Obama, McCain and The Pollsters – Does It Really Mean anything?

As usual, Birdsong is sitting on the sidelines of this year’s political race for President reading commentary and looking at the polls by various organizations.  Over the past weekend, the last weekend of July, 2008, the Gallup poll had 49% of polled Americans saying they would vote for Obama for president, 41 % would vote for McCain.  A New York Post poll had it dead even, 41% for Obama and 41 % for McCain.  Polling by the Rasmussen organization revealed 45% for Obama and 41%  for McCain.

The commentator Robert Novak opines that since “Obama is the most spectacular campaigner of his generation…it is a mystery that he lingers below the 50% mark of polled Americans who would vote for him.”

No mystery to Birdsong.  Birdsong’s part time job while a student in law school was that of a pollster for the Boston Globe newspaper.  The essence of polling is the way the questions are phrased and which people are asked the questions. The United States is a majority white, conservative, Christian country.  Nothing wrong with that, but Birdsong remembers as a pollster most of the people he polled in the Boston area were white, over 30, owned their own homes, and did not want that much change in their lives.

So can we really put much stock in the polls we are seeing about Obama and McCain.  Birdsong doubts it!  The above mentioned polls may give us a bit of an idea where some people’s heads may be on the issue, but there is a large untapped audience out there.

Birdsong has stated and will state again he would like to see Barack Obama the President of the United States and it may happen.  But Birdsong will not put money on it.  There are a lot of people in this country who are afraid of the type of change Obama represents.  Birdsong understands that there are many white people in this country who could never bring themselves to vote for a black man for president because it is affront to their lifelong notion that African Americans are the servant class of this country and could not in good faith imagine being a citizen of a country where a Black person is president.  It would not compute.

Now, this is not a rant about racism.  Unfortunately there are a lot of black people in this country who feel the same way.  They can not grasp the idea that a black man could become the President of the United States.  Much of this is based on fear – fear of both white and black people.  Birdsong challenges the fears of many people in this country who fear real change…not because it would harm them, but because it is not the “way it has always been done.”  Whites run things, blacks serve.  Well, Birdsong believes that all people should have the opportunity to run things.

Birdsong was impressed with the Photographs of Obama on his recent trip overseas to meet with military people and foreign leaders.  Obama appeared very presidential. Yet, he has drawn criticism that he is an “empty suit” playing to foreigners who will not be able to vote for him.  Birdsong disagrees with this thinking.  It appears an Obama presidency would elevate America’s image in the world.  Lord knows we need it.

Those commentators who characterize Obama as an “empty suit” who has done nothing of note and is not ready to be our president should look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves what they have accomplished of note.  Did they attend Columbia University, Harvard Law School, become a grass roots organizer, University of Chicago Law School teacher, Illinois State Senator, U.S. Senator and beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination for president; all before reaching the age of fifty? 

Very few can come even close to this list of accomplishments.  So who really are the “empty suits?”

Barack Obama has intelligence, Charisma, leadership and organizational skills and represents America well.  George Bush did not have such qualities and he became president for almost eight long years.

Think about it?

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