Written Jan '08, during the Primaries
Is it just me, or does anyone else keep expecting the kids from 'Fame' to burst out from nowhere and stop traffic every time Barack appears in public?
Not that I'm suggesting he's light weight, I don't think that, it's just that he's so youthfully aspirational, so apparently unburdened by the trials and tribulations of life in the real world. As wonderful as it would be to live in a world were Obama was the perfect President I don't think we're quite there yet nor will we be for some considerable time. It's like he's a living coke ad (that would be coca cola as opposed to anything more exotic, we all know he only smokes dope); one wonders how he would have coped in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp, where nightmares were the new dreams, and we couldn't just all sit round and talk it out.
Life can sometimes be a nasty business, and whilst I'm sure Obama could learn to deal with the harsher realities of running the Office rather than running for office, now is not a good time for Jimmy Carter II.
My hope would be that John McCain serves one term in the White House, my guess is he will not run in 2012. I think that 4 years will be enough for him to leave a lasting mark on the governance of the USA. After 4 years of Nightmare On K Street, no pork filled bills, it will be hard to go back to business as normal.
So how should Barack spend his time? Assuming he stays in the senate, I'd like to see him lead from the front, be prepared to push through some unpopular bipartisan legislation, hone the skills of his chosen profession, learn how to work the system without succumbing to, or becoming part of, the system.
Alternatively, he could run for Governor, somewhere gritty that would benefit from having a governor with a loud National voice, where he can demonstrate and enhance his abilities to run an administration.
We look at Barack and cannot help but think of Jack, but let us not forget that Jack grew up as the son of Joe Kennedy, being groomed for power from an early age, by a man who has been called many things, but never naive. Let’s also not forget the Bay of Pigs or Jack’s role in involving the US in Vietnam.
So what am I saying? As much as I enjoyed the sheer energy and feel good factor of fame, on it's own it is not enough. It may however be worth remembering that Alan Parker, director of Fame also gave us Mississippi Burning, Midnight Express and Come See the Paradise. Let Barack grow a little more and may be he will fill the Oval office as a heavy weight President, not an underweight contender.