Sunday, October 22, 2006

Barrack Obama told Tim Russert this afternoon that he's giving some thought to White House '08:

"I don’t want to be coy about this — given the responses that I’ve been getting over the last several months, I have thought about the possibility, but I have not thought about it with the seriousness and depth that I think is required," Mr. Obama said. "My main focus right now is in ’06 and making sure that we retake the Congress. After November 7th, I’ll sit down and consider it."
I like Obama a lot, and in 2012 or 2016, you'll have a hard time keeping me away from the volunteer entrance at Obama HQ. But 2008? I just don't think it's a good idea.

I suppose that's partially because I'm such a big fan of John Edwards, who'd be forced to compete for a demographic that he's already largely won over (the "me" demographic). But right now, inexperience is an even bigger problem for Obama than it was for Edwards in 2004. With the exception of political journalists and the citizens of Illinois, there are, what, fourteen people in the country who had even heard the name Barrack Obama three years ago? Running too early could taint him permanantly, and it would be a terrible shame for someone as talented as Barrack Obama to have his wings clipped by an ill-timed campaign. So please, Senator: wait. See what happens. And give it a whack during the next go-'round.

(None of this applies, incidentally, to an '08 ticket with Obama at the bottom. That, I think, would be terrific. But I don't see it happening.)

Update: Bob Herbert agrees.
My feeling is that Senator Obama may well be the real deal. If I were advising him, I would tell him not to move too fast. With a few more years in the Senate, possibly with a powerful committee chairmanship if the Democrats take control, he could build a formidable record and develop the kind of toughness and savvy that are essential in the ugly and brutal combat of a presidential campaign.

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