Monday, June 11, 2007

"Young Voices: Barack Obama displays presidential demeanor"

TRENT NIARKOS (The Columbian-WA):
TRENT NIARKOS is a senior at Heritage High School

First-term Sen. Barack Obama, candidate for the 2008 presidential election, is building steam.
On an appearance earlier this year on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman," Obama, D-Ill., made some very straightforward comments on his intentions in running for the presidential nomination for the 2008 election.
There had been talk in the media of the possibility of Obama taking the No. 2 nod and getting on the ticket as a vice presidential running mate for Hillary Clinton. When Letterman brought up the idea, Obama responded by saying, "You don't run for second. I don't believe in that."

I was very impressed with the confidence Obama displayed with this statement. Especially given that Obama was a relative unknown in the political limelight until he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the presidential race of 2008. Even more surprising was his reported fundraising totals to date, hitting the $25 million mark (as of April of this year), only $1 million behind the high-profile fundraising campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Reliable quarterback

It is clear to me that Obama is not using his candidacy as a platform for any sort of civil impact, his presidential race is not about race, and he is in this race to win. With the growing support and popularity his campaign is receiving, it would not be a shock to see this battle between Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton go tooth and nail down to the wire.

It was also interesting to hear Obama's take on the entire campaigning process, likening it to "trying out for quarterback." It is so refreshing to hear a realistic rationalization of what exactly it means to run for president. In a country like ours, run the way it is, the position of quarterback is the perfect analogy for the presidency. He understands that his job would be to lead, to take responsibility, but also to follow orders of those who "call the plays."

I would be so bold as to say that, with this type of new attitude toward the office of president, Obama may surprise many people when the time comes to choose the Democratic Party nominee.

Trent Niarkos, 18, is a senior at Heritage High School. If you're a high school student with an informed opinion, send it to The Columbian, P.O. Box 180, Vancouver, 98666, or e-mail it to



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