I've been trying to avoid putting much political stuff on this blog - I'm fairly passionate about politics, but don't feel that I'm very articulate at expressing my beliefs. Plus, if 2004 is any indication, I'm going to be unbearably involved in the election the closer it gets, so for my own sake and yours I don't want to front-load a lot of political content.
That being said, I want to weight in real quick on the Obama campaign. I've been very encouraged by the recent news out of Iowa, and while it's far from a sure thing, I'm feeling more hopeful than I have in months that he can actually win this thing. I don't seem to be alone in this, either, judging from the increasing mudslinging from the Hillary campaign.
There are some great clips of Obama making an appearance at the Apollo Theater in Harlem out there. The first one I saw was a crowd-perspective video taken with a handheld camera; there are better quality shots on YouTube, but I kind of like the DIY aspect of this one, partly because it reproduces what the San Francisco rally felt like. One of the coolest things about this video is that it confirms my suspicions about Obama's consistent message. His audience is different - the one at the Apollo seems more African-American, while that at Bill Graham was mainly white and Asian - and the issue leanings seem to be a bit different, but while the reactions are different his message is the same. Talking about the environment doesn't give him as big of applause as it did out here, but he still stresses it. The lines about civil rights that cause the Apollo to thunder received only polite clapping in California, but I don't doubt his heartfelt devotion to that cause.
Anyways, that's encouraging. Granted, New York City and San Francisco are both pretty liberal, and I suppose the true acid test would compare those speeches to ones he gives in Iowa and Nevada. But, you know what? I'm increasingly confident that he really is saying what he believes. That has actually become one of the cornerstones of his campaign. In an odd way, he is differentiating himself from Hillary by saying that she will say anything to get elected, while he will take positions even if they may hurt his chances. That may not be good strategy, but it is great policy.