons of potential on the national scene. Obama, an African American, will reach out across all racial lines. For all their strengths, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are very polarizing figures. They have difficulty connecting to more mainstream audience. Obama, along with Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee, are the two most promising minority voices in our party. He is a very charismatic and articulate. He also has the experience of serving in the Illinois State Senate. You can bet that national Democrats will ensure Obama lots of high-profile visibility. Obama will be only the 3rd African American elected to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction.

Here is a link to State Sen. Obama’s website: http://www.obamaforillinois.com/

P.S: I am having difficulty posting links. For now, please copy and paste any links into your browser. I am working on providing functional links.

-Taylor

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