Barack Obama holds political beliefs which mostly do not match up with those of my own. Very unlikely I would vote for him. (I never say "never" though. It all depends upon the circumstances of any given election!)
That being said, however, I find this article about Obama quite refreshing.
Obama stopped by a study hall at Manchester Central High School and answered students' questions about the war in Iraq and his education plan. But when an adult asked about his time as a student, Obama spoke bluntly.
"I will confess to you that I was kind of a goof-off in high school as my mom reminded me," said Obama, an Illinois Democrat who grew up in Hawaii
"You know, I made some bad decisions that I've actually written about. You know, got into drinking. I experimented with drugs," he said. "There was a whole stretch of time that I didn't really apply myself a lot. It wasn't until I got out of high school and went to college that I started realizing, 'Man, I wasted a lot of time.'"
I don't know about everyone else. When it comes to my own life, however, more than a few errors, misjudgments, and bad behavior can be found. I try as best to own up to it when necessary.
The notion that our politicians must be humans perfected, without blemishes or missteps, is simply false and harmful. My hat is off to Obama for "coming clean" about a less than steller performance as a student, and for admitting that his drug and alcohol use was harmful. Frankly, I find that an admission like this is more powerful in attempting to get younger people away from such activities, than strict admonitions like "It's terribly wrong and destructive; just do not do it."
Obama is not "my guy." He may not have my vote, nevertheless, he does have my respect.