The Unlikely Choice: Barack Obama

As the Democratic National Convention begins this week, so do the questions remain regarding the party’s candidate, Barack Obama. Is he too young? Inexperienced? Ready to lead the nation in a time of war?

All these concerns certainly present valid arguments given the candidate’s inexperience in both the U.S. Senate and in the Washington political scene. This experience will prove necessary as a tense nation gropes with the harsh realities of an economic crisis and two (unpopular) wars abroad.

With the rise of China and India and a weakening dollar, America finds itself in an unlikely election year featuring two unlikely candidates.

Barack Obama’s message of “hope” and his commitment to change Washington has inspired a new generation of voters to come out for him during this past primary season. The reasons for which he has enjoyed such success appears simple. He is against the Iraq War, the upper-class friendly Bush tax cuts, and he has promised to commit much of his first term as president to making the nation energy independent.

John McCain, however, is a seasoned maverick known for his bipartisan style of politics in the nearly 30 years he’s spent in the Senate. For the first time since the Reagan years, a Republican presidential nominee appeals to both independents and conservative Democrats.

As McCain has campaigned, his identity has come into question as he frequently changed his positions on numerous issues, from ANWAR to immigration to offshore drilling – something he strongly opposed not too long ago.

But there is a greater difference between the two candidates than just their stance on key issues. There is more to Barack Obama than his political jargon and brilliant oratory skills. There is more to John McCain than his experience in national security.

Yes, they are both unconventional candidates, but Obama is different. He is the first African-American Democratic presidential nominee and he is one of the youngest to ever run for the position of leader of the free world. Even though the questions of age and experience will still remain, the nation has become fascinated with the man whose message of hope has resonated to the masses.

Being a moderate voter not affiliated with either of the two major political parties, I find myself both skeptical and anxious about Obama. Nonetheless, I am ready for change in Washington and, like many of my fellow countrymen, for America to find its way again in an ever-complicated globalized world.

He is the unlikely choice, but one that I see as a break from the status quo.  Make no mistake about it, he is still a politician but one that I hope can continue to inspire a new generation of youth to once again believe.