By now everyone knows the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and what he has done to the Obama campaign, but what about another of Barack Obama’s friends, Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts? I just read an interesting opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Jon Keller in which Keller essentially called out all of Patrick’s faults and proceeded to say that Obama would end up just like Patrick. The article brings up many similarities between Obama and Patrick: They are both African American, they both attended Harvard Law and they both frequently focus on “change” in their rhetoric. Earlier this year in a campaign speech, Obama even borrowed some words from one of Patrick’s speeches and was accused of plagiarism. The two are close friends, and may be similar in some ways, but is the assumption that Obama will follow the same path as his friend really fair?
I am not personally an Obama supporter, and I am not planning to vote for him come election time, but this is not because of the actions of his friends and acquaintances. To judge him solely on that would be short-sighted, and I feel for the guy for enduring so much judgment, even if this sort of scrutiny does come with the territory. While I do think Obama might be promising more than he can deliver, the main reason I don’t support him is that I don’t agree with many of his major policies. One of Keller’s major criticisms of Obama in the article revolves around these promises of change. Deval Patrick has failed on several occasions to see his promised changes through, and Keller thinks Obama is likely to do the same. I, too, question whether Obama will be able to carry his changes to completion, as I am always skeptical of politicians that make grand promises, but one thing makes me think that he perhaps isn’t just paying lip-service.
A gas tax holiday has recently been proposed, which McCain and Clinton are supporting and Obama is opposing. I firmly agree with Obama on this, and I respect that he is holding his ground. Most Americans don’t understand economics all that well, and many will jump on the gas tax holiday bandwagon. It would have been easy for Obama to support the tax holiday along with Clinton and McCain and gain the goodwill of millions of Americans who are faced with the reality of $4 a gallon gas, but it wouldn’t have been the best move for the country. Obama may be more perseverant than people think, and these allegations that he will be another Deval Patrick may prove to be a bit premature.