May 15 2008
The studly black man that has been the center of attention in the presidential race interests us because of his relevance to the Big Question: Who will be the 21st Century analog to President John F. Kennedy – i.e., “The Space President” (SP) – who will officially usher in the new race to space?
The Nominal Model timeline (see The Forecasts) provides a big hint. Our SP will be elected either in 2016 (assuming 56 years after Kennedy’s election in 1960) or possibly as early as 2012. The SP will respond to an international Sputnik-like “shock” that will occur near 2013 (Sputnik in 1957 plus 56 years), so either date is a reasonable forecast. Indeed, near 2013 we expect that an international group probably headed by China will announce their intention to begin the large-scale development and colonization of space (e.g., Earth orbit, Moon, Mars, etc.).
Obama’s timing is interesting. If he is elected president this year he will probably require a second term to be the SP. If he loses this year but wins in 2012 and/or 2016 he is likely the One!
Mr. Obama has been compared often to President Kennedy because of his charisma and youth; Kennedy was 43 when elected president and Obama is 45. And like Kennedy, Obama’s popularity transcends traditional political loyalties and societal expectations. (Even Rudy Guiliani’s daughter supports Obama!) His youth, mixed heritage, and Harvard education lends him a symbolic strength.
Much like Kennedy, Obama’s candidacy has come during turbulent times when Americans are seeking “change.” They’re attracted to Obama because he is the most progressive presidential candidate. His charisma has overshadowed questions about his lack of experience and his candidacy has become a fashionable cause. While Hilary Clinton may appear to have more experience than Obama, her public image has suffered (e.g., “Sniper-gate”) throughout her campaign and she is simply not as personable or inspiring. It is much like a high school student council election where the most popular and good-looking candidate receives the most support overshadowing the smart, ugly girl.
Like Obama, Kennedy had his issues and detractors and interestingly they centered around religion and his youth. In 1960 some were concerned about having a Catholic president; e.g., how would he relate to the Pope? Although hard to imagine now, it did initially cost Kennedy some support and contributed to a very close election; Kennedy won nationwide by only 112,000 votes (0.1%). Obama’s issues with his blunt Chicago pastor have not injured him among Democrats but are expected to impact the general election if he is nominated.