February 5, 2008

God Speed Obama

Today is Super Tuesday. 24 states across the nation will go to the polls to cast their votes for the nominee they want to represent the respective parties in the general election. Among the candidates contending for that vote is Barack Obama, the senator from Illinois, the state of my birth, a black man vying to become President of the United States and in so doing, make American history.

I listened last night to Harold Ford Jr. the current DNC chairman, on the Charlie Rose show arguing the merits of today's vote producing a clear winner and talking the merits of both candidates out of one side of his mouth while slyly slanting his commentary in Hillary's favor out the other. He was one of the early Obama critics, publicly stating that an Obama win of the nomination would mean the party's defeat in the general. He has been among a group of critics such as Tavis Smiley, damning Obama with faint praise. Or those of the black democratic establishment, like Andrew Young, who have told Obama "wait your turn boy'.

All these haters that Barack has had to contend with. And look at him now. Barack has run a damn effective campaign, raised $132 million, won 2 primaries and been competitive in all, and is now poised to potentially win an insurgent victory in today's Super Tuesday contests. He has accomplished this against the entrenched political machine of the most accomplished political duo in democratic history who have dominated democratic politics for over a decade.

Its easy to forget dear reader that a scant 45 days ago, Hillary's victory was all but assured. It was a coronation ceremony, not a nomination contest. The Iowa caucus earthquake was January 5th people! Now Obama is surging, victory nearly within his grasp.

I've made the case here and elsewhere that African Americans should support Obama's run, win or lose, because he is qualified, credible and bonus, he's black. There is no down side to giving him our support. What he has done, what he is doing, lifts up Black America. His run, his example, his history, his family, his identity, his leadership.....is a credit to us. He has done us proud. We've supported and are supporting so many buffoons and charlatans. In Detroit, they are retaining a black mayor who's behavior is shameful and egregious. Contrast that to Obama. In New Orleans, a congressional representative who banks his bribes in the freezer still has a job. Contrast that to Obama. If Obama is an embarrassment, it is an embarrassment of riches. He, and the woman by his side, Michelle Obama, an accomplished woman in her own right, are giving us every day an example of excellence and accomplishment in motion. Michelle epitomizes class, intelligence, judgment, and commitment. She grounds his achievement, leavens his ambition and inspires him to his highest self, and she is doing that for us as well. You could not ask for a more distinctive First Lady.

So today as the Super Tuesday battle looms large and even as I write these words, millions of voters across the country are casting their votes. In this pivotal moment, as potentially another step towards history is made, I want to pause and say well done Barack. You are a credit to us. You have gone farther than your predecessors and you may go further still. I applaud your success and your commitment. I cheer you because you are not doing it alone, you are bringing us with you. I commend you because you are setting a standard that will guide those who come after you, doing both a service to our present and our future, no matter the outcome. I wish you victory on every electoral battlefield this day.