Let's face it. I'm a middle aged gay artist in New York. An endorsement from me might as well be the kiss of death from a Martian.
Yes, I got issues with him; his retreat on FISA is the biggest one. I'm not happy about him waffling on offshore drilling. I certainly part company with him over the death penalty.
I've voted in every presidential election since 1976 (I voted for Ford; yes, I'm a recovering Republican). I've never been more impressed with a candidate than Obama. It's not just the soaring rhetoric (which after 8 years of mangled English with a bad Texas accent is refreshing; I especially like being addressed as an adult instead of as a dimwit child by Daddy). It's not even the policy positions, though those are very important (National Health Insurance, Ending the War in Iraq, Restoring Equality and The Rule of Law, etc.). I've never seen a more imaginative, bolder, and better campaign than this one. Remember folks, he started out as a come-from-behind long shot with a lot of disadvantages (being black not the least among them). He prevailed over one of the most formidable political machines in modern times (the Clintons). That acceptance speech in the stadium in Denver was a huge political gamble, and it came off as a masterpiece of political theater. Obama's background in community organizing has proved to be a huge asset in motivating and mobilizing hundreds of little independent startup campaigns on his behalf. The splendid poster above is the creation of one of them; it's not an official poster of the Obama campaign, though Obama personally wrote to the artists to endorse it and to thank them.
How a candidate runs his campaign says a lot about his ability to run his presidency and about where his heart and mind really are. I've never seen this kind of spontaneous bottom-up enthusiasm for a presidential candidate. His campaign doesn't just preach about enfranchising and including the Vox Populi in all its complex variety, they do it, and have made it central to their strategy to win. I wonder how they will make it work in a strategy of governing.
Sure, he's not the perfect Progressive. But Eleanor Roosevelt and Eugene V. Debs aren't getting up out of their graves to run this year. I'm tired of throwing away my vote in a principled protest only to discover after Election Day that no one gives a rat's ass. I'm ready to turn the page on the Bush/Cheney years, and at least get started with cleaning up the mess. Barack Obama is better than anything I could have hoped for these days.
The artists group responsible for the poster can be found here.