For Obama

It’s not a terrible surprise, I suppose (especially given my location), but still worth stating. I am for Barack Obama’s presidency.

Like most people, I was swept up by his hopeful speeches. McCain recently attacked Barack for offering nothing but “platitudes”. Even if that were the case, the country really does need some hope, and Barack is a gifted motivator.

Still, I wondered if there was substance behind the style, so tonight I read his campaign’s 60-page “Blueprint for Change“. While some areas are stronger than others, overall I was impressed and believe that Obama’s plans do support his speeches, and his character is consistent with his personality.

A few things that stood out for me:

  • He proposes making community college “free”–a $4000 credit each year earned through 100 hours of community service.

  • His green technology plans look very strong, and certainly ambitious.

  • I’m not sure where all the money comes from–almost every part of his plan cites “increased funding”. Though stopping the Iraq War would go a long way, as a resident of the higher tax brackets I’m pretty sure an Obama presidency would cost me a lot more money. Well, I’d probably spend it all on candy anyway…

  • I like the rural/farming plan; regulating CAFOs is a good step toward fixing our food system. Partnering with rural residents and farmers on environmental causes also seems like a good plan.

  • His immigration policies seem a little weak. While the overall themes sound good (encourage hiring Americans, let talented foreign workers in more easily, help build Mexico’s economy), I didn’t see a lot of substance in this area. It’s easy to see why Hillary does better with Hispanic voters–she’s not up against much.

  • Community engagement is probably Obama’s strongest area, which makes sense for a former community organizer. Still, seeing the proposed expansion in public service was impressive. If people truly believe they are part of this presidency, perhaps it will begin an era of renewed engagement of citizens with their government.

Finally, back to the style. Something I’ve noticed from the beginning is the tone of Barack’s speeches. While every other candidate talks about “electing me” and “when I’m president”, Obama consistently talks about “what we can do” and “standing together”. I’m not interested in sending one person to the White House–I’m interested in being part of a movement. Obama gets that, I believe in his sincerity and his plans, and I’m glad to support him.

p.s. He has a cool website too–check it out.