Sunday, January 27, 2008

Obama the next JFK?

By Libby Spencer

Back when Acidman was alive I got into a bit of blog fight with some of his fans. He asked which president we would want to date. Actually, I think he put in more physical terms but the theme was who did we find attractive as a man. Rob, rest his soul, was as politically opposite to me as is humanly possible and so were most of his 'wimmen' as he called them. The women were flooding the comment section with heavy sighs over Bush and when I said JFK, they piled on with a vengence.

I emerged from the sea of claws unscathed by reminding them we were talking about physical attraction, not politics, and JFK is the only president I found attractive in that way. Hell, I was 12 years old when he died and I had a huge crush on him. But truthfully, he's the only president that inspired me as a leader as well. History tells us he was a flawed man, but he was so charismatic, when he told us to ask what we could do for our country, we wanted to answer his call and we did.

Today Caroline Kennedy's op-ed endorsing Obama is generating a lot of buzz. I don't think endorsements usually mean all that much, but this one, from our former little princess of Camelot, I think is huge. Caroline clearly inherited her father's eloquence and these sort of comparisons trump all the bought ads in the world.

He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people — known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics — to become engaged in the political process.

[Obama can] make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.

For myself, I'm still finding it difficult to trust Obama, but I feel that way about all the candidates and since we're going to get stuck with one of them, his ability to inspire the electorate is his best selling point. POTUS is a unique position and no one can really predict how any man or woman will stand up to its rigorous job demands. Perhaps the best we can hope for, is to elect someone who can inspire a disengaged electorate to get involved. It certainly seems better to me than the cynical detachment we have now.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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