If you “Google” Barack Obama, you won’t find his middle name anywhere.

Without mistake, political advisors for Barack Obama omitted his middle name from political commercials, advertisements and the notoriously adored campaign bumper stickers. Interestingly enough, one of the strongest presidential front runners shares something in common with one of the world’s most notorious dictators. As irony would have it, Barack Hussein Obama is ridding a tidal wave to the White House, hoping not to feel the whip lash of recently announced presidential contender Hillary Rodamn-Clinton.

Assuming Obama outmaneuvers Hillary and secures the majority of Democrats blessing and is elected President, he would be the first African American President of the United States. 

Obama, a native of Honolulu, would also be the first elected President born in that state of Hawaii. Even Hillary can’t deny the colorful background that Obama has, including a Grammy for his spoken account of the autobiographical best seller Dreams From My Father, where he admits to illicit drug use as an adolescence.  

But beyond the hype of his “firsts” and “never before,” where does Obama stand on all real American issues? And more importantly, where does Obama stand on issues that are important to gay Americans?

First, the bomb shell, the war in Iraq. 

The current Senator from Illinois has been a long time critic of the current Bush administration and their handling of the War in Iraq. Obama wants to “cap” the number of troops – a very liberal stance by any presidential hopeful so early in the season. Obama proposes that Iraqis “police their own country” and would not send additional troops post Jan. 10, levels or the day in which President Bush announced his plans for additional reinforcements.

What about education? 

Obama is an advocate of the Head Start program and “believes that Congress must increase overall funding for the program, especially funding for Early Head Start and teacher education.” Obama voted in favor of funding after school programs to extended learning well beyond traditional school hours. In terms of post-secondary education, Barack Obama's first bill as a U.S. Senator was the HOPE Act (Higher Education Opportunity through Pell Grant Expansion Act) which, if passed, would have increased the maximum Pell Grant from the current limit of $4,050 to a new maximum of $5,100. Obama also supports free education for all college students with a “B” average or better.

What about other “hot topics?”  

Does Obama keep true to his “liberal roots?” In terms of abortion, he supports Roe v. Wade and a women’s right to choose. On the issue of the death penalty, Obama does not support death as a means of punishment, but instead believes in alternative sentencing and rehabilitation. Health care in America is another tense issue and he takes the bleeding liberal view arguing “health care is a right and not a privilege.”

And the beloved question on all readers minds: “How does Obama stand on the issue of gay marriage?” Although he voted “no” on a constitutional ban of same sex marriage, he still campaigns on the fact that he opposes gay marriage. Obama does, however, support civil unions and gay equality. In fact, Obama believes that sexual orientation should be included in anti-discriminatory laws. Outside the borders of gay civil rights, he has long been an advocate of equal rights for all citizens.

As the bid for the democrat’s nomination comes closer, Americans will be forced to look hard at Obama’s voting record in the Senate and dive even further into the real issues. Regardless of whether it’s Obama, Hillary or some other contender that emerges from left field, Barrack Hussien Obama makes the playing field that much more diverse. And as for that tidal wave, well, that depends on you. 

Are you ready for such a combination? Is America ready?

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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