South Mississippians React To A Possible Obama Presidential Run

Barack Obama is moving closer to a run for the presidency. Tuesday, the U.S. Senator from Illinois announced that he will file papers to create a presidential exploratory committee.

Supporters have been buzzing about a presidential run for the last year. But just because Obama is African-American doesn't mean he will get the African-American vote.

Alphonso Butler says he is fed up with the status quo, but isn't falling into the hype.

"I'm not naive. I know it's a big step having the first Afro-American, but he's not the first one to run, but the first one that has a good possibility of winning," says Butler.

After 217 years of major presidential nominees who were white and male, the 2008 campaign may offer voters a different choice, one some African-Americans believe is long overdue.

"I think that is great that he is going to run because I think that it is time for a change for us," says Matilda Alexander.

"In my heart I feel like he would be an awesome candidate to show that, hey, new time, new era, new way of thinking, new way of doing things. Cause he would not just be representing blacks. He would be representing all minorities," says Monica Braxton.

There's already a long list of candidates who are expected to or have already declared their intentions to seek the 2008 Democratic nomination. If Obama gets the nod, he'll make history.

"I think he will help to open the eyes of Americans that are still living in the past. Maybe they will look beyond his skin tone and look at his ability and what he can offer," says Braxton.

Obama will spend the next few weeks traveling the country before announcing his final decision on February 10th in Chicago.