These are initial impressions and they open the argument that I should do more research to find out more about Senator Obama. But a closer look would distort my intention. The value in a first impression critic of Senator Obama is that this is the view that most Americans will get. It is the first impression that will lead them to either explore more deeply or turn off.
During the last few days, Barack Obama announced the formation of an exploratory committee and put himself officially into the 2008 Presidential race. He did so on the Internet with the statement: " I've been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics." He used the emerging political media and made a call for a new kind of politics. My first impression was positive my interest was peaked. But reflecting back to his appearance on Meet the Presswith Senator John McCain the incongruity is striking. During this appearance Senator Obama seemed every bit the typical politician. He refused to answer questions with the skill and dexterity of a four term Senator. He dodged stating his position on funding the surge of troops into Iraq proposed by the President. For a rookie he was masterful. Accepting moderator's question, providing a minute of background to obscure it, then a finding a way respond without making a definitive statement that would allow the viewer to clearly understand his thinking on the issue. Masterful, but it did not satisfy my hunger for "a different kind of politics". Just the opposite, it left me disappointed and one click away from turning off Mr. Obama.
I decided to give it another chance a second glimpse for a first impression. I searched the web for the Barack Obama website. Behold a polished website put forth by his exploratory committee. Obviously in the making but not online during the Meet the Pressinterview. Another disappointment, wouldn't a different kind of politician just be honest and candid when asked about his 2008 Presidential ambitions. He could have said, "I plan to make a statement on the Internet in a few days". The coy, obtuse response he offered chip away at my trust. One more look over the website to see if I can reach the Senator by email. Nope, not really, looks like he only offers me the opportunity to contribute to his campaign or contact him about some specific predefined issue. He has left me no room to make general comments or suggestions. His offer to contact him defines my concerns as a citizen and unfortunately has not got a clue.
So much for a "different kind of politics" at least on first impression Mr. Obama is more of the same in a new suit. He is right about one thing we are hungry for "a different kind of politics", but so far "where is the beef?"