"I believe experience counts, but it's not everything. Values, judgment, and the record I have amassed in my state..." "We have got to have the courage to change. Experience is important, yes. I've got a lot of good experience dealing with ordinary people." "We need a new approach. The same old experience is not relevant. And you can have the right kind of experience and the wrong kind of experience. Mine is rooted int he real lives of real people, and it will bring real results if we have the courage to change."
iceburgslim at DailyKos argues that the job of the President is always one of on the job training, unless you've already served as POTUS. So, while certain kinds of experience are relevant, you have to look at their values and judgment, what new ideas they bring, the strength of their character.
Senator Obama has shown that his judgment is sound, by speaking out against the Iraq War from the beginning, when it could have hurt his political career, and by organizing inner city neighborhoods and leading the people there to bring themselves a higher standard of living.
He brings a message of hope, and it is not an empty one. Hope that we can have a president who is the leader of our entire nation, not just those who are willing to agree with him. Hope that our nation can find solutions to the energy crisis, and stop being dependent on foreign oil. Hope that we can bring a diplomatic solution to the horrible events in Iraq, not only so that our soldiers can come home, but so that the people in Iraq can share in this idea of hope for themselves, and their sons and daughters and mothers and fathers will not continue to die senseless deaths. Hope for a balanced budget that does not leave our children facing national bankruptcy due to irresponsible spending. Hope that our Constitution will be restored. Hope that we will have a President who is worthy of our trust.
If I am to vote for a president based on his or her ability to negotiate peace in Iraq and prevent war with Iran, I want someone who understood the difference between Sunni and Shia, and could explain it, way back in 2002.
If I am to vote based on how they'll do at taking care of America, I want someone who has been more than a casual tourist of low income neighborhoods, someone who has helped these people help themselves. I want someone who has lived the life of an average American, and who knows life outside of politics. Someone not indebted to special interests.
All of these things describe Barack Obama and are parts of the reason my hope is that he is our next President.
I love the fact that 6 months ago, he stood in Detroit and told auto manufacturers that they have a responsibility to produce cleaner cars, and that they had to straighten up. And 6 months later the United Auto Workers of America endorsed him. He is able to tell people truths they might not want to hear, but he can still get his message across to them. Part of today's culture is to avoid offending people, in this era of political correctness. You don't stare at cripples, you aren't supposed to notice when someone's skin is a different color, you don't tell jokes that poke fun at minorities or people less well off than yourself, and you don't tell people that their breath smells. You just don't say or do anything to directly offend others, especially when you're campaigning for their votes. So, for Senator Obama to stand in front of them and say what he meant, and criticize them, and for them to turn around and endorse him speaks volumes about his ability to be President and how much experience he truly has.
Senator Obama becoming President Obama will be the difference between being ashamed of our country, as I am now, and once more being proud to be an American.