The Moose salutes the junior Senator from the Land of Lincoln.
The Moose knew that Barack Obama was going to be a star the first time he heard him speak early in '04. That view was strongly reinforced by his superb performance at the Democratic Convention. Contemplate his expression of faith-based optimism from the speech,
"In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation; the belief in things not seen; the belief that there are better days ahead."
Of course, then, it was far too soon to make any long term predictions because he had never served in Federal office. However, he has proven in his brief Senate tenure that all of the Moose's expectations about Obama have been realized. He is thoughtful, measured and has magnificent political instincts.
Evidence of his savvy was demonstrated in his response to Chairman Dean's remarks characterizing the Republican Party. Obama commented,
"As somebody who is a Christian myself, I don't like it when people use religion to divide, whether that is Republican or Democrat," Obama said. "I think in terms of his role as party spokesman, [Dean] probably needs to be a little more careful and I suspect that is a message he is going to be getting from a number of us," Obama explained. "We are at a time in our country's history that inclusive language is better than exclusive language," he added.
The tone of those comments was similar to that of his Democratic convention address. Obama has a Bill Clinton-like ability to synthesize an appreciation of the cultural sensitivities of religious Americans with a progressive narrative. That is no accident. Both Clinton and Obama were deeply influenced by the civil rights movement which was rooted in a progressive faith tradition.
The conventional wisdom is that 2008 is too soon for Obama to serve on a national ticket. Maybe, the conventional wisdom is wrong.
In the meantime - paging Doctor Dean - please call Senator Obama for a consult ASAP. --