I have no doubts that all of the top contenders would serve their country positively and push a progressive agenda that has been sorely lacking since 2000.
However, there can be no doubt that Barack Obama has been the secret weapon the democratic party has been waiting for and I hope you'll agree by showing your support
As an Obama supporter, I cannot deny John Edwards bold focus on poverty and initial lead on domestic plans. As an Obama supporter, I cannot deny that Hillary, at least to date, has the best presence in the debates and has been running a very effective campaign hence her frontrunner status, to date, has consistently remained unchanged. As an Obama supporter, I cannot deny that John Edwards has held steadfast to frontrunner polling in Iowa. As an Obama supporter, I cannot deny that Hillary has been very effective in downplaying her original Iraq war vote. With that said, as an Obama supporter, there is a case to be made why Barack Obama would be unquestionably the best candidate to lead the democratic ticket and ultimately the country.
Could he win?
No doubt and as I indicated previously, he along with the rest of the top tier democrats beat every republican candidate in the national polls. However, there are some things I am sure potential voters take into consideration when the question of Obama as the nominee comes to mind.
First is his bi-racial heritage or more succinctly to the point is the fact that he is a black candidate running for an office that has never elected anyone other than a white male. No one honestly knows for sure but polls strongly indicate that the country is very receptive to the idea. Obama has shown the potential to ease voters fears of racial tensions and has a crossover appeal that has not been seen since the likes of RFK.
I would argue that those who are most concerned about his race tend to be extremely conservative and would have never been a potential voter of any of the democratic candidates in the first place.
The experience question I find ironic considering all the frontrunners on both sides of the aisle, other than McCain, cannot lay claim to being much more experience than any of the other candidates in the race. Furthermore, those with the most experience have a hard time gaining or holding traction (i.e. McCain, Richardson, Dodd, and Biden). With that said, Obama has more elected political experience than either Hillary or Edwards.
Obama has eight years in the state legislature of Illinois and a little over 2 years in the US Senate. His combined ten year political resume equates to more experience than Hillary's eight years in the US Senate as well as John Edwards one term as a US Senator (six years). Furthermore, history has shown time and again that the American electorate tends to select the candidate with least experience of the two in the general election (i.e. W. Bush [one term governor] vs. Gore [vice president, senator, and congressman]; Clinton [two term governor] vs. H. W. Bush [vice president, congressman, ambassador, director of the CIA]; and on and on). We are in a great time of change and the electorate seems to be growing around judgment and inspiration and no other candidate fits that bill better than Obama.
3. Substance: Is Obama an "empty suit"?
Well if you call the following:
Universal Healthcare Plan
Foreign Policy Agenda
Energy and Fuel Efficiency Agenda
Documented consistent opposition to the Iraq war
Obama's Iraq Bill
Ethics Reform Agenda
Faith and Religion Agenda
If you consider all of this a lack of substance then you are kidding yourself. An admission of simply not liking the guy is a better reason than claiming he is an empty suit. A good summary of what Obama is about can be viewed in the following video.
4. We Need Someone Bold, Willing To Stand Up For Progressives, And Have The Ability To Fight Back The Attacks From The Right
A great deal of MyDD and DailyKos progressives have been promoting John Edwards as the candidate that fits the bill. There is no doubt that John Edwards has made some bold moves in his campaign, however, Barack Obama, overall, has proven that he is clearly better in this department than any other candidate. Obviously, this is a highly opinionated topic and I hope everyone will treat it as such.
1. Obama's whole career has been built on a solid progressive foundation. However, his approach to politics is in itself bold. His approach consists of consensus building and unity around progressive values. There have been many that have argued that the only way to build unity is by being a centrist. Obama explains in the following video that the best approach to building a progressive majority and not just a centrist majority is through concensus politics. The idea that concensus politics is mutually exclusive to having a fighting mentality is erroneous as Obama pointed out at the recent AFSCME presidential forum:
I like a good fight but the question is how can we create a majority concensus in this country to win some of these fights? What I've argued is that we are going to have to win some independents. We've got a lot of disaffected republicans after six years. George Bush has actually been a good advertisment for the democratic party [applause].
. . . How do we unify instead of divide?
. . . That means we are going to have to reach out to some folks that may not seem like natural allies to us but are actually hungry for something new.
. . . But what we can't comprimise on: We can't compromise on a progressive vision that says if you are able and willing to work then you should be able to find a job that pays a living wage. We should not compromise on retirement security for our senior citizens. We should not compromise on issues of racial equality and gender equality. We should not compromise on workers to unionize and collectively bargain to improve their standing in life. We shouldn't compromise that every child should get a decent education and it shouldn't just be a slogan. There are some things worth fighting for and if people disagree and we can't persuade them then we just got to beat them.
2. Barack Obama is one of the most effective counter punchers of all the candidates. John Edwards learned this the hard way at the last democratic debate. Hillary Clinton witnessed his sharp counter skills during the Geffen debacle. John McCain and John Howard has been silenced by Obama's counter attacks. Obama believes in unity and rising above the fray, however, he has the capacity to deliver a serious blow to your campaign if you attack him or his party. The following video is a compilation highlighting his effective counter punching skills.
As the primaries wind down their are going to continue to be differing opinions and analyzations.