Saturday, January 5, 2008

Obama, JFK, and the Future of Politics

I wrote on the day before Christmas about my decision to vote for Barack Obama in the New York State Democratic primary in February. My main reason was the good I think election of an African-American as our President would do for America and the world.

I also mentioned that Obama reminded me of JFK. In the aftermath of Obama's victory in Iowa, and his extraordinary speech, the JFK connection seems even more real, prominent, and important.

I was all of 13 when John F. Kennedy became President in 1960, but I remember clear as day how good that felt. Because, well, JFK - though he was in his 40s - looked and sounded as if he was part of my generation.

It's clear that Obama has that inspiring effect on people in their teens and twenties today. As many media commentators have noted, candidates have called upon and expected big turnouts from college-age voters lots of times in recent history, and were disappointed. They didn't come out for Dean in the 2004 primaries, nor for Kerry in the general election.

They are coming out for Obama.

And I think that's a wonderful sign of hope for Obama's election, and for the future.

It means that Obama's talk about change is far more than rhetoric. It is galvanizing the future of our nation, and I expect it will propel Obama to the Democratic nomination and beyond.
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