A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Considering Obama

A while back I wrote a piece on John Edwards expressing tentative support, especially with his focus on poverty and a more promising foreign policy vision. Over time such support has been strengthened.

But Barack Obama also interests me, in terms of his early and consistent opposition to the war, his unique life story, and his ability to connect a certain set of politics into an overall vision that could be in a position to move people to action.

And to be able to craft that vision into the religious sensibilities of most Americans while being respectful of the first amendment and a supporter of the religious diversity, which is our nation's strength not its weakness is it self an amazing act for a democratic candidate.

But this has been an important caveat that keeps me with Edwards. It's identified by an author that links up Reinhold Niebuhr and Obama's run for the presidency. It's about the specific policy proposals and whether Obama is comfortable with such things. As the author notes:

"At a certain point, he will have to demand something from people who are disinclined to give up much of anything for the commonweal. (John Edwards has run a far more honest and substantive campaign, in this regard.)

Whether that means taxing the wealthy to pay for health care or instituting mandatory national service for young Americans, Obama will have to demonstrate his seriousness (political and moral) by moving from biography to proposals that don't go down as easily as his eloquent rhetoric."


At 7:43 AM , Anonymous Fr Chris said...

Hmm...this puts me in kind of a bind. I had more or less written off Obama in favor of Edwards, but this impresses me. :-)

In terms of being specific about policy, I think we're losing sight a little of just how early we are in the campaign. It's only April — if people get really specific this early, that just gives everyone else extra months to pick at things. (Not that that's necessarily a bad thing overall, but it's not good for the candidates, which is why they're being vague.)

Obama's record in the Senate is a good one, with some specific successes. I guess I'll have to wait and see what his policy proposals look like down the road, before Iowa and New Hampshire.

At 11:13 AM , Blogger Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

I like John Edwards. I think he's sincere and he's got some great ideas. I certainly prefer him to Hillary (no dynasties please), but I've hitched my wagon to Obama. It's not because he has all his policies worked out or because he has lots of experience -- if it's experience you want then go with Joe Biden or Bill Richardson. I think its because Obama represents something new, a new way of looking at the nation and the world. More than anything he's demonstrated a willingness to listen and he's not as quick triggered as some others. I think Obama will have some bumps in the road, but he seems to be wearing well! And that's a good sign.

At 9:09 PM , Blogger Jeff Greathouse said...

I am not sure what direction or individual that I am looking for or leaning towards. there are definitely pro's in both you are mentioning ...

At 1:54 AM , Blogger jonathan said...

I like the fact that Edwards focuses on the poor, but in the end, on poverty issues alone, I would choose Obama. That's not just because of his record (which is excellent) but because when it comes to life choices and personal sacrifice, Obama has shown a much greater committment and leadership by example than Edwards. I profiled both of them and tried to do as complete and objective research as possible.



(I profiled the records on poverty of all the other major candidates on that site as well)

At 8:35 AM , Anonymous Progression of Faith said...

It is so difficult to read candidates because the dialogue is so scripted. I'm not sure what to think. I wish we could get down to the details. My vote is up for grabs but it will certainly be from the left end of the spectrum.

You have a great blog. Thanks!


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