Style no substitute for substance

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 6, 2007

To the Editor:

The festivities are over and the political pundits are already saying that presidential candidate Barack Obama “won” the oratory war against his opponent Hillary Clinton.

To hear them tell it that’s not all he’s won.

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John Lewis, an influential Georgia congressman and an original Bloody Sunday participant, has thrown his support behind him and he’s quickly gaining momentum among blacks generally, whose vote is vital to any Democrat running for office.

And what’s there not to like about him? He’s intelligent, he’s a Harvard Law School graduate and former president of the Harvard Law Review, he’s polished, and, dare I say it, he’s articulate.

However, I’m an African-American and what’s a mystery to me, as should be all other African-Americans, is what is Mr.Obama’s stance on issues other than healthcare and Iraq?

What are his plans on fixing the U.S.’ flawed educational system? What are his plans to revive the American economy? What are his plans to deal with other foreign policy challenges besides Iraq? Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and their enablers, China and Russia, come to mind. It’s very easy to be lulled by Mr.Obama’s charm and style but it takes more than that to lead a nation, it takes substance.

It takes substance to put in place an innovative plan to fix our education system. It takes substance to put in place policies that keep America competitive in the global economy. It takes substance to stand up to dictators and regimes that want to blow us up.

Style is a good thing, but I’d rather have an unstylish president of substance than a stylish one without it. I hope this is a view my fellow Selmians adopt, black or white, come election time next year.

Terry Lewis