Good Luck Barack…. You’re going to need it

Jon Gallagher

For the first time in my lifetime, we’re going to have a President who is younger than I am.

Barack Obama was elected to the office last November by a wide margin, and there has been  a lot of hoopla ever since about the fact that he’s the country’s first Black President.  Well, forget that nonsense.  I have no problem with that at all.  I have a problem with the fact that sometime very soon, there’s gonna be a guy sitting in the Oval Office who was still in diapers when I was going into Kindergarten.

It’s the same problem I had when the first major league baseball player who was younger than me stepped onto the field.  That signaled my body into realizing that I was probably never going to make it to the major leagues.

The same thing happened the first time a kid stepped on a major league diamond and was younger than one of my kids. 

Now we’ve got some young whippersnapper moving into the White House.  My dad had only one President during his lifetime who was younger than he was (George the First).  He was a staunch Democrat so I’m not sure how he felt about someone younger than him occupying the Oval Office, but I definitely knew how he felt about it being a Republican.

I’ll write more later.  Right now, I’ve got to head over the drug store and pick up some Geritol and some Grecian Formula 44. 


Obama will be my 11th President.  Out of the eleven men who have occupied the office, I’ve been eligible to vote for six of them starting with Jimmy Carter.  Last November was my ninth presidential election in which I cast a vote.

I consider myself an independent; I vote for the man rather than the political party he represents.  Out of the nine ballots I’ve cast for President, five have gone to Democratic candidates with four going to the Republican candidates.   You can’t get much more even than that.

That’s why I think I’m qualified to sit back, scratch my head, and wonder just what the heck the Republican Party was thinking when they gave us the ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin.  Did they think a decorated veteran who had been a war hero would assure them of a victory?  They needed to look no further than the 2004 election and a guy named John Kerry to get the answer to that question. 

Maybe they thought they’d pick up the female vote by picking Sara Palin to run as vice president.  If that was the only reason, they only needed to look up the name Geraldine Ferraro in the history books to see how successful that was.   The day it was announced that McCain had picked a female for his running mate, I asked outloud, “He picked Hillary???  Do they allow that?”

I like Barack Obama.  He’s a dynamic speaker and it seems that he truly cares about the people he represents.  I’m just not sure he was my first choice for President.  He was just my first choice between the two who were running.

I don’t really know why the Republicans up the ticket of McCain/Palin unless they knew they were going to get the bejeebers stomped out of them at the ballot box and made the team a sacrificial lamb. 

There are lots of candidates that I would have considered voting for.  Rudy Guiliani comes to mind immediately.  He led New York City after the terrorist attacks and did an admirable job.  For some reason he decided to put all his eggs in one basket known as the Florida primary, ended up coming in a distant third, and bowed out shortly thereafter.

John Edwards was another candidate that might have garnered my vote.  He had a lot of skeletons in his closet, and like Bill Clinton and Gary Hart before him, most of those skeletons didn’t have many clothes, if any, on. 

I even considered Hillary for a while till I remembered that we’d have Bill as a First Lady, er ah, Man, or whatever he’d have been called.  I liked Bill, but that NAFTA thing he signed really increased business over at the corner of Main and Henderson. 

When it came time to step into the voting booth, I had a choice between a guy who didn’t have a lot of experience and a guy who had too much.  Obama has spent less time in the US Senate than McCain did in captivity in Viet Nam.  McCain’s performance in the presidential debates and his sidestepping of nearly every question posed weighed heavy on my mind.

It really came down to the vice-presidential  candidates.  Even though FDR’s vice president once said that the office wasn’t “worth a bucket of warm spit,” it is something that has to be considered (this may be one of the reasons he was replaced by Harry Truman in the 1944 election).  Should something happen to Obama or McCain while in office, who would we have to lead the country?  I worry about Obama with all white supremacists running around and I worry about a guy who’s 72 and about to enter the most stressful job in the country.

That means I had to choose between a guy who was accused of plagiarism in law school (this was a big thing several years ago when he was running for office, but I never heard it mentioned this time around) or a woman who was about as well schooled in national and world politics as I am in brain surgery. 

In the end, it was an easy choice. 

Even if he is a youngster.