He has announced the formation of his exploratory Committee. This was basically an announcement that he is running. He will reportedly make an official announcement on February 10th.... that's just a few days away... Not much time for his committee to really gather much information. Also, he is planning to make a big announcement at the Illinois State Capital. So it is not hard to conclude from this that he has already made the decision to run.
Here is his announcement regarding filing papers for the exploratory committee.
I liked his message here
However, I stand behind my earlier statement about his chances. He will not win the Democratic nomination for President. And for the sake of the Democratic Party and for the sake of stopping Republicans from getting 4 more years in the White House in 2008, I hope that he does not win the nomination. An Obama win (or a win by Hillary Clinton) would hand the White House to Republicans in 2008.
Obama is not electable in a national election, for all the reasons that I have mentioned before. I don't care what the feel good reporters are saying. Although Republicans are probably secretly rooting for him to win or to do well, so that their candidate can slide into the White House almost unopposed. Race will loom large in this campaign, whether Obama likes it or not. Racial prejudice remains an unfortunate reality in this country. I'm just being a realist about Obama's chances.
And I am afraid that this will be an ugly situation to watch. This campaign is going to cause the worst of America to come out for the whole world to see. It will expose the underside of America... the racism that is usually lurking below the surface.
The untested Obama will be eaten alive by the American political machine.... first by White Democrats, a few White independents, and by disgruntled racist Conservatives who do not want to see him win. Then if he wins, racist Republicans will absolutely destroy this mans campaign. The character assasins are already sizing him up....
The political destruction of Obama will be even more brutal & messy than the job Republicans did on John Kerry in 2004 (and that was pretty brutal). The Swiftboating of John Kerry was the ugliest and most ruthless character assasination that I have ever seen. It was a media war like none other.
Obama, being fairly new, will not stand much of a chance against the Republican media war machine. He won't be prepared for what he will get from fellow Democrats in the Primaries either.
This is especially the case when Obama will no longer be the sole center of attention. He will have to share the spotlight with 6 or 7 other people. He also does not have many media allies. He is the darling now, but when the media dogs are unleashed, all bets will be off. That's another weakness that a Black candidate has to face. So called "Black America" has no effective or legitimate media. BET certainly does not come close to being a legitimate, professional, respected media organization of any kind. Therefore, Obama will have to compete to get his message out and to keep the record straight once he does take a stand on an issue.
And as I mentioned, the character assasins are already sizing Obama up, deciding what method they will use. I am already hearing about the racists using his middle name "Hussein" as a way to demonize him.....they want to associate him with the evil "terrorists" from the Middle East. A lot of uneducated Americans, especially the reactionary Republicans, will fall for that tactic. And his opponents will define him, taking advantage of the fact that a lot of Americans are not very familiar with him. They will also delve into his personal and professional life to expose any dirt or skeletons that they can find.
I just want to make clear that I am not against Obama because I don't think he is capable. He is very capable. The problem is, he is not electable. I want to see a Democrat nominated who will be electable when put head to head with the Republican candidate.
One thing is for sure- it will be a lively campaign cycle. But like I stated above, I am afraid it will be an ugly experience for Obama, despite his happy go lucky, unifying, positive approach. The political waters in this country are so poisoned, that the atmosphere is not very condusive to the kind of positive approach that Obama plans to use. We already saw that approach fail with the John Kerry campaign in 04.
If Democrats want to win they have to learn how to put together more aggressive campaigns. That doesn't necessarily mean ugly no holds barred politics... but it means using tools (like the media) more effectively and knowing how to exploit weaknesses in opponents. Most importantly, Democrats must learn how to fight back. Democrats cannot afford a repeat of the dismal performance by the Kerry team a few years ago. Although it will be hard for Democrats to deal with the Republican machine since the Democratic Party has not made much progress in building a media infrastructure. In other words, Republicans will control the debate. Even after losing the Congress (after 12 years), and having a President with low ratings, Republicans still control the media landscape...and they will take full advantage of it in the upcoming election
Hear a Public Radio Discussion About Obama's Run For The Presidency