It feels like a movie, this rise of Barack Obama. And he did have to win a couple of tough Smackdowns to get here.
Besides its compelling lead actor,
this blockbuster has had plot twists, villains, conflict, a heroic
journey, incredible stakes and a great ending. These are all, as it is, also elements
expected to be in any film or TV pitch I might make out here in
Hollywood. Dramatically speaking, this one has it all.
So far this year, I’ve voted for him twice, supported his campaign financially, gone to a rally, and even worked on “Ready to Believe,” a professionally-produced song that’s been well-received everywhere from YouTube to iTunes. Mostly, though, I’ve followed the campaign like a member of an audience glued to an on-screen spectacle.
President-elect Barack Obama’s journey has felt like an epic film, but the way it’s sucked us into caring about a character in a show where anything can happen, it’s really played more like a TV series. But there hasn’t been a reality show created that could match this one.
I was born on the exact day the Supreme Court issued Brown -vs- the Board of Education. My father taught American history and was shamed by having to explain our country’s shortcomings in civil rights. As a kid, I actually remember seeing news coverage of people having dogs and water hoses set on them because they wanted basic dignity. To see this change in my lifetime — from the awful images from the south to this man of progress chosen to lead us — is a profound thing.
There’s so much hard work ahead, but right now a black man just proved that anybody CAN grow up to be president. That’s good for our country and it’s good for our citizens, especially our kids. And, coming back from Europe just two days ago, I believe the support Obama receives from world leaders will help with leading on the global financial mess and getting them to kick in more troops in Afghanistan.
You see: the Barack Obama movie not only has done incredible domestic box office, but it’s about to play just as successfully in global markets.
The United States of America, for a few years anyway, has a brand to equal Coke and McDonald’s on the world stage. The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.
In the fall of 2007, before the
first primaries, I first wrote about Barack Obama on the FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH blog. I just
re-read it today and thought it was worth the re-post. Here it is then, as
The world has probably not been holding its collective breath waiting to find out who the FWIW blog will throw its weight behind in the presidential campaign. We have yet to serve our billionth daily reader, Tim Russert stubbornly refuses to quote us on “Meet the Press,” and the campaigns have apparently missed the opportunity to bookmark us on their browsers. Even so, I’ve been watching the presidential campaign
from the sidelines long-enough, and it seems like the right time to
get in the game.
I just logged on to the official campaign website and gave a donation to Barack Obama. There are some good candidates I can support if Obama does not get the Democratic nomination but he’s my first choice by a mile.
I just can’t get behind a George H.W. Bush – Bill Clinton – George W. Bush – Hillary Clinton narrative for America. We try to raise kids to believe that anyone can grow up to be president, and that sends the message that the truth is something else. I just don’t buy the “experience” argument anyway. I’m looking for good judgment, character and the ability to make effective decisions by listening to people with different viewpoints and then doing what you think is best, often before all the facts can be known. I’m looking for someone who can then explain those decisions to us in a way that increases our solidarity as a country and not put more distance between us.
President Barack Obama will send a message to the world that America is a new, more hopeful place. It will send a message to Americans that the racial divisions which have plagued our country can begin to truly heal. Hopefully, by being on the ticket, even the election can be about something besides red state-blue state distrust and acrimony. We need a clean break from the past.
The election of Obama, however, won’t simply be a message. He’s a bright thinker and he brings people together. We’ve been looking for someone to embody the spirit of John Kennedy for as long as I’ve been an adult. That’s Barack Obama. There is no other candidate in this race for whom that comparison is even possible.
Like John Kennedy having to deal with issues like missiles in Cuba, history won’t let Obama simply be the man who opposed the use of force in Iraq but will throw other challenges at him. He will have his own thorny issues to deal with, notably Islamic extremism directed at the U.S., but there will probably be a few we don’t even see coming now. From what I can see, he’ll be a cool head in the White House and I trust him to make the call for me.
I hope his journey across America during this campaign will allow him to transcend the boxes people want to put him in, and allow him to grow into a leader who will represent all of us.
Anyway, we all know this campaign can’t be about who’s got the best collection of issue statements and legislative agendas and plans. For me, it’s about – “Who do you trust?”
I trust Barack Obama and, for what it’s worth, I’d ask you to consider doing the same. Thanks.
FINAL NOTE: “Ready to Believe” is the title of the rock-anthem I co-wrote the lyrics to that was recorded by LA alt.rocker Cherish Alexander and released a few days before the California primary (while I was on strike for the WGA, no less). This song has been well-received everywhere from YouTube where it’s had over 100,000 plays to iTunes where you can get a quality MP3 of it. But, because you read to the end of this, you can also get a free copy by clicking here.