Sadly, if you live in southwest Missouri it was inevitable to hear racist remarks regarding the ability of Barack Obama to lead this nation but fortunately there are enough open-minded, intelligent people that listened to Obama’s message and helped him gain the majority of the state’s popular vote. To me, the opportunity that Obama offers to change the good boy policy of Washington politics is long past due and his statement that “I’m asking you to believe not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington — I’m asking you to believe yours” is strongly reminiscent of JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather ask what you can do for your country.”

Like Reagan, Obama appears to have the charisma needed to restore our faith in ourselves and in our country something that the other candidates seem to be sadly lacking in. Admittedly, my opinion has changed over the last several months since I first threw my support to John Edwards and then Ron Paul.

Now, however, having carefully listened to and reviewed Obama’s stand on the issues I can’t help but believe that he is what our country needs. First and foremost he promises change in Washington and I can’t believe that, unless you are a part of the rich and powerful families, that have unsuccessfully ruled this country for generations, you are not ready for this change. Secondly, and equally important is the fact that Obama has raised his money through grass roots donations, often of just $10 or $20 at a time. He has not sold himself to special lobbyists, nor is he owned by corporate America.

One thing that must be noted are the lies that are constantly being spread among the church people that Obama is Muslim, funded by Al Qaeda, and set on taking over America from within and returning us to the dark ages. First of all, his religious beliefs should not even enter into his bid for office but even if they did he adamantly denies that he is Muslim stating instead that he has actively worshipped Jesus for the last 20 years. Even though his father was a Muslim who I am sure wanted his son to follow in his footsteps this is not hard for me to believe since I was raised in a non-religious background during my earliest years, educated in a parochial school, and then raised in an assortment of churches during my teen years. Today, I have made my choice to be open-minded to all religions though I choose to affiliate myself with the Methodist denomination.

If I can do that why can’t Obama? Then, Obama has to deal with the racist remarks, even on the news stations, about him being black. Who cares? I certainly don’t. I just want to know that the man is capable of getting us out of the mess that Bush has gotten us into. We need our troops sanely withdrawn from Iraq. We don’t need to go to war against any other country. We need our infrastructure fixed. We need our economy fixed. We need jobs returned to America. We need affordable healthcare and affordable energy. We need our schools restored to a place where all children are offered a safe and affordable opportunity to be all they can be so that they can be competitive in a global economy.

Can Obama accomplish all of this? I don’t know. All I know is that if anyone can, I believe he can especially if pressure is put on the tenured senators and House representatives that would force them to work with him.

To reiterate, Barack Obama is funded entirely funded by grassroots supporters and unlike Clinton he does not accept money from special interest groups and Washington lobbyists. Therefore, Obama owes nothing to the health care insurance industry, to the oil industry, or to the weapons industry. This means that his only obligation is to the American people and doing what is best for America.

Like me, there are many citizens out there who believe in Obama which was obvious with his wins in thirteen of the 22 states in Super Tuesday’s primaries with some of his wins coming from such unlikely states as Alabama, Utah, and Missouri. There is no way that Clinton can claim that his win in these states were the result of purely black vote since I am white and many of those in Missouri that I know who voted for him are also white.

Given this win and his strong showing in the other states I think that Obama has shown that he can win the support of Americans of every race, gender, and political persuasion in every region of the country. With that in mind one must give him serious consideration as the one Democratic candidate who actually has a chance to defeat John McCain in November.