Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Obama continues to draw huge crowds

The rock star appeal of Senator Barack Obama is evident on each campaign stop as he sells out venues well in advance. If size matters in political rallies, he has it all over his opponents.

And his website is getting packed as well. Yesterday, my.barackobama.com shut down temporarily as staff scurried to add more server capacity. The site has skyrocketed above all other campaign websites since the new upgrade was launched last weekend.

And it seems that issues of race and religion continue to track the candidate. Not because Obama himself have made brought these to the fore, he seems more concentrated on his broad idea of governmental transformation. It is the media and others, not just opponents, who seem focuses on his race and religion.

Having a father and stepfather who were both non-practicing Muslims, and a mother of Christian background, puts the candidate in a peculiar position. It appears his parents were more intellectual rather than religious in orientation. But Obama is a professed and practicing Christian. Whether that should matter or not is of course a valid question, but unfortunately it is a big deal. In the same way, Mitt Romney faces scrutiny over his religion of Mormonism.

Race shouldn't matter either in this day and age, but many are supremely focused on the subject even though it seems to be far from Obama's mind. Again, the candidate seems genuinely focused on a vision of changing the country for the better. With such a mindset, he can't be bogged down by any narrow set of issues.

In the end though I think all of this attention may benefit Obama because he is not the one generating the commotion. He has handled the situation in a very "presidential" manner that should allow him to garner the publicity while defocusing the polarizing subjects of race and religion.

Ames Rally at Hilton Coliseum

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom/387119032/

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