The Minor Leagues

Mark my words — Senator Barack Obama will be president.

He’s articulate, smart, funny, witty, and has a smile to die for. He’s well-liked by both sides and connects with his constituents in a way that reminds me of Bill Clinton. I met him once before the last election, and he was charismatic and charming. He has the marketable skills to go far and the big ideas to move him there. I just wish he was governor of Illinois instead of a freshman senator.

Rod Blagojevich aside, why would I want Obama to be governor? Because governors win the White House, senators don’t. Now you’re thinking, “What the hell am I talking about?”

Well, let’s see… four out of the last five presidents were governors. Bush was a governor. Clinton was a governor. Reagan was a governor. Carter was a governor. Bush senior was an extension of Reagan, and he wasn’t a governor or a senator.

Senators get attacked for their voting record. Most Americans don’t understand bills and pork and finance committees and all the stuff that senators do. They don’t understand how senators represent them in the legislative branch. Frankly, it’s too complicated, and explanations bore them.

Governors can show how they govern by extrapolating their success at the state level and showcasing those skills on a federal level. In the eyes of the American public, being a governor is like being in the presidential minor leagues. You govern over a state and then get called up to the big show — the federal government.

It’s going to take an extraordinary person to rise above the confusion of senatorial politics if that person is going to win the White House in the 21st century. Obama might just be that guy.

Just watch his appearance on the John Stewart show. I thought his interview was absolutely dead-on. Obama doesn’t hide behind meaningless babble. He answers Stewart’s questions in a fun and somewhat self-deprecating way. I’ve never seen a senator make fun of the process of being a senator. He gets that the American public thinks it’s kind of a joke as well.

His analogy about the truck driving into the ditch was dead on. If I was running for President as a Democrat, that would be the analogy I’d use constantly. “The Republicans who are driving our war in Iraq ran it like a truck into a ditch. We have to get the truck out of the ditch first, and then we have to fire the driver.”

President Obama. Get used to it.