Yeah! I'm thrilled that Barack Obama has won the Iowa caucus!!
John Edwards came in second, and Hillary Clinton third. Obama has an 8 point lead over Edwards and 9 points over Clinton. Before the pundits act like the race was closer than it was, he beat Clinton by the same percentage points that Mike Huckabee beat Mitt Romney. They've made Huckabee's win sound like a blowout, and if Huck's win is a blowout, so is Obama's.
Let me first say that I'll support any Democrat over any Republican in November, but Obama is my man. Apparently, for some, the biggest fault he has is that he doesn't present "substance" enough. He doesn't speak about the particulars of what he'll do as president. I have two points to make to those who bring up that not so salient point: look at his website; and, all liberals and progressives agree on what needs to be done. What we may not all agree on is how to bring about the changes we want, and to hate on Barack Obama for essentially not being saying the obvious, saying what everybody's agreeing on, is tacky. Update: I meant to point this out last night, but here's how pundits are saying it'll work out:
- New Hampshire: the independents, who make up 40% of registered voters in NH, are likely to vote in the Democratic primary and vote for Barack.
- South Carolina: African American, who make up 50% of registered Democrats in SC, seeing that Barack is actually viable and white Americans will vote for him, will most likely support him and support him overwhelmingly.
So what do I think this says in the long run? Well, some independents and usually Republican voters caucused for Obama. Young people who never caucused before caucused for Obama. Women caucused for Obama. I'm listening to his speech now, and he is making it about the people and what they did tonight. He is promising to bring about change, unity, and ending corporate lobbyist influence. He's talking about affordable healthcare for everyone, renewable energy, ending the Iraq Occupation, restoring our standing in the world, and a more progressive tax code. And still, he's making it about the people. He has a marvelous chance to win it all.
Now, my biggest interest lately has been anti-racism, so, yes, I see race. I have to say as an African American, I'm thrilled. And happily so. This gives me hope as an African American. This gives me hope as an anti-racist.
But let's not get overly excited. This by no means indicates that race is no longer an issue in America. In the coming days and weeks, I hope to lay out how racism still disadvantages people of color and how the legacy of slavery still leaves African Americans far behind our European American counterparts.
Tonight, suffice it to say that Obama's win, however heartwarming it is, and it is heartwarming, by no means our country is now "colorblind." Obama won, but he did not win by promising reparations. He has had little to nothing to say about race, but I mentioned in an earlier post why that doesn't bother me greatly.
I need to add, my mother is telling me that Obama's speech echoed John Kennedy's speeches of the 60s. She's telling me I'm witnessing history; I am. Barack Obama is the first African American to win a caucus, first actually to be a viable candidate. I don't quite have the words for how I feel, but this is great. This is the work I'd like to do. I want to get the US to a place where it doesn't take over 200 years since its founding and over 100 years since the end of slavery for everyone to be equal in every sense of the word. And, again, we're still not equal. I mean, come on. Out of now around 14 presidential candidates (Chris Dodd and Joe Biden dropped out), only 1 is Black and can't say a word about his Blackness lest he be perceived as playing the "race card." Come on.
So, anyway, there'll be much more to come!