Posted by clubsodaandsalt on February 11, 2007
So, as expected, Obama announced his candidacy for President yesterday. I’m generally bullish on Barack, but I have to say that I’ve had mixed feelings of late, and his announcement speech re-inforced that.
On the one hand, there was quite a bit to like in his speech. Not only was it generally inspirational and warm-fuzzies-inducing, but he also decided to present himself as a member of the next generation of leaders, which I think is quite shrewd. It really complements his blackness (let’s just be frank) in order to create the image of a truly historical candidate. That was all nice.
But I must say that I continue to be disappointed by the lack of substance, particularly with respect to healthcare. It’s all well and good to insist that we must (MUST!) have universal healthcare by 2012, but to follow that up by parroting the same “better technology, more preventive care, blah blah blah” mantra… well, it leaves me cold. It was fine when he did this a couple of weeks ago, but now it’s time to bring a real plan to the table. John Edwards has a pretty good plan, and I’d have liked to hear Obama hint at something similarly bold, e.g., “Medicare for all” or “private insurers’ days are numbered.” The same was true on energy policy, where I am really tired of hearing politicans go on about corn-based ethanol. If we are serious about using ethanol, obtaining it from sugar cane is far cheaper than from corn. Unfortunately, neither the corn farmers nor Big Sugar want to do anything about the ridiculous price floors on cane sugar, so that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Again, a bold stance that Obama eschewed (somewhat understandably, given that he’s from Illinois).
Anyway, I’m still generally positive on Obama. I’m just hoping that he puts out some real plans soon, otherwise he’s going to end up being the John Edwards of 2008, and that’s hardly histor-making.