Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Candidate for All Americans

One of the topics for this morning’s Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC deals with how African-Americans are viewing the nomination of Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate and how it’s going to impact the nation and people of color.

Of course a couple callers were already concerned that he hasn’t been on the soapbox being the champion of African-American causes. I tend to agree that in the strategic sense, Obama needs to run as the President of the United States, he’s not just a leader of the black community but of all American communities.

For the first time we have a candidate who appeals across the fabric of the mainstream and connects with a wide range of voters because of his vision and the positions that he advocates; particularly his opposition to the war in Iraq and the need for a shift in the way we perceive ourselves as a nation.

I agree with a caller of West-Indian descent from New York who felt strongly that just because Obama is running for president does not mean that he has to bear the burden of every single issue and problem faced by every single African-Americans. We should assume he is going to govern on behalf of all people and that he can do so in a way that does not make him automatically beholden to any demographic.

Interestingly, a caller from Amsterdam said that when he walks into shops he is asked who he is supporting for president. He reported that there seems to be a real sense of excitement amongst people in the Netherlands about Obama winning the Democratic primary. In fact Obama’s picture is on the front page of most newspapers on newsstands in Amsterdam.

Something is happening in this country and I think the culturegeist of our nation is going to be the better for it.

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