The next President of the United States?

Illinois Senator Barack Obama has announced an “exploratory committee,” moving him a step closer to seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

So can a man of mixed race (the son of a Kenyan-born father and a Kansas-born mother) with only two years in the Senate, whose middle name is Hussein and whose last name rhymes with Osama, be elected President of the United States?

Believe it or not, I think the answer is: maybe.

I’ve started reading Obama’s memoir of his early life: Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.

Update: A well-crafted video on Obama’s website gives some idea of his potential appeal.

Further update: As the subject of Obama’s views on Iraq has arisen, here is the text of a speech about the war he gave last November. I don’t agree with some of what he says, but it’s a reasonable position. He doesn’t call for an immediate and total withdrawal of US forces.