Barack, on the other hand, did not, and he did it at a time when it was very risky for him in the midst of a highly contested U.S. Senate primary, to stand up and tell the truth about what he saw and what he felt would be a disastrous consequence. ~Michelle Obama

Yes, it takes a lot of guts to run on an antiwar platform in Illinois, where the war was always an unpopular idea, in a Democratic primary.  As a recent AP story said:

Still, he was never too far out on a limb:

_ Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois voted against Bush on Iraq in 2002 and breezed to re-election shortly after Obama’s signature speech.

_The Chicago Sun-Times published an October 2002 poll under the headline “Illinois is not ready for war.”

The survey found that more than half of voters in the Democratic-leaning state wanted more proof that Saddam was developing weapons of mass destruction before the United States waged war.

Iraq wasn’t a major issue in the race, according to several Illinois political observers.

“What he was saying in October 2002 — and this takes nothing away from him; he’s a very impressive guy — was not a risky thing,” said Chris Mooney, political science professor at the University of Illinois in Springfield.

“Not risky at all.”

So where does that leave Obama?  If he’s actually inexperienced, and he’s not a great political risk-taker and he’s never been tested in a serious general election fight against stiff Republican competition, what does he have to offer?  I mean, really, what is there?