The young Democratic senator from Illinois laid his cards on the table the other day.
While he's got a decent hand, the others gathered at the table have yet to fold 'em, show 'em or up the ante.
I'm betting on the field.
Obama will get a certain chunk on the left who will vote for him simply because he's black, but that doesn't mean he is the right person for the job. The presidency should not be decided by Affirmative Action. And, I fear, that's all Obama's election would be. The same, of course, could be said if Hillary Clinton, God forbid, runs a successful campaign.
Before you fire up the computer and start calling me a racist or sexist, let me explain.
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Clinton has more different personalities than Sybil. She's a hawk, she's a dove, she's a defender of the underprivileged, she's a fiscal conservative, she's left, she's right, she's up, she's down, depending on the political winds.
He's a nice-looking, charismatic young man who's written some nice policy papers, had his picture taken in swimming trunks on the beach and made one important speech - remember the last Democratic convention?
He doesn't have much, if any, baggage to lug around because he's a rookie who hasn't really done anything yet.
Every step he takes between now and the next convention will be well-choreographed, every Senate vote will be decided by how it will affect him in the polls.
If we want to base the presidential race on popularity and how much money you can raise, Obama's a contender, but if it is based on who would best serve the country, he comes up short, even when measured against the candidates who went at it last time the Democrats tried to elect a president.
Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards, Tom Vilsack, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden and even Hillary have completed at least one term as either a governor, senator or member of the House.
Obama is two years into his term as a senator. Yes, he served seven years in the Illinois legislature, but it's a big leap to go from the state Senate to campaigning for the Oval Office.
"But, he's better than anybody the Republicans can run," some people are saying.
That may be so, but is he the best choice for America, which will be coming off of eight years of George Bush and a Congress that will barely have had time to turn around before the next election?
No, and it doesn't matter how many babies he kisses, how much money he raises or how many times he makes the cover of People magazine between now and the next election.
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