by David Banuelos
After nearly eight years of brutally incompetent executive leadership, we've finally arrived at the threshold of change.
It may seem a bit early for presidential election discussion, but for those of us who have been counting each day since the nation tragically and idiotically allowed George W. Bush and his band of energy industry robber-barons to keep their jobs in 2004, the conversation can't begin soon enough.
Since the day that 59,054,087 Americans made the misguided decision to "re"-elect the president, nearly every dark prediction we progressives made in 2004 has come to pass.
The situation in Iraq has further deteriorated, two conservatives have been appointed to the Supreme Court, the national debt has continued to skyrocket, our Social Security was nearly bet on a horse named "Stock Market," and the Executive Branch has continued to stubbornly refuse to acknowledge any mistakes they've made.
If there is a silver-lining to the dark cloud hanging over the country, it's the fact that the voters rose up in 2006, and threw enough Republicans out of Congress to establish a Democratic majority. Decent people throughout the United States are finally seeing past the tough talk, wedge-issue rhetoric, and bald-faced lies.
It's been enough to drive Bush's job-approval ratings lower than those of Richard Nixon post-Watergate. Republicans are suddenly racing to the political middle-ground, while Democrats are slowly moving to the left. Times are changing, and early candidates for the presidency reflect this.
The proverbial ring has many hats in it already. In addition to former Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards, the Democratic party's front-runners include a woman (former First Lady and New York Senator Hillary Clinton), an African-American (Illinois Senator Barack Obama), and a latino (New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson).
While Clinton is leading early polls, Obama's charisma, and eloquence have endeared him to young voters eager for change. He made a resounding impression with his impassioned keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, and continues to attract huge crowds, and inspire voters everywhere he goes.
Add to that the perception that Clinton is too polarizing a figure to win a national election, and the upstart Obama could pull the upset.
Edwards, Richardson, and a host of other challengers are playing catch-up at the moment, but it's way to early to count anyone out.
On the Republican side, Arizona Senator John McCain, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney have all emerged as potential nominees.
McCain, the man who seemed poised to send Bush packing back in 2000, has struggled to maintain political momentum in the current scene. His views on Iraq have generated some controversy, but his record as a military leader will undoubtedly gain him support among Republicans.
Giuliani's post-9/11 leadership in NYC has endeared him to many, but his liberal social views (pro gay-rights, pro-choice) may doom him in Republican circles.
The wild-card for the red-staters might be Romney, a Mormon who is aggressively courting Evangelical Christian voters by speaking out against abortion and homosexual marriage.
I don't presume to represent the political views of everyone here at the Ebbtide, but as a forward-thinking, common sense progressive, I heartily endorse Obama.
I've always believed that the primary duties of the President of the United States are taking care of U.S. citizens, and representing my country on the world stage. Obama brings a message of hope, optimism, and inspiration. He is well-spoken, intelligent, responsible, willing to listen, and has goals for the United States that have the potential to repair our international reputation while ushering in a new era of prosperity for the country. But don't take my word for it, watch his announcement of candidacy on YouTube. If you don't have goosebumps by the middle of the speech, check your pulse.
In short, he's everything Bush isn't, and after eight years of arrogance, and idiocy running the show, Obama is a breath of fresh air.
I encourage you all to do some research on the candidates, and get involved before primary season. Politics is only an exclusive, aristocrats-only club if we allow it to be, and all meaningful change comes from hard work.