Tuesday, January 29, 2008

By his actions, Obama shows he's not ready to lead

After his substantial primary win in South Carolina, many see Barack Obama in the White House in 2009. Personally, I'd like to turn down the rhetoric and stop the sports-page headlines
BARACK OBAMA CRUSHES HILLARY CLINTON, Political Expert: Obama's SC Primary Win "A Route", etc., etc. This man is not ready to lead our country out of the mess we're in.

I enjoy soaring rhetoric as much as the next person. I love to be inspired, really I do. It's not that I've turned into a cynical old fart, as some would have you believe. But to quote the adage, "actions speak louder than words," and so far, Obama's actions do not live up to his words.

Case in point: his behavior last night at the State of the Union Address. This event is much more than a speech by the President. It is also a time when each party stands by their beliefs. It can be an awesome sight to behold the two parties working together, but more often it is an impressive stand of unity against the misguided policies of the opposing party. It is a time when Democrats need to stand together. You would think that the candidate who touts himself as the one most able to unite people would be able to simply shake hands with his opposing candidate.

In an act that I believe demonstrates a sense of purpose beyond personal political goals, Hillary Clinton walked over to Senator Ted Kennedy and reached out and shook his hand. Sen. Kennedy, who had just yesterday endorsed Obama, also has the experience and wiseness to return the gesture. They understand that no matter the outcome of this presidential election, Democratic senators need to work together for the greater good of the American people to fix the mess the Republicans have wrought.

Obama stood next to Sen. Kennedy during this exchange. And what did he do? Obama turned away. According to The Swamp:

As Clinton approached, Kennedy made sure to make eye contact and indicated he wanted to shake her hand. Clinton leaned towards Kennedy over a row of seats and Kennedy leaned in towards her. They shook hands.

Obama stood icily staring at Clinton during this, then turned his back and stepped a few feet away. Kennedy may’ve wanted to make peace with Clinton but Obama clearly wanted no part of that.

Was he distracted? Too busy? I don't think so. "Mr. Uniter" found the time and attention to reach out to shake the hand of "Mr. Divider," who replied with "Hey buddy. How ya doin'" I'm sorry, but this demonstrates to me Obama's lack of class, lack of substance, and lack of experience. No, he's not ready to lead.

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