Barack Obama sat with Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” this past Sunday and clearly demonstrated why he is the right man to lead our nation into the next phase of history. First, he addressed the issue of his experience and his response was right on the money. He may not have been in Congress for 20 years, but in the time he has been in the Senate, he has proven himself to be the only one to consistently make decisions that are in the best interests of the American people, as demonstrated by his vote against the Iraq War and his disavowal of special interest support. In fact, I see his limited tenure as an advantage. It makes him less beholden to lobbyist and old-guard Washington players, who at this point hold too much sway over how this country operates. The current experienced Washington politicians often owes on old political debts. Unfortunately, when these debts get called in, these “experienced” politicians must make concessions that too often are detrimental to the interests of the American people. Barack Obama is in the unique position of having established himself as a free thinking leader, making decisions because they are the right ones to make. At the same time, he is unencumbered with Washington baggage that could hinder his ability to exercise that free thinking fortitude in the days ahead.
The next part of his “Meet the Press” interview demonstrated that Barack Obama has the knowledge and intelligence to handle complex foreign policy issues. He adroitly discussed the current foreign policy situation in the wake of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and at the same time navigated the minefield of questions that Tim Russert tried to set. He addressed the need to allow enough time to elapse in order to ensure that the opposition candidates are included in free and fair elections, but at the same time prevent the current government from using her death as an excuse for putting off elections indefinitely. Furthermore, he correctly identify our greatest ally in the region to be a Pakistani government the represents the interest of vast majority of Pakistani people—an overwhelmingly moderate electorate who believes in the rule of law. While possessing this understanding and the need to support this electorate as it seeks to gain control over the country, he simultaneously recognizes that supporting Pakistan in the fight against terrorist does not mean giving them a blank check of unlimited funds. All one has to do is really listen to Baraka Obama and it becomes clear that he is the choice we need for the future.