It's all over! It's all over! Stop the presses. Get your alcoholic cousin away from the grandchildren. Hillary Clinton is toast. Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for president.Following a decisive victory in North Carolina and a narrower-than-expected defeat in Indiana last week, Obama is riding high on a wave of new support from superdelegates, the elected officials Clinton has long staked her campaign on.Sen. Obama arrived on campus last Friday into the welcoming arms of thousands. I don't think I risk violating any rules of journalistic objectivity when I say that Eugene is Obama country.I'm getting ahead of myself. Nothing's sealed yet. Contests still remain in Kentucky and, of course, Oregon. Yet the national discussion has shifted: Whereas before the question was if he would win the Democratic nomination, the question now seems to be when he will win it.So let's do a little inferring and examine Obama as the Democratic nominee for president. What are his biggest weaknesses? His lack of political experience is a valid criticism. At 46 he's young for most senators, let alone presidents. Furthermore, he hasn't even served a full term yet in the senate. Is he ready for the job? Is anyone ever ready for that job? For Abraham Lincoln, one term in the House of Representatives was enough job training. And while that doesn't mean Obama is destined to be the next Lincoln, or even a good president, it speaks loads in defense of the notion that true experience is relative.Another argument against Obama is that he's all style, no substance. What those critics fail to realize is elections aren't about substance. Not anymore, anyway. When the major political parties stopped electing their candidates at the Democratic and Republican Nominating Conventions in 1968 and 1972, respectively, it marked a significant shift in the nature of our nominating process. The conventions no longer meant anything, but we kept having them. Why? I'm not sure, but I think it speaks loads about the way our attitude toward politicians has changed.Political campaigns feel a lot like awkward first dates - only they last two years. The entire process is uncomfortable and redundant. Clinton and Obama have debated each other more than 20 times. They've both been on Meet the Press more than once. They've raised millions upon millions of dollars, just so they can run stupid and misleading television ads in every American home. No candidate would want to be caught depriving an average citizen their right to be unduly influenced.When it comes to Obama, however, people seem a little more willing to accept these campaign tactics. Regardless of the causes for it, Obama exudes too much irrational potential - so much, dare I say, hope - that this 46-year-old first-term senator now seems primed for a general election bid against John McCain, and a majority of Americans seem ready to throw its support behind him.Maybe he just came along at the right time. Maybe he's not ready to be president, and it would be better if Clinton came out on top. Maybe I'm just projecting my own sense of romantic dissatisfaction onto you, therapy-by-media if you will.The bottom line is, Americans are tired of having their country run into the ground by a man who struggles to make coherent sentences, let alone policy decisions. Food prices are up. Gas prices are up. The housing market is slumping. And there's that war everyone keeps talking about. We're willing to take a chance on the unknown. The present state of our nation calls for as much.Theoretically, Clinton could keep this thing going right on through the nominating convention in August. Do we really want that hanging over our heads this summer? Sure, we should respect and maintain the integrity of our political process. Mrs. Clinton isn't really out of it until it's over. Except I'm saying it's over. Time to take a seat.
This story was written by Elon Glucklich, Oregon Daily Emerald