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This week, Senator Barack Obama continued his historic march towards the presidency as former Vice President and presidential candidate, Al Gore, threw his full support behind Obama
“From now through Election Day, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure he is elected President of the United States,” Gore said.
Since being stripped of the presidency after he had won the most popular votes, Gore has gone on to win an Academy Award and the Nobel Peace Prize while becoming a powerful force in the fight to educate the world about the dangers of global warming.
“After eight years of incompetence, neglect and failure, we need change,” Gore said, echoing Obama’s theme at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. He continued, “After eight years when our Constitution has been dishonored and disrespected, we need changes.”
A gracious Obama said, “I’m grateful Al Gore came to Detroit tonight, but I’m ever more grateful for everything he’s done in the last 40 years for this country.”
According to Obama, the campaign is building an unprecedented organization in all 50 states, and from all indications, Obama will need that kind of organizational strength to overcome the Republican juggernaut. Obama is clearly focused on a fundamental change in the direction the current occupant of the White House has taken the country over the past 71/2 years; and he wants to make sure that the president does not get a third term by proxy via Senator John McCain.
The campaign has “ratcheted” up another milestone count by displaying the first time donors on its website. Obama has clearly changed the modus operandi of campaign funding and has invigorated the method of grass-root giving: a little from a lot instead of a lot from a few. As of May, first time donors to the campaign reached 30,515, in addition to the 1.5 million who have already given. No longer will candidates have to depend on the rich and the well-heeled, the masses have the numbers and the power.
Both campaigns are now positioning themselves for the final sprint to the November elections after their conventions in August (Democrats in Denver) and September (Republicans in St. Paul) respectively. And there are stark differences between Obama and McCain at every level: ideologically, politically, racially and in their ages.
Many may say age and race do not matter, but they are part of what make the individuals who they are, along with their experiences and their socializations. That Obama is African-American is part of who he is and it is obvious. The same goes for McCain, he is a White American and that is a part of who he is; it is also obvious. The obviousness of these differences is what should make those who vote for them look deeper than the obvious. Race and color are superficial evaluators. Remember, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about judging a man, not by the color of his skin but the content of his character. To do this, one has to look beyond race and color.
The other narrow factors are age and experience. Those can be used a bit more as tools in the evaluation process. Yet, they can be misleading if not considered along with a range of other indicators of one’s ability to lead.
The road to the White House is paved with obstacles and barriers that become hurdles for the better-prepared candidate.
Next for Senator Obama: a scheduled joint appearance with former rival Senator Hillary Clinton in Washington D.C. on June 26.