Written in the 2004-2005 timeframe by newly elected U.S. Senator Barack Obama, was a rising celebrity within the ranks of the Democrat Party. He made a big splash at the 2004 Democrat National Convention as the keynote speaker. His speech was electrifying, uplifting, and solidified that we could expect bigger and more things from the Illinois Senator in the future.
Then Senator Obama, wrote this book in themes ranging from; race, family, values, faith, globalization and opportunity for America. Reading this book brought me back to the 2006-2007 Presidential campaign where we heard an uplifting message of “Hope and Change” throughout the country. Then I would fast forward in my mind through these last 5-6 years into President Obama’s presidency and wonder what happened?
It seems like 180 degree turn around in some aspects, like a completely different person compared to then in Obama. As a Presidential candidate, Barack was positive, uplifting, and quite charismatic, drawing people to himself. Now though, over the past few years, he has turned more negative, on the attack, head hunting Mitt Romney this time around in this election cycle.
Is this the real Barack Obama coming out or one who has been influenced, corrupted by Washington D.C.? Frankly I don’t know and not wanting to be overly bias, I have tried to remain objective when judging his presidency. In his book, Barack spoke of elected officials going to Washington and changing themselves over time to reflect the status quo in D.C. and come back to their states as different people. He went into detail about how Senators and Congressmen go to Washington, facing overwhelming odds and bending to lobbyist, or whatever other political pressures and regretting every time they have to take a vote on something. They have regret voting because of all the “pork barreling” in these purposed amendments that both parties throw in random legislation that has nothing to do with the original bills purpose (like funding for the troops when voting on a farm bill for example) and if they vote it down, then their painted as not supporting the troops. (using my example) Obama admits that this is apart of the business and game when getting into politics, but after reading this, I’m amazed anyone would want to be involved in politics with all the criticizing and back stabbing that seems to go on.
I didn’t vote for Obama in 2008, but I didn’t vote for McCain either. I wrote in my candidate because I didn’t like either McCain or Obama enough to decide between them. I am a registered independent with libertarian/conservative leanings, but I would vote for whoever I believed could do the job the best. I may disagree with Obama on a lot of issues on what I’ve seen transpired his term so far, but I’ve prayed for him, wished you him the best, and want him to succeed in getting America back on track. I want to be able to look back on his Presidency thinking, ” I should have voted for him”.
I’m unsure on how to judge him so far objectively because I don’t feel we are better off from 4 years ago, but how much of that is attributed to Obama. Did he save us from even more dire circumstances we may have been in or is he working against us in recovery now? I don’t think anyone will argue he inherited a bad situation from Bush with the bailouts, TARP, deficit, wars etc at the end of Bush’s second term. I don’t think its fair to blame Bush for Obama’s problems altogether through his Presidency term yet because yes, Obama’s first year’s budget and everything is set from Bush but after that, he’s on his own. Not wanting to be too political, but more of the same when it comes to bailouts, stimulus doesn’t seem to be working, so why keep doing it?
Now in Obama’s Presidency, we’ve seen universal healthcare, near government, no Congress approved budgets, increased deficit, unemployment over 8%, death of Osama Bin Laden, stimulus failures, and most all a greater polarity it seems in our country. And from a guy who spoke of a new type of politics in being one to compromise, work with one another, it seems were quite of a bit off the pace. I’m not trying to bash Obama or Bush, these are mere facts I’m trying to present and throw in a little of my personal belief as well.
I enjoyed reading this book, finding out that Obama comes off a reasonable and a person you could work with and have a good discussion on the issues. He didn’t come off as some leftist, hardcore liberal, anti-Christ figure bent on crippling the United States. He and I seemed to believe in similar goals in making America and even agreed some on methods to make those goals happen. Although there were some areas I would research to fact check, be more through in seeing his arguments, I believe he was on a good track in his proposals. He made me want to study up and entertain some different points of view at the very least.
This book isn’t a line by line baseline policy making manual, but more of a broad view of a guy with a vision on how to address certain areas of opportunity in the United States. I didn’t feel him to be extreme or radical. It was well thought, written and gave me hope that the best of America is yet to come. Do I plan on reading Mitt Romney’s book for comparison? I believe I’ll check into it to compare, but I don’t believe I would make a decision on who to vote for based off one book. But I would like to be better informed and have a feel on who our President is or could be.
In conclusion, although I’ve said said little on the book specifically it seems, I would recommend it to anyone interested in politics (obviously), or anyone wanting to read something stimulating and uplifting. Obama, like most people, knows we need to make a lot of changes to keep America on top. We may see how to get to the end goals differently, but discussion and compromise is usually the way change occurs best when both sides come together in resolution. Read the book and others of differing view points and let the discussion begin. 8/10