Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Obama is running

It's official, Barack Obama is running for president. You can read the full report from the New York Times and also check out his website. He made his initial announcement via this short video.

His speech is well done and uses simple, elegant phrases. As I've noticed in many of his speeches, he has the great ability to use words effectively and in a way that resonates with people.

I've been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics.

It's not the magnitude of our problems that concerns me the most. It's the smallness of our politics.

Most presidential campaigns involve a candidate who seems to speak directly to the moment. That candidate doesn't always win, but I would imagine that the Clinton campaign is very concerned that Hilary may seem to speak not to this moment, but to another, far in the past.

I'm very glad the Senator has decided to run. The Democratic primary debates should be fascinating, with Obama, John Edwards, Hilary Clinton and others. It's great to see serious people seize a moment of opportunity, take a chance, and speak with a different voice. At a similar moment in 1995, I wish Colin Powell had made the same decision.

The challenge the Republican Party is going to face is generating similar interest in its primaries and debates, though Giuliani and McCain will certainly provide an interesting and substantative storyline. The Democrats will likely feature both a woman and an African-American with a very real shot at becoming president.

This post has nothing to do with positions, policies, or who I support. I don't know the answer to that, but it's unlikely to be Senator Obama. I love presidential campaigns, though, and especially primary season. It's really the spring training of politics - a period when it seems like anything is possible and a Vermont doctor or business magazine publisher could become president. Once the nominations are settled and the vice-presidential candidates are chosen, the excitement fades and everyone realizes that it's going to be the Yankees in the World Series again. But every once in a while, an unknown governor makes it all the way to the White House and the Red Sox actually win the World Series. The next 15 months just got a lot more interesting.