Vouchers & Obama In The 2008 Primaries

Every now and then, I like to remind everyone who's swooning over Barack Obama that (a) Obama might well not have won his Senate seat in 2004 were it not for Jack Ryan's campaign implosion among a series of other mishaps, (b) the self-proclaimed "skinny kid with a funny name" Obama was known to many as Barry (not Barack) until some point, and -- most important to educationistas who might be reading this blog -- (c) his positions on education issues is not something that's going to make faithful Democrats very comfortable -- during a 2008 primary, for example.

He might be able to beat McCain, but could he beat Clinton or Edwards first? Many educators -- and the teachers unions -- would have to hold their noses. He seems fine with charter schools. He has resisted NCLB-bashing. And he has said he's open to vouchers. For some of the ins and outs of Obama's education positions -- which shouldn't be disqualifying but in some circles will be seen as nearly so -- check out my previous takes on Obama here and here. For Slate's most recent piece on how Obama has made oldfashioned liberalism fashionable again, surf here.

UPDATE: Ryan Boots at edspresso says he wishes that enough will have changed by 2008 that Obama can be pro-choice (that's what they call vouchers over there, I guess), but that if not Obama would probably do what Lieberman did in 2000 and just change positions. That's probably right. Why lose out on a shot at the White House over a side issue?


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