obama_at_podium.jpgBarack Obama is turning the tables
on his critics.  Before Obama even officially declared his
candidacy, his level of experience was under scrutiny.  But now
he is using his beginner status as a player in the Washington
political game to his advantage.

At a New Year’s Day
rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Obama stressed why being a Washington
outsider makes him a good candidate for president.  He even
quoted another young Democrat who was successful in winning the
presidency 16 years ago.

Soundbite: BARACK OBAMA/U.S.
“‘The same old experience is irrelevant. You can have the
right kind of experience or the wrong kind of experience. And mine is
rooted in the real lives of real people, and it will bring real
results if we have the courage to change.’ And that’s from Bill
Clinton. He was right then, and I am right now.”

December 30th at a rally on the south side of Des Moines, Obama
mentioned that only five years ago, he and his wife were both still
paying off their student loans and that he would do the family’s
grocery shopping.  He said the reason he is running for president
now is that they “still remember what it’s like to be normal.”
Obama mocked the belief that candidates must have
countless years in public office to be viable.

“We need to season and
stew them a little.  We need to boil all he hope out of them
until they’re just like us.”

History has shown that voters
are generally in favor of electing a president who is not deeply
ingrained in Washington politics. A U.S. Senator has not been elected
president since Richard Nixon in 1968.  Only 15 of our 43
presidents have been U.S. Senators, and only 2 of those moved directly
from the Senate to the White House.

And now, the
most popular candidates are the ones who’ve spent the least amount of
time serving in our nation’s Capitol.  Presidential hopefuls Joe
Biden, Chris Dodd, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, and Mike Gravel have
spent the most years serving in Washington but are scoring the lowest
in the polls.

“The same old folks are doing the same old things.  We can’t
expect someone who has been a part of it all to suddenly change.”

– Kailani Koenig-Muenster

[Photo credit: Kailani