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I'd like to take the time to argue my case that Senator Barack Obama is the right man to be President come Janurary 20th, 2009. All of my Democratic friends, including many in GUCD maintain that Senator Obama is too young, too inexperienced, and too black to be President of the United States. As we heard from Charlie Cook a few weeks ago, Barack Obama would not even theoretically jump into the 2008 race. This is a mistake. Senator Obama should run and this is why:

1. Barack Obama has more than enough experience and he is not too young to be President. If inaugurated on January 20th, 2009, President Obama would be 47 years old. Sounds young, right? Well, actually not. He would be older than Bill Clinton (46), John F. Kennedy (43), Teddy Roosevelt (42), and Ulysses S. Grant (46), all of whom are generally regarded as above average presidents. For all those who supported Senator John Edwards for President in 2004, upon inauguration, Senator Edwards would have been 51 years old (I doubt that 4 years adds much to a person in preparation for the Presidency). Senator Obama also will have more experience in elected office than a number of Presidents. Having served eight years in the Illinois State Senate and what will be four years in the U.S. Senate upon inauguration in 2009, Senator Obama has more experience than Ronald Reagan (eight years as governor), George W. Bush (six years as governor), Jimmy Carter (four years in the Georgia state senate and four years as governor), Franklin Delano Roosevelt (two years in the New York state senate and four years as governor), Dwight D. Eisenhower (no elected experience), Woodrow Wilson (two years as governor), and many other Presidents. To say that Senator Obama is too young or too inexperienced to be President suggests that all the great young and inexperienced Presidents listed above should never have been President.

2. For those that want to defeat Senator Clinton in the primary for a number of reasons (she can't win, she is too conservative, she won't make a good president, she will divide the country), Senator Obama is the only person who can easily beat Senator Clinton. Take a look at this Quinnipiac poll measuring the feelings of Americans toward Senator Obama in comparison to other well-known elected officials:

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and Arizona Sen. John McCain are the hottest figures in a Quinnipiac University national 'Thermometer' survey, in which almost 1,900 voters rate their feelings about national leaders.

The two Republican presidential front-runners and Sen. Obama, who is not yet on the '08 guess list, are more warmly received than Sen. Hillary Clinton and other contenders. The independent poll asked voters to rate leaders from 0 to 100 on a "feeling thermometer," with the highest numbers reflecting the warmest feelings.

The top 10 mean scores are:

(1) Rudolph Giuliani.........................63.5
(2) Barack Obama.............................59.9
(3) John McCain..............................59.7
(4) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice......57.1
(5) President Bill Clinton...................56.1
(6) Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards..50.8
(7) Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner.........50.7
(8) New York Sen. Hillary Clinton............50.4
(9) Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold.............49
(10) Virginia Sen. George Allen...............48.6

President George W. Bush is at 44.1 and Vice President Dick Cheney gets 41.

Think about that! Senator Obama, who does not have 100% name recognition around the country has the second highest rating, above John McCain, President Clinton, and Senator Clinton. The people that know Senator Obama love him and as he becomes more well-known, more will come to love him too. There is not a single Democrat I've met who doesn't love Senator Obama, and many I speak to can't stand Hillary Clinton. I have no personal dislike for Senator Clinton, who is a great Senator and leader in our party, but Senator Obama clearly has the support of national Democrats and of all voters nationwide. If we're looking for someone to beat John McCain, this national thermometer shows that Senator Obama, while not as famous as Senator McCain, is more popular.

There are also those that say that a black man can't win the Presidency. Well, according to SurveyUSA's latest survey of all 100 US Senators shows Senator Obama is the fourth most popular Senator in the US Senate and the second most popular Senate Democrat in his mostly white, moderate, Midwestern state, with 70% of the state approving of his job performance. In fact, 68% of white voters, 69% of seniors, 57% of conservatives, 76% of moderates, 49% of Republicans, 69% of Independents, 60% of pro-life voters, 67% of regular church-goers, 73% of suburban Chicago voters, and 63% of downstate rural Illinois voters approve of Senator Obama. As one can see, Senator Obama has broad-based support across Illinois, transcending racial, partisan, ideological, religious, and geographic lines. In comparison, Senator McCain has only 67% of white voters in his mostly white, much more conservative state of Arizona, approving of his job performance, with 64% of all Arizona voters approving of his job performance. Senator John Kerry, a white Senator in the much more liberal Massachusetts, has only 52% of white voters approving of his job. For those that argue that Senator Obama can't win an election because he is African-American, just look at the numbers. Senator Obama can win both the primary and the general election.

3. Senator Obama is the right man to be President. He is charming, charismatic, smart, thoughtful, and has an enormous record of accomplishments. As an Illinois state Senator, he created Illinois' Earned Income Tax Credit, moving the working poor out of poverty, he expanded early childhood education, giving all Illinoisans the opportunity to get ahead, and he passed legislation that increased safeguards for capital cases to prevent the use of capital punishment on falsely-convicted inmates. In the US Senate, he has continued to push for important issues including taking the lead on preventing a catastrophic avian flu pandemic in the US and working on nuclear nonproliferation issues in the former Soviet Union with Richard Lugar, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has even cosponsored a bill to provide full disclosure of federal appropriations with Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, an extremely conservative Senator. Senator Obama has tackled tough issues with enormous diligence and thoughfulness and has the ability to reach across our nation's divides and unite our country and inspire us to be the great beacon of liberty we should be. If you really want to know why Senator Obama should be our next President, just listen to his 2004 Democratic convention speech; it is the best speech I've ever heard and I challenge anyone to show me a better written and better delivered speech. Watch it here.

If you guys disagree, write comments, but I am putting in my vote of support for a Barack Obama run in 2008. Run, Barack, run!