Livin' it up, American style

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hey Obama, slow down a little!

A few days ago, Illinois's junior senator, Barack Obama, announced that he is forming an exploratory committee to determine whether he should run for president in 2008. I like Obama, and think he should consider running for prez, but I feel he made a misstep in so quickly forming his exploratory committee, which is widely acknowledged as the one of the first formal steps potential candidates take in deciding if they are going to run. Obama should have waited several more months at least, and I fear that this early declaration may hurt him a little bit.

For a while, most of the hype about Obama for president has not been propagated by him or his campaign. Oh sure, he has maintained a very polished and presidential demeanor, released two books, and had some important appearances that have positioned him as a rising Democratic star. But for the most part, he has been very low key, and tried to play himself off as humble and modest whenever someone asked if he was going to run for president. Most of the hype came from the general press and public, not his office.

Forming this exploratory committee means he has given up being coy and is admitting outright that he is definitely thinking of running for president. But I think it's too early. Not even Hilary Rodham Clinton have taken this step yet*, despite being widely recognized as the party's front runners. Instead, she busy in the Senate getting her name on high profile resolutions. Clinton just got back from a trip to Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan, where she visited with US troops. Instead of announcing her candidacy (which forming an exploratory committee is almost tantamount to) she is busy in the senate building up her foreign policy credentials (an area that she used to be seen as weak).

Obama has only had 2 years in the senate, and he should be spending this time to take strong positions on issues and work on passing some legislation that will boost his credibility. I fear he will get caught up in running for president, and neglect building a background that shows he has sufficient government and policy experience to become president.

*I wrote this blog on Friday, and on Saturday she announced she was forming her exploratory committee.


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