I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed with the outcome of last night’s Democratic Caucus in Iowa.
At least my Jayhawks won.
Seriously, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am an ardent John Edwards supporter and am still keeping my fingers crossed that he can win the Democratic presidential nomination, especially since many polls show that he has the best chance to beat a Republican candidate for the White House in the fall.
But I have to admit that last night’s winner Barack Obama does have a powerful message. I just worry that it’s a bit naive.
Calling for hope and unity in a country that is so divided over issues like the war in Iraq, health care for uninsured children and education is a breath of fresh air. I just don’t think it’s enough.
It’s a message that I understand resonates with his biggest demographic — first-time voters and young voters. If I was voting for the first time as a high school senior or college co-ed, I’d probably be on his bandwagon, as well.
I remember being wide-eyed and enthusiastic when I was able to vote for the first time, trying to find someone I could trust and believe in. Being able to participate in the process and express my feelings through my vote was exciting and empowering.
As I got older, it didn’t take me long to realize that I wanted more in a leader than a desire for peace, love and understanding and that the first excited rush of supporting a candidate’s ideals can leave us disappointed later on.
While a positive message is a good start, we’re going to need a lot more in 2009 than a president who wants to focus on a hopeful message in the White House. There will also need to be a sea change in the make up of Congress, which isn’t likely. Without that, the next president is going to have an uphill battle to make any sort of headway in the direction of change.
Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience in these unpredictable and scary times also gives me pause. With certain areas of the world teetering on the brink of implosion, I feel the need to have someone at the helm who can make the big decisions on Pakistan and who knows where the next hot spot will be. There is bound to be one. Or more.
The recent assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a stark reminder that there are many places on earth that we think we can manage, but are clearly out of our control. We’ll need much more than hope and unity to manage those crises.