Posted on October 16, 2006

Obama Eyeing White House? (South Africa), Oct. 15, 2006

US senator Barack Obama, a rising political star who generates extensive media coverage, is leaving the door open to a 2008 presidential run, Time magazine reported on its website on Sunday.

The Democratic lawmaker appears on the magazine’s cover, coinciding with the release of his latest book, The Audacity of Hope, which sets out his political views.

Asked if he will enter the race for the White House once November’s midterm legislative elections are out of the way, Obama, 45, avoids offering a definitive answer, but appears to be more seriously weighing the idea.

“When the election is over and my book tour is done, I will think about how I can be most useful to the country and how I can reconcile that with being a good dad and a good husband,” he is quoted as saying by Time.

“I haven’t completely decided or unravelled that puzzle yet,” said Obama, the only African-American currently serving in the US senate.

Too much too soon?

Obama generates strong enthusiasm among Democratic party activists but some pundits have warned that a presidential run in 2008 might be too much too soon for the young and inexperienced senator. Others believe that the United States may not be quite ready for a black president.

In an excerpt from his new book, Obama argued that progressives should not shy away from referring to religion and faith in political discussions.

“Over the long haul, I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people, and so avoid joining a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy,” Obama writes in the passage of his book carried in Time.

Such an approach is “bad politics” and cedes ground to partisans on the right, he said.

“When we abandon the field of religious discourse — when we ignore the debate about what it means to be a good Christian or Muslim or Jew; when we discuss religion only in the negative sense of where or how it should not be practiced . . . others will fill the vacuum,” he said.