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Presidential Obama | by jurvetson
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Presidential Obama

Is it wrong to long for a cool President?


From lunches I have had with Republican contenders, Obama is the one they worry about.


(More photos from my Obama meetings)


Quotes from his talk at John Thompson’s (Symantec) house tonight:


“People are hungry for a different politics, a different language. People are hungry for some leadership in Washington.


To many, politics appears to be a business, not a mission. America is waking up out of a long slumber. I’m seeing a sense of optimism - of hope rather than fear.


We’ve got a war that was never authorized and never should have been waged.


Green tech is important. If our cars can get 40-45 MPG, then we will need zero Middle East oil imports. What’s lacking is not technical. What’s lacking is a sense of political will.


Ending the war can help. We are spending $275 million per day in a war that is making us less safe.


The world is waiting for us to say ‘we’re back and we want to work with you'.


While we are at it, we can close Guantanamo and restore habeus corpus because that’s how we lead. The strength of our diplomacy has to be matched by the power of our ideals.


On the day I’m inaugurated, the people in our country will look at our selves differently, and people in other countries will look at our country differently.


Q&A: The first question was on his qualifications and experience:


“Look, I’ve been on the national scene for two years. People in Washington think nothing outside Washington counts. I’m applying for the most powerful job on Earth, and in case you didn’t notice I’m a 45 year old black guy. So there are some hurdles to be overcome. Experience is a proxy for judgment. Sometimes the experienced have bad judgment. No one has a better resume than Dick Cheney. At every stage there are a set of hurdles. I like clearing hurdles.”


The second question was a hard-hitting environmental question from Steve Kirsch (Infoseek) on coal-to-liquid:


“We are the Saudi Arabia of coal. If we could get coal to work without climate change or to at least be neutral with gas, then it would help us with energy independence. We are not going to eliminate coal from the menu of energy options, and China certainly won’t with one new coal plant coming on line per week.


The third question was about his views on religion and the separation of church & state:


“Faith is a powerful force in our society, often for good. Social movements – from abolition to the civil rights movement – were based in religion. The wisdom of our Founders is that we are not a theocracy. Here are things to guard against: the capture of of our government by a particular religion. For example, there is a good reason for having no prayer in school. Whatever convictions we have are translated into universal principles subject to reasoned argument. If you say you are opposed to abortion because of religion, that is a conversation stopper. If you can’t reason then democracy breaks down. It becomes a matter of force - whose will shall prevail? There is nothing wrong with a religious argument as long as it does not trump reason in our democracy.


(Photo by Steve Westly, former California State Controller and contender for Governor)

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Taken on June 2, 2007