In The Bag For Obama
I think it's apparent by now that I'm in the bag for Sen. Obama. I've written about him enough, it's probably been pretty obvious. For those who want to know why, I would refer you to this article. I think he's the breath of fresh air (a truth teller) that we need now.
But he's also uttered words not often heard, especially when Democratic constituencies gather. For example:
_Obama told the National Education Association that performance-based merit pay ought to be considered in public schools.
_Cuban exiles are considered one of the keys to winning Florida, but he disagreed with leaders who want a full embargo against Fidel Castro's government and instead called for allowing travel and money to the island.
_Michigan voters play an important role in national politics, but Obama visited Detroit to lecture the state's biggest industry for failing to improve automobile fuel efficiency.
"I don't do this for shock value," Obama said in a recent interview.
"There may be people who chose not to support me because I'm not telling them what they want to hear or reinforcing their preconceptions," he told The Associated Press. "I want to be elected to the presidency not by having pretended I was one thing and then surprise people with an agenda, but to get the agenda elected, to get a mandate for change. And you can't do that if you're not doing some truth telling."
Since Obama offers blacks a chance to put one of their own in the White House for the first time, he comes with instant credibility.
He has told blacks that they are letting homophobia stop them from fighting the spread of AIDS. He repeated a similar message at the largely white Saddleback megachurch, telling the congregation that they should stop preaching abstinence only and instead promote condom use.
He says blacks need to vote and clean up their neighborhoods. He has decried movements against affirmative action and unequal spending in black and white schools, but he has said parents also have a responsibility to better educate their children.
"Turn off the television set and put away the Game Boy and make sure that you're talking to your teacher and that we get over the anti-intellectualism that exists in some of our communities where if you conjugate your verbs and if you read a book that somehow means you are acting white," he said during a speech in Selma, Ala., to commemorate the civil rights march there.