Obama’s intellect is not only great – most of the other Presidential candidates are also very smart people – it is focused in ways that distinguish and set him above the others. In reading The Audacity of Hope, it is evident that Obama is a student of the human personality. His psychological insights are extraordinarily keen – a quality that would be put to tremendous use in the Oval Office. Obama is also a knowledgeable reader of history – another important quality in a world leader.
Beyond his personal qualities, this observer agrees with Andrew Sullivan that electing this son of a Kenyan father and a Kansan mother would make an important statement to the rest of the world about what America is – and what it is becoming.
Experience as a preparation for the Presidency is overrated. There is little outside of the job itself that really prepares the holder for the range of experiences and stresses that he or she will face. People with distinguished records of public service have sometimes made mediocre Presidents – or worse. On the other hand, some of the best Presidents have had limited public experience. Franklin Roosevelt, for example, had four years as Governor of New York and eight years as an Assistant Secretary of the Navy before he was President.
This observer could live with other Presidential candidates. Almost any of the Democrats running will get my support if they get their party's nomination. Nevertheless, Barack Obama stands apart – and as such deserves support in his run for the Presidency.