Ten years ago today, then-Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois announced he was taking the first steps to run for president in 2008. In a three-minute video, he explained why — and what he hoped to accomplish.Quaint is one word for it.
It's remarkable as a historic artifact — God bless YouTube! — but if you watch the whole thing (it's only 187 seconds long!), you are reminded of the central reason Obama ran for president: to fix broken politics.
Here's the key passage in Obama's exploratory committee announcement:
America's faced big problems before. But today our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, common-sense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence that we can't tackle the big problems that demand solutions. That's what we have to change first. We have to change our politics and come together around our common interests and concerns as Americans.The big idea at the heart of Obama's candidacy was that he — because of his background, proven résumé and the historic nature of his candidacy — was uniquely suited to solve the partisan gridlock that had seized our politics under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. That he could bring us all together through an appeal to our better angels and our shared values — and, in so doing, create a government that worked for all of us.
Looking back now, Obama's announcement video feels almost quaint.
Given his history there was no reason to believe that Obama would be anything other than what has shown himself to be--arrogant, inflexible, exceedingly partisan, incompetent. Very early on in the Obama presidency, Instapundit Glenn Reynolds would state that a repeat of the Carter administration would be the best case scenario, and he would repeat that statement periodically--because he turned out to be not only correct, but prescient.
I have a friend who voted for President Obama at least once, certainly in 2008. He was convinced that Obama was uniquely positioned to help race relations in this country, and on that basis alone voted for him. Today that friend doesn't have much that's good to say about Obama, and with good reason--he turned most everything he touched into a disaster, especially race relations:
There is little doubt, except to his die-hard supporters (which includes a vast majority of the mainstream media), that his failures are legion. Perhaps the most telling and egregious of which is the current state of race relations in the United States. As President and a man of African descent, Barack Obama was in a position to permanently mend fences and end the racial politics bubbling beneath the surface over the past few decades. However true to his quasi-Marxist upbringing as well as being steeped in racial identity politics, he chose to exploit and exacerbate racial tensions for political objectives. The end-product of this nihilistic approach is revealed in a poll taken by Washington Post/ABC News in July of 2016 wherein 64% of Americans believe race relations are generally bad as compared to 66% who thought race relations were generally good in April of 2009.I'm just going to say it. This is what you get when you vote for a person solely because of his/her skin color (or sex, or religion). This is what you get with an Affirmative Action vote, a vote for someone's physical appearance over any reasonable qualifications.
Barack Obama, and virtually all of his fellow travelers, both white and black, on the Left (i.e. the Democratic Party), view the African-American population as both useful pawns in their quest for power and as helpless mascots to be pitied, paraded about and bought off whenever useful to either the overriding political or societal cause...
That the President of the United States would deliberately and with malice be party to this exploitation and extortion is beyond the pale and will forever be a stain on what tattered shreds of his legacy remains.
I'm sure some of you are horrified at that, but you shouldn't be. You know it's true. If Obama weren't black, would anyone have voted for him, a minor politician and community organizer--especially over the vaunted Dowager Duchess of Chappaqua? Of course not. And thus my point.
He was going to disappoint. He was going to fail. That he failed so spectacularly--well, I guess that's something to marvel over.