Vote for results, not entertainment

Ted Hamilton

While I was at a party this weekend, one of my friends asked a girl wearing an Obama ’08 pin why she supports the Illinois junior senator for president. I took another drink of my beer and awaited the inevitable “Well he’s a good speaker .” followed by the obligatory outline of his stance on certain issues and his plans for America — though how he plans on accomplishing these plans are vague at best.

Sometimes I hate it when I am right. Hitler was also well-known for his charismatic public speaking abilities — along with the genocide of about 12 million people — so why vote for someone based on speaking skills?

That is not saying Obama is going to build death camps or be responsible for the systematic killing of whatever race is unpopular this century, nor that he plans on starting a 1,000-year Reich. To any liberal who is ready to write to me, “How dare you compare Obama to Hitler?” take a deep breath and realize this: I am merely pointing out being a good public speaker does not necessarily mean you are going to be a good leader of a country.

Besides being a gifted orator, what other attributes does Obama have going for him? He is inexperienced, serving only two years in the U.S. Senate before announcing his candidacy for the 2008 election. While in the Senate, Obama has continually voted “present” on abortion issues, and yet he claims he believes in a woman’s right to choose. If he believes so strongly in abortion rights, why does he not vote one way or another?

Speaking of his votes in the Senate, what are his accomplishments? Although he is a junior senator, he is famous enough to have a lot of influence in the Democratic Party, yet I can find few accomplishments he has achieved while in the Senate.

One accomplishment is his support for a major ethics reform bill, which prevents lobbyists from having too much influence and creates more transparency in government. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has praised the “Democratic Party’s point man on ethics” (never mind that Reid himself has taken tens of thousands of dollars from gaming casinos) on his “unique ability to walk into a crowd and make people listen.” It is too bad then that “the point man” does not listen to his own advice. In an Obama campaign ad released in Iowa, a spokesperson claims Obama has never taken money from “Washington lobbyists” which is true, but it is also cutting hairs. Why does he not just say lobbyists instead of “Washington lobbyists?” Possibly because he is accepting funds from state lobbyists instead.

In the same ad Obama also makes a case against accepting money from PACs — this is a new thing. According to, in 2004, the “Democratic Party’s point man on ethics” accepted about $1.5 million dollars from PACs for his campaign for the U.S. Senate. The only “change” campaign reform seemed to be getting from Obama then was the money lining his pockets.

Obama preaches change, yet he has not shown the American people much of an ability to create that change. Hitler also rode into power on a typhoon of change before he took control of Germany. I doubt Obama is going to send radical thinkers and idealists to enforced labor camps, but just in case — I already have my bags packed.

Ted Hamilton is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].