Thoughts on Barack Obama

Tom Grayman is a pollster, publisher of The Intelligence Squad website, and author of the book Ghosts of Florida: Making Elections Fair for Blacks

I don't think Barack Obama is great.

Neither do I consider him a disappointment.

But I do think that much too much attention has been paid to, and too many expectations have been placed on the shoulders of, Senator Obama.

Before he set foot in the the Senate chamber, he was celebrated as the next political superstar, based entirely on the strength of his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

That was a mistake.

To be sure, it was great speech, overflowing with optimism, bonhomie, and shout-outs to the some of the best of traditional Democratic ideals. And it was delivered with a high degree of articulateness.

Yet the adulation heaped upon Obama coming out of that performance was clearly disproportionate for a man who had not even been elected to the Senate at that point. After all, even Georgw W. Bush has delivered a couple of good speeches in his time in Washington.

So why so much love for Obama?

Typically, any black Democrat who credibly espouses what are typically thought of as traditional Democratic values will be positively received by the overwhelimg majority of black voters, and by a solid majority of white Democrats. But one thing that often helps that politician win "crossover" support from white Independents, and that can make him a superstar with white Democrats, is a willingness NOT to openly acknowledge the racial divide that exists in the US. Just like Obama did in his star-making speech.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us -- the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of "anything goes." Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America -- there's the United States of America.

Of course, he is correct -- literally speaking. There is only a singular internationally and internally-recognized entity called the United States of America. But rhetorically, Obama's assertion is ludicrously Pollyannaish. My personal preference for brevity doesn't allow me to list the various data, facts, and philosophical differences which demonstrate that there are, for all practical purposes, a white America and a black America -- even if some members of either nation freely exist within the other. Even the Vice Presidential candidate he was endorsing that night was famous for pointing out that there were "two Americas" (divided by economics and power, which often serve as good proxies for race in America).

Obama's assertion was perhaps his first in what will be a long string of efforts to blur reality in an effort to seem "reasonable" and "electable" to those who could someday determine his presidential destiny. Other such efforts have included:

his speech six months ago before the Council on Foreign Relations, where he told us


"The President could take the politics out of Iraq once and for all if he would simply go on television and say to the American people `Yes, we made mistakes. Yes, there are things I would have done differently. But now that we're here, I am willing to work with both Republicans and Democrats to find the most responsible way out.'"

 thereby ignoring the fact that the Republicans are not interested in finding any way out and that Bush won't admit any mistakes anytime before monkeys are seen flying out of my ass

and his appearance on ABC's "This Week," back in January in which he told us


"I will be supporting the filibuster because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values."
while at the same time complaining that the filibuster is a sign that
"There is an over-reliance on the part of Democrats for procedural maneuvers."

And yet, I am not disappointed in Senator Obama. That's because I never actually anticipated greatness from him. It's not that I expected him to be a poor choice for the Senate. It's just that I've learned that when we fall head-over-heels for an elected official at first sight, we often wind up getting crushed.

Furthermore, I'm past expecting greatness from any U.S. Senator -- especially one who is widely discussed within the Beltway as near-term presidential material.

I'm past expecting Joe Biden to protect the finances of the middle class against MBNA's desire to re-write American's bankruptcy law.

I'm past expecting Hillary to acknowledge that it wasn't such a good idea to give George W. Bush the authority to launch an unprovoked military attack against a Middle Eastern Muslim country.

And I'm past expecting Barack Obama to publicly acknowledge that blacks and whites do largely inhabit separate Americas, no matter how much we wish it weren't so.

Now, on to the White House!

Tags: African-Americans, Barack Obama, US Senate (all tags)

Comments

128 Comments

Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Answer me this Tom:

If his rise to stardom was based entirely on his speech at the convention...Then how do you explain how he got a chance to give that speech in the first place?

by zt155 2006-04-17 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Actually, he looked like he might be in a tight race in Illinois, before the sex stuff started actually spewing forth (sorry, I had to) on Ryan. He was given prime time to help him in the general.

By the time the convention came around, Ryan had dropped out, and the GOP had already been turned down by Mike Ditka, Ted Nugent, and some guy wearing a lobster suit. They left him slated, anyway.

I don't know anything about this kind of stuff, but I imagine that a young, articulate, MOR black man also helped put another diverse face on the party.

by JohnGor0 2006-04-17 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I quite agree, John. The fact that Alan Keyes was the best candidate the Illinois GOP could come up with was truly inspiring to watch. Lyndon LaRouche probably would have polled better.

Obama's election was a fait accompli by the time election day rolled around.

I'm not dissing Obama; I'm simply saying that he ran, essentially, unopposed.

by Tod Westlake 2006-04-17 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Obama would have wiped the floor with Ryan.  This was evident a week after the primary, before Ryan's sexual indiscretions were all over the papers.  

by Eric11 2006-04-17 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Actually, there were rumblings of something huge before the primary. Ryan was even reacting to rumors from the Obama camp that they had something huge and were going to use it day 1 after the primaries.

by JohnGor0 2006-04-17 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

John, go back and read the polls.  To say Barack was in a tight race is total BS.  Ryan was behind Obama anywhere from 11 to 22 points (depending on the poll) BEFORE the scandal hit.  He didn't need the prime time slot to win (unless Ditka got in there)... However, given his crossover performance in the primary... leading all demographics to my knowledge in a crowded primary, made him a strong choice for the speech.

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-17 03:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I'm sorry. I can't tell your tone from your post, so let me amend.

It is my understanding that the Democrats either thought he would be in a close race, or Ditka was looking like a real possibility (he only declined after realizing he would have to back away from his endorsement deals).

Big picture, from a story I read at the time, he was slotted in at the convention to give him a boost in his election. Yes, I also believe that his physical attributes didn't hurt him.

Sounds like a bunch of people here have a real bone to pick with Obama. I think he's taking very safe stances in the Senate so he doesn't sully himself with complicated votes ala John Kerry.

I bet he runs for Governor in 2010, or pres in 2012.

by JohnGor0 2006-04-17 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Your amendments make more sense.  I can't remember the timeline completely, but my thoughts were both Edgar and Ditka had ruled out a run before the slot was offered to Obama.  I had heard the spot wasn't offered until 3-4 weeks before the convention, at which point I believe he was way ahead in the polls and the two biggest opponents he could have faced in Ditka or Edgar had said no.  But I may have the timeline.  That being said, for some reason I don't remember his speech televised live... I saw it ona  replay... If they thought he was in a race wouldn't he have been in a different keynote spot.

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-18 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I agree with zt155 that he came into that speech as a "rising star" of the party.  And for good reason -- I first met him in June 2003 at a small fundraiser, and everyone there was totally impressed and ready to work for him.

Also, I wouldn't believe for one second that Barack Obama is unaware of the issues facing Black America.  For me, his "Polyannaish" speech was a great exclamation of the American ideal.  I don't think we should lose sight of what we are fighting for while we're in the trenches.  

Sarah

by Sarah R Carter 2006-04-17 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

What are we fighting for?

by bruh21 2006-04-17 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

We're fighting for equality of opportunity, so that all Americans can take part in the American dream regardless of who their parents were or how much money they made.  This is why we push public education, progressive tax policies, health coverage for all, etc.

(At least, that's what I'm fighting for.  And I believe that's what Barack Obama fights for, too.)

Sarah

by Sarah R Carter 2006-04-17 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

We don't know what words mean outside of action. That's why this diary I think is on point. We didn't have Obama's word in the context of any action he had taken. It was our perception, but perception isn't enough.

by bruh21 2006-04-17 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

What does anyone fight for?  It's not just a perception of him that we collectively pulled out of thin air.  He had a good record as a state Senator in Illinois before running for US Senate.  He had actual policy proposals when he began his race (he didn't have to emphasize them because, as mentioned elsewhere, he effectively ran unopposed).

I think being in the US Senate in the minority, especially as a most junior Senator, makes it very difficult to do what you want to do.  And I believe that Obama's heart is in the right place.

Sarah

by Sarah R Carter 2006-04-17 02:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

We have objective ways of looking at people beyond the limitations you outline. We can ask ourselves are they thinking as I have mentioned strategically? Do they understand how to weld political power? The Carrot and the Stick. Do they know the power of name? We have examples of other Senators who are just as under the control of the Republicans who nevertheless gave the feel that they were left of center and leadership. It dont think these things are reducible to merely how we feel about people. I think reducing it to mere feeling is a choice that politicians hope that we will make because that we can never hold them accountable.

by bruh21 2006-04-17 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I think "thinking strategically" can mean a lot of different things.  People talk with dirision about people doing things "just to get elected President," but that may be the best way to influence policy.  Would it be so wrong if that was his strategic goal?  I don't know if that's his goal or if his actions now are the most strategic way to get there.  Having talked to him and looked at what he's done so far, I trust him to do what he thinks is best in the long run.

As for reducing our perceptions to "mere feeling:" for better or for worse, that's the way that most people will evaluate their politicians.  I'm really glad that Barack Obama gives many, many people warm fuzzies.  In some ways, that's what political power is all about.

Sarah

by Sarah R Carter 2006-04-17 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I think this is where- and no disrespect- you and others start to talk out of both side of your mouth. You can't really have it both ways with this. Either he is the second comint of Christ- and we should accept him on blind faith- or we should do as people re doing. Critiquing him in terms of the politician that you are saying that he is now maybe acting like. If you are right- and he is doing this to be Prez- well that's not about the things we start this conversation off with. It was about him living up to being a leader who shares our values. I guess, unless, your value is simply to make him Prez? Minds isn't. My interests are to ask is he going to legitimately make things better. I say the jury is mostly out right now. We don't know how he is going to shape up. I do  know as of now- he's not being very impressive. The whole telling the left to quiet up thing on D Kos was offensive (and I am a moderate) because he needed to save that fire for the right. I also found the subsequent defense of Obama by those of his supporters interesting. It felt like an annointing. I don't believe in annointed leadership. I believe in a leadership this must continous prove to the American people why they should govern. And that's what I am getting at about the rhectoric. It's great language- but without more substance, it's just that. Language. Telling me what he did before he got in Congress is a little like telling me that Kerry was in the Vietnam war, and that's a reason I should vote for him for Prez. It's simply doesn't help with having a good discussion about where he is now. Again, if you are right- then he's not where he was when he gave that speech. And that would be even worse a shame, because I would like that man, and not the one trying to triangulate to be Prez.

by bruh21 2006-04-17 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Well . . . no one's voting for him for President just yet.  There's nothing right now for him to be annointed with.  Everyone is still waiting to see what happens.  His language makes me very optimistic about what he will do.

(For the record, I don't necessarily condone any of his motions toward running for President, if that is indeed what he's doing.  I was just pointing out that one could argue that it would be a good way for Obama to spend his time if his goal is to push forward a progressive agenda.)

Sarah

by Sarah R Carter 2006-04-17 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I'm sorry but are you saying Obama is under the control of the GOP.  Please correct me, because that is what it seems like you insinuating here.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-17 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

How you got that from what I said- well I have no idea. The contrarian in me wants to say to you that you are right. But, the side of me more interested in dialogue would say no you are wrong and that's the side that will talk. I personally don't know how leadership can improve if we can't critique it as tell them when they are going wrong. everyone seems to have their favorite person. I guess I don't. I see where they are good- and here where they are bad. I guess to sum up what I am saying is that rhectorically Obama in his speeches make me feel all good inside- but in terms of what he has actually been doing as a Senator- I am underwhelmed when compared to other Senators such as a Paul Wellstone.

by bruh21 2006-04-17 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

It sounded like you were saying Obama was under GOP control... much in the way Lieberman is.  I wanted to see if I misunderstood what you wrote and apparently I did which is god.  

My issue is that for some reason a senator who is still wet behind the ears is being blasted by several people on this site, while others are ignored.  No Senator is perfect... even Feingold, who many here (myself included ) are so ga ga over has his share of less than popular actions... the affirmation of Roberts being one the of the biggest that comes to mind... yet he is now getting a free pass on that.

But I ask you and all the other Obama haters... please name me a Senator in recent who passed major legislation in their first 2 years in the senate, especially as a member of the minority party.  Even someone like Hillary was pretty quiet that first cycle.  Maybe, just maybe he is making an effort to be bi-partisan so that he can get some legislation passed.  Maybe he is leaving the attack speeches to the ACTUAL party leaders like Dean, Reid, etc whose job it is to do that.  He may be a media darling, but he is not the party leader you and others seem to make him.  He is not the whip, he is not the minority leader... give him time... be patient and stop expecting an instant payoff.  

Give the guy a break.

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-18 09:23AM | 0 recs
some action

Back in November 2005, I did a diary on the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2005 which he had just introduced in the Senate.

That's the kind of stuff he stands for.

by Adam B 2006-04-17 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: some action

I am sorry, but I am not. I have a pretty high standard for what impresses me. Effectiveness is a big first hurdle that must be demostrated. I haven't seen any sense of strategic thinking. In order to get to Brown v. Board of Education- it took decades of planning and strategic action. He hasn't demostrated in any bit by bit planning or even in bold moves that he is thinking that way. Voting is a pretty safe issue.  So far, I would say my biggest problem with Obama is that he is of the react to others mode of leadership which leaves the Democratic Party at the  mercy of Republican strategy. Strategic thinking is realizing that you need both the stick and carrot, not just the carrot. My question, if I were asking Obama a question, would be at what point does he think its okay to attack the Republicans? Where does he think we need to use the stick. And, will he wait to see where the wind blows in his analysis, or will he act strategically to shape opinion. In his D Kos piece, that was what was missing. A fundamental sense that his duty is not only to tell us where he thinks the American people are- but how to move them to where they to go. I would call the later leadership, and the former a politician.

by bruh21 2006-04-17 02:26PM | 0 recs
Re: some action

Let me ask you a question Bruh.  Name me the last president that sucessfully attacked the opposition party as savagely as you suggest before he was a Presidential candidate, and while he was a senator or governor.  

The guy is a junior senator during his first congressional session.  He is among the low men on the power structure in the Senate.  He is a rising star BUT HE IS NOT PARTY LEADERSHIP.  Let Durbin, Reid, Pelosi, Kennedy etc do the attack speeches.  There is no reason for Obama to do it at THIS point in his career.  Even a figure such as hilary wasn't doing what you are calling for her first 2 years.  

I would like to hear who you think is the perfect leader in this regard.  Someone that does everything you suggest in your post.  It isn't Reid, it isn't Dean ( a man I admire) it really wasn't even Clinton.  It seems like you are tilting at Windmills here in search of the Impossible Dream.  The type of person you say is a FANTASTIC leader... no one denies that... but they also seldom win elections either.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-17 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: some action

Everything you just asked can be looked up by you- and that's what I am going to suggest. Look at how the Republicans handled clinton in his first 100 days versus the Democrats. Like the other poster above- you want your cake and want to eat it too. If he is just a Junior Senator who has no real power, then why should we laud him for being no one particularly important? Is that what you are arguing because we both know that's not true. If as I suspect you know- he's more than that because of the power that he has of the pulpit (indeed we aren't discussing other Senators right now- they didn't even discuss Mosley Braun like this- a more conservative Senator by comparison) - if he has power (any more than a normal Junior senator would expect to have), then your argument loses on its face. And again, we know he has more power than the typical junior Senator. So this whole argument is specious. This conversation reminds me of BlueNC a person who was trying to defend Joe L by saying- well there is only one type of power and that's the voting record. There are many types of power. How you leverage that power is how you can win or lose battles. The Democratic Party, as a party, has tended in to not focus on how to negotiate better outcomes. To the degree that Obama contributes this by thinking he can win solely with the carrot- is the degree to which I question his leadership. He is right that leadership is sometimes about compromise- but not always. I don't believe in perfection. I just want a better sense that he gets that.

by bruh21 2006-04-17 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: some action

Tried to look it up... I couldn't find any.

I never said laud him... I am saying there is no reason to attack him the way many people are.  

I agree one can leverage power.  What I am saying is that it TAKES TIME to leverage said power.  Even Hillary, who could be considered as high profile as Obama was when she took office, played it low key the first two years.  This is part of politics.  Not only to keep from pissing off the opposition to the point that you can't get anything done... but to keep from pissing off those in your own party who have paid dues and aren't getting the same hype.  

Again, do I think he has a strong potential to be a Presidential candidate... absolutely.  DO I think he should be a VP or Pres candidate in 2008?  Absolutely not... he is not ready.  All I say is give him time to become a leader.  I expect to see more and more over the next 4 years as he takes a leadership role.

The other thing to think about is this... It is possible the Party leaders have told him not to be a firebrand.  If they are grooming him for higher office, they may want him to have few controversial remarks.  This is of course speculation...

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-18 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

My thoughts exactly.

by Tom Grayman 2006-04-17 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Way to de-bunk your own opinion Tom.

by zt155 2006-04-17 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

ROFLMAO - This guy Barack Obama, he is a total zero to me. He hasn't done a single interesting thing since he's been in the senate. He sits around arguing with McCain, as if that represents a day job.

A senator should battle for the interests of his own state - so far I don't see that happening.

No, I am not dissappointed, per se - but the guy is just flat plain BORING right now. I don't even see why we're talking about this dude..

We should be talking about Feingold. There's a senator!

by turnerbroadcasting 2006-04-17 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I agree.  I am not sure he has done anything for my state.  

This will be controversial, but it is what I sincerely believe.  I would rather have Senator Mary Landrieu in the White House than Barack Obama.  She delivers for her state; she is outspoken; and I believe her politics would change radically if she were representing the nation and not just a demographically depleted Louisiana.  

Of course, Russ Feingold must be the next President.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

THE GUY IS A SECOND YEAR, 1ST SESSION SENATOR FOR GOD SAKES!!!! FOR THE MINORITY PARTY!!!!

What would you expect him to have passed?  How many 2nd year Senators in EITHER party have major legislation passed.  

To compare him to a multi term senator is ridiculous.   And there is no way Landrieu's politics change if she is from a different state.  She is pretty much a DINO... not lieberman bad but close.

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-18 09:09AM | 0 recs
Leave Metonym alone...

He's a second-year grad-student, for god sakes...

by NCDem 2006-04-18 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I'm from Chicago u igit and barak has been an activist in the city since the f-ing 80's what aere talking about. He has highest edcational credentials of any president in the last fifty years. you know nothing

by KRCarter 2006-09-18 11:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I'm not sure what you mean.

I was agreeing with Lucas O'Connors thoughts on why Obama was given a slot at the convention. I don't see anything in there that debunks my main thesis on why Obama was treated like a megastar after the convention -- specifically that he was a black Democrat who openly rejected the idea that there are racial divisions in the US.

by Tom Grayman 2006-04-18 05:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I reside in Barack Obama's neighborhood, and I am a member of the university at which he was an Adjunct Assistant Professor.  I too found his remarks on race somewhat puzzling, as Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the United States.  Also problematic was his Senate victory speech, which he flooded with a whole set of gratuitous religious tropes I found utterly offensive.  And then I had the pleasure of encountering his "autobiography" at virtually every convenience store in my neighborhood.  Not only was it patently written by a ghostwriter; it was the most trite revision of the American dream with a dash of 1980s multiculturalism I have ever read.  To be quite honest, I have no opinion of Obama, as he is a standard politician.  Some may find his youth, his height, his flesh and his manufactured smile alluring.  I view his image as so many cosmetics that serve to disguise something he and his handlers wish not to disclose.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

1.  Obama was Senior Lecturer in Law at the Law School.  I should know -- I took two courses from him, and saw him smile authentically on many an occasion.

2.  Please provide some evidence that he did not write his memoir himself in 1994-95, or retract that ugly, shameful smear.  

We understand it, Ken: you don't like Obama because he endorsed Tammy Duckworth.  But that's no reason for all your lies, or for your ratings abuse.  Maybe it's time for your third (fourth?) banning from this reality-based community, Ken/Metonym/Formalist/ilyayavitz/illinoi s062006.

by Adam B 2006-04-17 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Totally off topic, but...

What kind of prof was he?

by DanielUA 2006-04-17 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Challenging.  Unafraid to espouse arguments he disagreed with if it provoked students into realizing the weakness of their own views.  Well-prepared.  Exceptionally available to students to discuss things outside of class.  And impeccably well-dressed -- where most of the faculty wore yawn-inducing suits, he rocked a nice sweater collection.

Let's put it this way: the man inspired me to write a 20-page rebuttal to my own college senior thesis as one of my papers for the class.

by Adam B 2006-04-17 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

It's easy to talk as a professor than it is to substantive act as a legislative official. I am not disparaging him- but I went to law school too. I know how law professors can be academically a challenge, but have no real world resonance when it comes to actual action. The critique that I am seeing of him is that his actions so far don't match his rhectoric. Paul Wellstone, by all accounts, was an incredible professor. But, we know from his legislative action that he was also a great Senator. We know this because of his record as a Senator- not as a professor and what he did there.

by bruh21 2006-04-17 02:12PM | 0 recs
Sure.
And it's a lot easier to get things done in a majority than where he is right now.  But when he was in the Illinois State Senate:
He was the chief sponsor of a new law to require police to record all interrogations and confessions in homicide cases, a cornerstone of efforts to end the disastrous record of wrongful convictions in this state. He was a leader in efforts to pass a substantial ethics reform package, which was signed into law last year. He played a key role in welfare reform legislation and the state's Earned Income Tax Credit, a boost for the working poor.

See more via Scott Turow.
by Adam B 2006-04-17 02:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Sure.

Focusing on the past, you are.  I prefer to discuss the present.  Nostalgia only accomplishes so much.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Sure.

Ironic that an Art History Doctoral Candidate is complaining that someone is focusing on the past and that they prefer to discuss the present.  After all the history of any subject is a study of the past to put it very simplisticly.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-18 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

1. I read the text, and I was once a ghost writer.  I also believe I have studied the genre of autobiography long enough to understand how they are structured and marketed.

2. Regarding his title, a lecturer is not very different from someone who is not on the tenure track.  In other words, he was Adjunct, and I believe you are quibbling over niceties.

3. My reservations for Obama existed before the primary.

4. You are not allowed to expose others with whom you disagree.  Perhaps you should be banned.

Thank you.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 04:31PM | 0 recs
OT: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I didn't realize they taught the genre of autobiography in art history school.  I also didn't realize that compiling information you made publicly available constituted exposing you.  Who knew?

Anyway, one example of a ghost-written passage?

by Adam B 2006-04-17 04:45PM | 0 recs
Re: OT: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I studied Rhetoric before I studied Art History.  Moreover, my research spans multiple disciplines, and I read immense amounts of literary theory.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: OT: Thoughts on Barack Obama

No, I believe your obsession with me resulted in the compilation of that "evidence."  And that you insist on publishing it again and again reveals you desire to invalidate me instead of engaging with me as an adult.  Because you ostensibly hold a JD, I imagine you will refrain from this activity when you realize how immature it actually is.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: OT: Thoughts on Barack Obama

To set the record straight, if you recheck that link Adam B provided, you'll see that I was actually the one who compiled that - in scare quotes - "evidence."  So, if you want to accuse someone of obsession and immaturity, at least launch the barbs at the right person.

by arenwin 2006-04-17 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: OT: Thoughts on Barack Obama

That is... unless you imagine that we're the same person?  A secret, lone antagonist chasing you around MyDD under different identities?  If so, a poem for you in choliambic meter:

Suffenus iste, Vare, quem probe nosti,
homo est venustus et dicax et urbanus,
idemque longe plurimos facit versus.
puto esse ego illi milia aut decem aut plura
perscripta, nec sic ut fit in palimpseston
relata: cartae regiae, novi libri,
novi umbilici, lora rubra membranae,
derecta plumbo et pumice omnia aequata.
haec cum legas tu, bellus ille et urbanus
Suffenus unus caprimulgus aut fossor
rursus videtur: tantum abhorret ac mutat.
hoc quid putemus esse? qui modo scurra
aut si quid hac re scitius videbatur,
idem infaceto est infacetior rure,
simul poemata attigit, neque idem unquam
aeque est beatus ac poema cum scribit:
tam gaudet in se tamque se ipse miratur.
nimirum idem omnes fallimur, neque est quisquam
quem non in aliqua re videre Suffenum
possis. suus cuique attributus est error;
sed non videmus manticae quod in tergo est.

(Catullus 22)

by arenwin 2006-04-17 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: OT: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I did not realize one can unfairly rate comments when one happens to disagree with either the substance or the author of such comments.  Because you have a predilection for engaging in harrassment and ratings abuse, I have contacted two of the site's administrators.  And I will continue to do so until you refrain from engaging in these reprehensible activities.  Although my opinon may not be one you desire to hear, I believe I have every right to articulate it.

Thanking you again,

illinois062006

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

You are once again proving yourself to be irrational and ridiculous. Obama wrote his memoir at age 33. I read somewhere that his advance at the time was like 30K. How the hell could he afford to hire a ghostwriter as a kid just out of college with mountains of law school debt? And why the hell would anyone care enough about him to do it for free? And lastly, what makes you think the man can't write well enough to do it himself? He was editor the fucking Harvard Law Review after all.

You are truly bad for our party. You are so quick to criticize our leaders without any regard for the facts.

by DemocraticBass 2006-04-17 04:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I provided facts in my initial comments, and I stated my opinion on the autobiography.  I believe it is trite, and I believe it is poorly written.  In fact, it follows a common template.  But it is not a major literary work.  In fact, it is a convenience store potboiler.  And no, I am not a blight on the party.  And if you are so concerned with the health and vitality of your party, you should try to find a way to include me.  

Comments such as these almost obligate me to loathe everything you champion.  Thankfully, I will not resort to such tactics.  As I stated before, I have no opinion of Obama, and I am certainly not about to jump on the ramshackle bandwagon you have created for him.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 05:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Common template? Yeah, the African born father marries white mother moves to Hawaii divorces mother remarries moves to Indonesia father tragically killed son excels in academics and becomes first African American editor of the Harvard law review only to eschew high-dollar jobs to become a community organizer books are a dime a dozen.

Furthermore, whoever claimed it was a major literary work? Nice straw man you set up there.

Truthfully, I don't give a shit about what your opinion is or who you vote for. You've proven yourself unyielding in your irrationality and more than willing to post unfounded slander about people and subjects you know nothing about. The GOP deserves you.

by DemocraticBass 2006-04-17 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Sorry, but you are absolutely wrong.  In fact, I did not post slander: I stated an opinion, and I am surprised you do not know the difference.  You are obviously attempting to invalidate me by misconstruing everything I write.  Your vituperative response to my measured articulation of my opinion reveals how irrational you and the company you choose to keep are.  Now I ask those who have unfairly assessed my comments to retract their ratings.

Thank you.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Template = structure of autobiography with the narrative significance of overcoming constraints.  This is the narrative structure of the historical novel, a narrative convention challenged since at least 1848.  One simply provides the template and fills the gaps with the idiosyncratic details of the main protagonist.  It is quite simple.

But this is my opinion, and I have a right to it.  To tell me that it is irrational is an attempt to invalidate me through recourse to some vaguely defined notion of rationality that is most probably far from normative.  Please refrain from the personal attacks and engage with the substance of the comments.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 06:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I'm perplexed.  How does the fact that his autobiography follows a template reflect badly on him?  Or, even more, suggest that he used a ghostwriter?  You could also say this follows the template of the American Dream story.  But there's nothing inherently sinister about that.  Or do you believe otherwise?

by arenwin 2006-04-17 08:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

It seems like you have been one of nearly everything when it suits your argument.  I suppose you were a Senator as well?  Maybe a cliff diver?  How about a carnival barker?

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-18 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

As someone who teaches at the University of Chicago, I must say I peform a certain role for my students when at the podium.  Judging someone from their presentation in class or during office hours is frankly ridiculous: yes, they may be a good teacher, but whether or not they are an honest human being with integrity and judgment is an entirely different matter.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 04:47PM | 0 recs
Metonym...

You're a T.A.  You must get over this self-obsession.

by NCDem 2006-04-18 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Exactly.

by bruh21 2006-04-17 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Thank you for posting this, Tom.  You express my sentiments exactly.  I have no beef with Obama, and my family was happy and proud to vote for him, but he's not a Magical Negro no matter how badly some Democrats wanted him to be.  

I just shake my head as he's now being vilified by the very same people who hyped him up so much after that speech.

by dramachick 2006-04-17 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

He was hyped very much so by the big liberal blogs right around the time of that speech. Talking about how great a President he would be, despite the fact he was unproven and really unknown.  Mix in 1/3 Lieberman, 1/3 Biden, and 1/3 Kerry and you have Obama.

What a waste of talent.

by padcrasher 2006-04-17 01:36PM | 0 recs
Reminds me of a story Harry Truman once told

President Truman had an approval rating of 28% by the end of his presidency.  At one point he remarked to one of his advisors saying "If I walked on water, the headline of all the papers would read 'President Can't Swim'"

That's how I sometimes see the blogosphere.  It doesn't quite matter what anyone does, because it will never be perfect.

by jkfp2004 2006-04-17 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Even the Vice Presidential candidate he was endorsing that night was famous for pointing out that there were "two Americas" (divided by economics and power, which often serve as good proxies for race in America).

I worry this is going to sound like nitpicking, but it's intended as a serious question asked by a white guy trying to better understand issues of race. I assume that you used the word "proxy" loosely, to mean "stand-in".

If that's the case, how is economics and power a proxy for race? Are lower income, less-powerful white people any less included in that America?

Is it that the obstacles they (or their children) need to overcome are fewer than blacks in the same situation? (Is it the same situation?)

Tom, if you'd spare some time, I'd appreciate it a great deal.

by Bill Rehm 2006-04-17 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

African-Americans are more likely to be of lower socio-economic and politcal status than whites. When John Edwards speaks of "two Americas," America #1, however exactly he defines it, is highly disproportionately black. America #2 is highly disproportionately white.

by Tom Grayman 2006-04-17 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Well, yeah. That's a given -- a larger proportion of blacks are poor than whites.
But there are more poor whites than poor blacks, for obvious demographic reasons. So
how is poor and powerless a proxy for race?

I came from a family of 12 children. Our family hovered around the poverty line throughout
most of my childhood, until we got old enough for Mom to go to college on the GI bill
as a WWII vet. Two incomes pulled us into the middle class.

I'm becoming more convinced that Edwards (who I haven't really warmed up to,
although he's actually living and working in my corner of NC) has it right.

Or, as has started cropping up on the blogs, it'a the toppers and the rest of us.
My family could survive, for a time, the loss of a job. Not an indefinite length of time,
though.

I think maybe you're assuming I can take your observation to a particular logical conclusion,
but I can't.

by Bill Rehm 2006-04-17 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

The point is that there are divides that are not created by negative ad people, as Obama would apparently have us believe, but by various powers that be. Until I hear Obama call those people out, in public, I feel that he is working too hard to play to an audience of future presidential voters.

by Tom Grayman 2006-04-17 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I agree with that completely. And your post certainly gave me a more rounded perspective of Obama's speech. I had naively thought of it in terms of Dean's pseudo-infamous

"White folks in the South who drive pickup trucks with Confederate flag decals on the back ought to be voting with us, and not them, because their kids don't have health insurance either, and their kids need better schools too."

A calling out of the GOP on the Southern Strategy, the gay marriage haters, the Tancredo Border Patrol, etc.

I realize my question was something of an aside to the point of your post, though. Thanks for humoring me this far.

by Bill Rehm 2006-04-17 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

What annoys me about the guy is he's one of main Dem culprits who have this idea that Dems really have no cause to be angry with the situation in our our Nation today. Let's just all get along! If we're positive and cheery the GOP will meet us half way.

I can't figure out if he's just duped or 100% politician?

by padcrasher 2006-04-17 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

What causes does Obama truly stand for?

It seems to me that he further alienates those who truly wish to engage in discussing how race effects opportunity in American society by the use of his aforementioned rhetoric. Basically he's a self-centered politician that would rather tow the middle-line to get elected versus using his platform & voice to represent all of the causes that he has been ordained to supposedly represent.

by AZJustice 2006-04-17 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

He also does not respond to constinuent's letters.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I've gotten a response back for the 3 I have sent.

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-18 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I think that you just nailed exactly what he was and is saying, which makes me wonder why in your first post you seem to have soured on Barack.

He's not perfect and - indeed - he's already had missteps.  But generally, I think the message he's consistently been repeating is exactly what you seem to be urging him to say:  "You know, all these rabid ideologues and their bitter partisanship are screwing up the government's ability to govern in the interests of the voters.  Congressman A, Senators C, D, and E and President B need to stop worrying about being good party members and start trying to be good Americans."

Honestly, what's wrong with that message?  Moreover, what was wrong during a hugely divisive election to say that the country isn't AS DIVIDED as George Bush and the Republican party would lead us to believe?  That despite the admittedly different obstacles that people of different races, genders, religions, etc. face the country as a whole actually does agree on a whole host of issues (and in fact agrees with a progressive solution to those issues)?  

It's been a LONG time since a politician has articulated an intelligent, effective, and INSPIRING message that resonated with the majority of this country.  I think Barack has the ability to do that while staying true to his progressive beliefs if we give him a chance.  Which is why I DO see greatness in him and am not disappointed in him at all.      

by HSTruman 2006-04-17 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

He's been in the Senate for the political equivalent of 5 minutes at a time when Republicans have a 5 seat majority.  What kind of accomplishments did you expect him to have produced by now?  Good lord, talk about unrealistic expectations...

by HSTruman 2006-04-17 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

How do you explain people like Paul Wellstone or others who despite their positions (ie  under REpublican controlled Congress) were still able to expouse and give voice that most understood? So  much so- that despite everything Wellstone would have won in his state despite his vote on the war. These arguments are ringing hollow about expectations being unrealistic. At what point should we expect our leadership to start acting as leadership? The first year, the second, the 10th?

by bruh21 2006-04-17 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Well he's a very young, first-term Democrat is a Senate controled by the Republican party. He's served one year of his term. What the hell do you expect to have accomplished?

by js noble 2006-04-17 02:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I expected him to vote AGAINST the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State.  At least that putz, Durbin, got it right by voting not confirm the lying Iraq war architect.  

by pascal1947 2006-04-17 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Actually, what probably got him the invite was his overwhelming performance across all groups from white suburbanites to inner city blacks in a crowded Democratic primary featuring a rich a scummy country clubber (who would have been as bad as Ryan had he got the nom) among others.  This cross support, the fact he opened the race before Ryan's drop out far ahead, and the fact Polls showed him ahead of many potential challengers once Ryan was replaced got him the invite.  I don't think replacing Fitzgerald was as big an issue, because Fitzgerald (while technically a GOPer) was a true Maverick senator (the reality to McCain's fiction)... I didn't like him, but I respected him... which I won't say about too many Republicans.  

The other thing is that he had was the Bill Clinton charisma factor... he just exudes it... it pours from him.  Like him and his policies or not, he comes across in a similiar manner as Bill.  He may not quite be at Clinton's caliber yet, he is as close as any politician I have seen in recent years and could very well be

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-17 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Bingo.  It's his charisma.  This is so important.  My wife just met him last week and she couldn't believe how personable and likeable he was.  Everyone there just loved him, and this was not some partisan political event.  There were former Bush voters falling on their face to meet the guy.  

by Eric11 2006-04-17 02:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

from my own blog:

Barak Obama came to Minnesota and gave a nice speech.
Barak Obama hit the right buttons and said the right things.
Very nice stories and high flying words.
But when he was done, he'd said nothing of any real worth.

No, I wasn't in the audience for his speech.
Yes, I listened to the audio feed, though I kept tuning out.
No, I wasn't impressed, hence the tuning out.
Yes, NeoLotus expects a great deal more from those who run the country.

by NeoLotus 2006-04-17 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I think we could still see great things from the guy. He's still very young and inexperienced. I'm not dissapointed, I don't think he's great, nor do I think he's mediocre. I think he has a lot of potential and if he manages to not go the way of the classic insider Democrat he may yet do great things.

He's been in office just over one year, its way to eary to judge.

by js noble 2006-04-17 02:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I think he has expressed that, if not through explosive rhetoric.  Not every politician is going to throw fire bombs and engage in overtly partisan combat - Barack certainly isn't - but that doesn't mean they can't be an extremely effective advocate for progressive ideals.  

Go back and look at how Barack handled the whole McCain thing.  He didn't cave when McCain pulled his stunt but he didn't let the issue degenerate into a public squabble either - which is exactly what McCain wanted.  The result?  Obama is still the face of ethics reform for the Dems and - leading up to November - I think you're going to see him use that issue quite effectively against the Republican Congress that refused to pass real reforms...

by HSTruman 2006-04-17 02:42PM | 0 recs
the expectations game

Let's look at the flip side. People thought Obama would be great, he has turned out to just be good, and people are disappointed. Compare the President. People thought he was an idiot, then a dubious response to 9/11 beat people's expectations, and suddenly people thought he was great. Of course, everyone looks at things differently. I saw Bush as mediocre before 9/11, then soon after realized how awful he is.

by liberal atheist 2006-04-17 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Man, tough crowd.

If we can all agree that Obama was overhyped, then maybe we can also agree that all this handwringing over the fact that he hasn't yet reinvented the wheel in his first year in the Senate.

by Epitome22 2006-04-17 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Actually I think I agree that simple answers don't really say much. Can we critique him wihtout having to assume he walks on water? Or it that we must accept the assumption that he walks on water and then critique?

by bruh21 2006-04-17 05:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Obviously, I'd prefer that Obama were the answer to our collective prayers and would deliver us from minority status.  

I'm just pushing back on the backlash going on here.  None of the other 45 Democratic Senators have been able to deliver us either.  If it's a Herculean effort that's required, it seems unfair to blame Obama for not being able to come in, put the whole party on his back, and carry us across.  I do believe that he, along with plenty of other good Democrats, has been doing the best he can to keep the damage done by the Republicans at a minimum.

I'm also glad that he's in our talent stock pile for future use.

Sarah

by Sarah R Carter 2006-04-17 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

For me the issue is one of style/perception, rather than of substance -- which, yes, I recognize is very superficial of me.  Of course, politics is about perception and substance.  As others have mentioned, it may be too early for Sen Obama to have garnered any substantive notches on his belt, given that he's a junior senator in the minority party, during a particularly contentious time in that legislative body; accordingly, it would be difficult for him to push any substantive agenda items through -- fine, I can accept that as the reality.

That said, as it regards to style/perception, I find Sen Obama bland and, to my eyes, calculating.  I can see why many observers, particularly his white constituents/supporters, are inspired by his bio and accomplishments; however, in terms of perception, it seems to me that it is largely his bio that the Sen regularly falls back on to bolster his persona and credentials.  And that's fine, after all, his bio does represent some part of who he is. However, it is precisely his over reliance on his bio story that I perceive as calculating.  Moreover, his use of his bio is often used, not to challenge is audience, it seems to me, but to soothe any nagging feelings in his audience that, perhaps, there may indeed be two Americas (as others have noted).  

One of the best articulations of the problems that some of us have with Sen. Obama was written by RJ Eskow:

Barack Obama is widely considered the front-runner for the VP slot should Hillary Clinton capture the nomination in '08. His recent endorsement of right-winger Joe Lieberman in the presence of liberal challenger Ned Lamont was a calculated slap - not only toward the liberal blogosphere, which has warmly endorse Lamont, but toward the great numbers of mainline Democrats who have been alienated by Lieberman's zealous support for the stumbling war effort.

Obama may have been paying Lieberman off for some favors, but he was also sending a message to the Party's insiders that says "I'm one of you." He's been doing that since he voted to confirm Condi Rice. In addition, he was sending a message to the commentariat that he's not "crashing the gate." He was signaling instead that he's an insider politician who - never fear, Mr. Russert et al - will play the game the ways it's always been played.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/r unning-against-the-base-_b_18374.html

It's not that Sen Obama is "bad," or "ineffective" as a politician, is that to some of us he's proven to be a "typical politician," thus far.

There's more than one audience on any subject and for every individual; and, clearly, different audiences are reacting differently to Sen Obama's message.  It seems to me that largely, Sen Obama has geared his message/image to appeal to a particular audience (middle class, not particularly partisan, white America) which has responded well to that message; however, there's another audience that, thus far, has been relegated to the back of the line by the Senator (and by the Democratic party as a whole), that other audience is made up of constituents that want a little more demonstrable fire and passion from its representatives.  That other audience craves leaders that do not play politics as usual... leaders that are willing to rock-the-boat, and not merely play the insiderish game that Eskow writes of above.

Please keep in mind that this has been hastily written, and that there are many points that should be expounded on -- however, work calls.

Great diary, by the way.

by bedobe 2006-04-17 03:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Charismatic? Bill Clinton?

Perhaps you didn't read this damning anecdote in n+1  (from a review of Bernard- Henri Levy's stupid Tocqueville book):

"One of the finest scenes in the book, a scene that has haunted me since I read it, is set at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, where BHL comes face-to-face with Barack Obama, who has just given the speech that made his a household name:

"Bernard-Henri Lévy," he repeats, mocking me a little ... "With a name like that, you would have been a big hit at the convention." ... I ask, "And what about `Barack Obama'? With a name like that, and with the success you had last night, you should be able to become president of the United States in five minutes." He laughs. Thumps me on the chest, pulls away a little as if to gather momentum to land a better punch, gives me a hug, laughs again, and repeats, like a nursery rhyme, "Barack Obama, Bernard-Henri Lévy ..."

The embrace is paranoid, the familiarity grotesque. The two unheimlich homeboys, two mere names hugging like boldface refugees from Page Six, seem captured for a moment in a celebrity feedback loop. It portrays vividly the eerie absence in American public life that for Tocqueville was our specialty, the lack at the heart or the head that makes us so carefree yet so potentially scary. "

by Solomon Grundy 2006-04-17 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Hmm... SO lets see... you base your opinion on one anecdote from a french philosopher whose book you call stupid and whom many think is overrated (although to be fair he does have his own small following).

I base my opinion on having gotten to meet both of them and be in their vincinity.

So lets see what would be the better indicator...

You know I am going to take my face to face interaction as a little better way of forming an opinion than an obscure anecdote.

Besides, Do we have the conversation on video anywhere?  Do you know BHL is not making something up out of his ass?  Do you also believe everything you read in the tabloids or in Kitty Kelly as well?  

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-17 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Heh. Well, for me and everyone other than you, both your anecdote and Bernard-Henri Levy's are equally second-hand. Narrate yours for us, and perhaps it will be more compelling.

Even though I didn't care for BHL's Tocqueville book, I do know him to be a high profile public figure who regularly hobnobs with world leaders. It's ridiculous to put him in the same league as Kitty Kelly.

Plus the details of his anecdote are vivid enough for me to draw my own conclusions (that Obama is oddly smarmy, desperately ambitious, and, perhaps, soul-less). I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him in person, but when I do he will only be able to exceed my expectations.

by Solomon Grundy 2006-04-17 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Fair point.  However, others on here have met obama and BHL really is the only negative description I have heard of a face to face.  Not saying that others don't exist, but a lot of peopel who meet him are extremely impressed and sucked in by his charisma.  Nothing smarmy about him and doesn't come off as desperately ambitious.  I'm not sure why you would take that one unsubstaniated story... something described, not taped, as gospel but ignore anyone else who has met him.  Maybe it is because BHL writes prettier prose than the rest of us.  Ultimately it is one person's opinion.  Hell, I have read accounts of people who met Lincoln and thought he was an ignorant bumpkin.  Others thought him commanding and regal.  Formulating an opinion of his personality on entirely secondhand info based on a ONE TIME encounter just seems a little short sighted.

And for the record, while comparing BHL to Kitty Kelly probably isn't fair, BHL has many harsh critics of his work.  He always came off to me as more of a socialite of the political world than anything else.  One of those who truly fits the "Those who can do, those who can't teach" model.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-18 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Actually Lucas, he was elected to SERVE the people of Illinois.  Let us not forget that a Senator's first allegiance should be to his constituents even above his own party.  After all, they are the ones who give him or her the power in the first place.  The GOP has demanded party allegiance over constituentcy allegiance and has screwed the country up royally.  Don't tell me you want our party to follow in the same footsteps.

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-17 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

So basically, the issue is not how he actually votes , but whether he acts like the type of guy who usually becomes a United States Senator?

At least you were honest about superficial implications.

by Epitome22 2006-04-17 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Sorry, this was meant as a reply to your post:

I presume that this is addressed to me, since I mentioned that my criteria was, admittedly, superficial.  Yes, my basic gripe is not necessarily with his voting record, as am sure that it is much better than any Republican would ever be.  With me the issue is one of perception, too.  His approach, I belive, thus far has been insiderish, he's been unwilling to rock-the-boat, and has not demonstrated the passion that I would like to see from a new wave of progressive elected leaders.  As I mentioned, Sen Obama to me comes across as bland and unchallenging.  Which, of course, is precisely what he needs to do as an African American politician with, I presume, presidential ambitions -- I'm mindful of that fact.

Again, I think that Eskow does a good job of articulating the perceived tact that some Dem politicians are taking against the party's grassroots.  I think that Eskow's critique fits Senator Obama well.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/r unning-against-the-base-_b_18374.html

by bedobe 2006-04-17 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I'll agree with that.  While he has done more traveling and speechifying than most junior Senators, I do wish he would use his platform even more.

Sarah

by Sarah R Carter 2006-04-17 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I presume that this is addressed to me, since I mentioned that my criteria was, admittedly, superficial.  Yes, my basic gripe is not necessarily with his voting record, as am sure that it is much better than any Republican would ever be.  With me the issue is one of perception, too.  His approach, I belive, thus far has been insiderish, he's been unwilling to rock-the-boat, and has not demonstrated the passion that I would like to see from a new wave of progressive elected leaders.  As I mentioned, Sen Obama to me comes across as bland and unchallenging.  Which, of course, is precisely what he needs to do as an African American politician with, I presume, presidential ambitions -- I'm mindful of that fact.

Again, I think that Eskow does a good job of articulating the perceived tact that some Dem politicians are taking against the party's grassroots.  I think that Eskow's critique fits Senator Obama well.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/r unning-against-the-base-_b_18374.html

by bedobe 2006-04-17 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

"His approach, I belive, thus far has been insiderish, he's been unwilling to rock-the-boat, and has not demonstrated the passion that I would like to see from a new wave of progressive elected leaders."

Could you possibly suggest something you expected him to do, to be more in line with your expectations for him, that he hasn't fulfilled?

I think ultimately, you (any many others) expectations are too high. The man has only been in the Senate one year and no he has not reinvented the wheel. Moreover, I don't see his approach as being cautious because of insidery or something he must do because of his skin color. Is there any successful politician in any of the G-8 countries, even very progressive politicians, that doesen't come off as bland & safe? That's the nature of government folks, and it isn't that sexy.

by Epitome22 2006-04-17 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Well, I would describe Feingold's approach, Wellstone's approach and Dean's approach as sexy, for a politician.  As for your other points, I've already granted that my criteria is not substantive,  but rather one of style/perception (which in the political arena is legitimate, given how much one's perception of politician affects one's regard for that politician).  Now, I guess you and I will just have to agree to disagree on our level of enthusiasm for Sen Obama -- I can live with that.

by bedobe 2006-04-17 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I don't believe this is correct. If you look throughout history there have been many captivating, inspiring, & successful (legislatively, etc.) leaders who were not "bland" or offputting. The fact is, to much is given much is expected. Obama, the self-proclaimed, & yes annointed, leader of the "New Left" has an OPPORTUNITY to make a real difference if in nothing else how this party is run. The fact that he's assuming this moderate role is saddening to many of us. Its the fact that he already has his megahorn but chooses either not to use it or obscure the realities of the day with his mushy-moderate image that he is personally crafting. Thus, the main compliant, one that I wholeheartedly share, is that if Obama is the best we can do, or even represents a "new" voice than how disappointing for our party & how disappointing for Obama...

by AZJustice 2006-04-17 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Your thoughts make sense within your perspective - but that's the problem. You are buried inside your narrow perspective.  The glory and greatness of the Democratic Party is its constituencies, and it's great challenge is to put the constituencies together into a working and effective movement.  I love reading in this and other blogs that the consultants and office holders that took over the party have brought it to the brink of destruction by focusing on winning the next election instead of building a party.  Right.  But that does not go far enough.

The internet-based white, male progressive tendency has made itself an integral part of the Democratic Party, and that's a great thing.  Not only has it provided a voice for progressives who were dying on the vine, it has practically overnight built an institution - outreach, membership, policy development, fundraising - everything except getting votes.  That is just getting underway, but the other constituencies - women, ethnic minorities, environmentalists, labor, poverty, even politicians - have lots of experience in getting votes.  You should not forget that. The other constituencies not only deserve more respect in their own right, but you can respect and learn from their organizational experience.

Our salvation as Democrats lies in joyously embracing the honest elements of the great constituencies that make up the Democratic Party. We can draw the line at Lieberman, who has built his entire career on attacking anyone to the left of his right-of-center perspective. But I read too much crap in these and similar columns about Democrats who did not take the right position on Iraq or whatever.  Don't let me get started about how deeply you folks misunderstand Hillary Clinton.  

In your concentration on circulating your pure, true vision, you often forget that you are just a part of the bigger picture.  Barack Obama's "shortcomings" that you worry about are his distressing tendency to act like an African-American who comes out of the poverty-organizing community. That's what he is, and he does it well.  Great for him.  Great for the Democratic Party that is lucky enough to have him.  

by Lois2001 2006-04-17 04:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Your post reads mostly like spin. Here's why. Nothing requires one to give up where they came from in order to do the thing of embracing a wider America. Indeed- Obama's speechifying in 2004 was all about how his roots were a part of the greater tree of America (sorry to be corny). The point is that I think this idea that somehow by asking how is he as a leader of AA- that somehow means its not a wider question. But in fact it is. It's a question of who it is we are getting when we are voting for someone. And why isn't AA leadership an important wider issue? We are afterall a part of this society too. Is Obama the guy who says he connects with us all or someone else just trying to go the safe course toward just white voters? The same is true of HRC. Who exactly is she? Can you tell me clearly- and I don't mean a list of issues (and I love the way you reduce a 200 billion  a year drain on a society that is Iraq to a whatever by the way)but what are her values. You can list those- what does she stand for. Where are her lines in the sand? What is her moral belief system?

by bruh21 2006-04-17 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama
Yes. We are not in a position to triangulate, we are not in a position to govern right now, all we can do is OPPOSE and to FIGHT. When you're fighting werewolves, as we are, you need to make sure you're carrying plenty of silver bullets.
by sjs1959 2006-04-17 04:44PM | 0 recs
Barack Obama is Bill Clinton Without the Nuance

except what you have been spoonfed.  The unmitigated, slightly racist gall that he was chosen for this or for that.  Did you ever say such a thing about Bill Clinton (the wonderboy from Arkansas or how about a young Mario Cuomo)?

Please read this to get a clearer picture of the man.

http://www.ericzorn.com/extra/obama/

Once your done with that, please read this

http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/indivi dualProfile.asp?indid=1511

Once you are finished, please come back to the table and repost your comments.

Personally, I have known Barack since his lowly pre-State Senate days.  He is a politician and a damn fine one.  He is Bill Clinton without the nuance. You must begin to respect his capabilities as a legislator and as a stateman.  Has he come out like Feingold and staked his claim.  No, he has not.  Did Bill Clinton ever do that prior to being President.  Not that I know of.  

by mwchicago04 2006-04-17 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is Bill Clinton Without the Nuanc

From the link you provided:


As the Democratic Party moved center in the 2004 campaign, Obama's web site quietly removed a blistering anti-war speech he had given in 2002 and replaced it with a milder statement more in step with the party line of Senators John Kerry and John Edwards.

http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/indivi dualProfile.asp?indid=1511

It is precisely this sort of thing that makes some us less enthusiastic about Sen Obama, then others in the party.  Does the Senator hold promise? Sure.  But the Senator has also proven himself to be, as the article puts it, a "chameleon," which is in keeping with any sort of pedestrian and common politician -- which, unfortunately for many of us, we were told he wasn't when he was first introduced onto the national scene; and it is precisely this that has disappointed -- at least it has disappointed me.  Now, I note below, I grant that more me, at the moment, my dissatisfaction with him is more over style/perception, rather than one of substance.

I would also ask you to see here for another take on Senator Obama:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/r unning-against-the-base-_b_18374.html

by bedobe 2006-04-17 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is Bill Clinton Without the Nuanc

"than" others in the party...

Damn quick posts... errors just slip by

by bedobe 2006-04-17 06:41PM | 0 recs
I f you consider that comment then you must

consider this from the same site

"Obama nonetheless claimed that racism was the cause of the Bush administration's alleged indifference to the struggles of American blacks generally. "The incompetence was colorblind," said Obama. "What wasn't colorblind was the indifference. Human efforts will always pale in comparison to nature's forces. But [the Bush administration] is a set of folks who simply don't recognize what's happening in large parts of the country." Blacks in hurricane-hit areas were poor, Obama further charged, because of the Bush administration's "decision to give tax breaks to Paris Hilton instead of providing child care and education..."

by mwchicago04 2006-04-17 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I f you consider that comment then you must

Yes, that statement was made during a meeting at of the Congressional Black caucus, and recieved little press -- in fact, the meeting may have even been a closed door meeting.  However, for his more public persona, the Senator opts for more a "compromising" tone.

Since you're such a strong supporter and so enthusiactic about Sen Obama, what's your take on the Eskow article?

by bedobe 2006-04-17 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Ken Salazar, who is in a much more precarious position, as he represents as red state, has distinguished himself and has taken more risks than Obama.  But I guess Salazar is a few years older, and he was not invited to speak at the convention.  I am a fan of Salazar, and I believe we should view his development over the next few years.  At least Salazar has taken political risks.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

name one risk he has taken

by DemocraticBass 2006-04-17 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Announcing his opposition to Alito before most other Democrats.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

That's it?

by Epitome22 2006-04-17 09:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

No, he has done much more.  And I do not believe I should have to respond to anything you may type, as you have abused the ratings system.  Besides, you simply enjoy behaving in a contrary manner.  I find such behaviour very counterproductive.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 09:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

What is it you would like him to do?

by Epitome22 2006-04-17 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Alls I know is Barack Obama is going be not just the first black president, but a great president.

by paragon88 2006-04-17 06:46PM | 0 recs
Actually, I do think he is a compromiser

to his credit.  It is what wins elections.  Bush the campaigner was a moderate.  Clinton the campaigner was a centrist.   Presidential politics is different than Congressional or Senatorial politics.  

In Illinois, Obama was extremely popular outside of Chicago in the collar counties.  His other "base" came from the southern tip of Illinois near St. Louis.  He ran two campaigns.  In the south, more strident and in the collar counties more moderate and compromising.

Now, extend this local campaign to a national platform and you can predict how this will play.  In the north, strident and in the south more genteel.  Just the opposite of Illinois, but a winning strategy for any VP ticket.  

What we in the north must come to realize is that we are not the king-makers of presidential politics.  It has moved south, very south.  Give me a candidate (Warner even - Edwards without the hair) who can win in the south.  

by mwchicago04 2006-04-17 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Actually, I do think he is a compromiser

You hint at what is the problem.  It seems that because he's already running for the next post (Pres or VP) that Senator Obama is self-censoring in an effort to not "offend" or "turn off," perhaps, the very voters you point out are so important now days -- Southern Whites, that may respond better to a more "genteel" approach.

by bedobe 2006-04-17 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I, on the other hand, was a huge Obama fan back when he was in the single digits in his Illionois primary race. I heard him speak and I was electrified. I helped convince a large progressive organization on whose Board I sit to endorse him-- and it's an organization that just about never endorses before the primary. A few days ago I wrote a diary on Down With Tyranny about how far Obama has fallen in my esteem.

I got a huge stack of mail today. I was tempted to tell the postman to just chuck it into the garbage but he always says no when I tell him to and you never know-- maybe there is something I need to read between all the junk mail. In this case there wasn't and I chucked it all into the garbage myself. Except for one envelope. It wasn't especially work reading and it was most definitely junk mail but I decided to open it, albeit reluctantly, anyway.

It wasn't that long ago that a letter from Barack Obama would have gotten me all excited. Like with Macs, AOL, and iTunes I was an early adapter when it came to Obama. He was barely registered in the Illinois opinion polls when I sent my first check to his campaign. And when I met him in person the first time I wrote an even bigger one. But... that was then. Since then he's been a mixed bag as far as I'm concerned, and not a mixed bag I would write a check for.

The first alarm bell went off right after he took his seat. He voted to move class action law suits from state courts, where consumers and workers generally get a fair hearing, to federal courts, where corporations tend to get their way. But, the glow was still there and it was pretty much his first month on the job so I had no trouble cutting him a little slack. Even after he voted to confirm Condoleeza Rice I wasn't ready to write him off.

But then Obama wound up-- somehow-- with a mentor... the worst possible mentor one can imagine: Holy Joe, the Senate's biggest hypocrite and George W. Bush's favorite Democrat. In quick succession he started voting in a very corporate-friendly way. He voted to cut off debate (for cloture) on the nomination of one of Bush's worst-ever judicial nominees, Priscilla Owen. Eventually he pointlessly voted against her confirmation but-- as we saw later with Lieberman and Alito-- if you vote for cloture your eventual vote in the present circumstances is just a farce.

He's been working behind the scenes to get Democrats to not support Russ Feingold's very moderate resolution to censure Bush and a couple weeks ago he tried to inject some life into the Connecticut Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson dinner by pumping up his much-ignored mentor. Even if his elephant remark was a snide like jab-- maybe for Lieberman taking McCain's side against him in their rancorous and public dispute a few months ago-- Obama endorsed a relatively reactionary Lieberman in a primary where a real Democrat some say could be the next... Barack Obama is running. "I know that some in the party have differences with Joe," he said, all but silencing the crowd. "I'm going to go ahead and say it. It's the elephant in the room. And Joe and I don't agree on everything. But what I know is, Joe Lieberman's a man with a good heart, with a keen intellect, who cares about the working families of America." Those who hadn't passed out by that point then heard him say "I am absolutely certain that Connecticut's going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the United States Senate."

That was the last I heard of smooth operator Obama until today. The letter bearing his signature-- and in an envelope with his name on the return address (not the name of the odious organization he was shilling for)-- was actually from the DSCC, one of the key bastions-- along with the DCCC and DLC-- of anti-grassroots Inside-the-Beltway power-mongering and political prostitution that helps turn people with Democratic values and ideals off to the Democratic Party (and political involvement).

So what were Obama and the DSCC wasting 39 cents on to communicate to me? A lot of brave Bush-bashing to the base that doesn't match up to action on Capitol Hill, complete with a scary photo of Bush and Rove. I fished it out of the wastepaper basket to write Senator Obama a note on it. I told him the photo worked in scaring me. But I also mentioned replacing it with images of Joe Lieberman, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Rahm Emanuel was something that would ease my fears. I also suggested he not bother contacting me again until after he had signed on as a co-sponsor of Russ Feingold's censure resolution.

If you think the DSCC and the DCCC are getting it all wrong by pushing reactionary or Republican-lite candidates like Bob Casey in PA or by wrecking the career of true blue Democrats like Paul Hackett and Christine Cegelis, you can do what I did: contribute directly to actual progressive candidates or give to Russ Feingold's Progressive Patriots' Fund. Either way, you're welcome to do it through the DWT ACT BLUE Page, where you will find independent Democratic voices like Ned Lamont, Jerry McNerney, Rick Penberthy, Chuck Pennacchio, Coleen Rowley, and Jan Schneider (among others).

by DownWithTyranny 2006-04-17 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I'll be sending some small donations to Lamont and to Feingold.  Am tired of posturing Dems...

Oh man, I just wish the Wellstone were still around... it saddens me that I didn't have an opportunity to vote nor to contribute to his campaing.

I want another Dem to stand up for the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.

by bedobe 2006-04-17 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Oh man, I just wish the Wellstone were still around... it saddens me that I didn't have an opportunity to vote nor to contribute to his campaing.

You're not the only one.  Wellstone is the closest thing to a hero I've ever had in politics.

by arenwin 2006-04-17 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Obama's seat is as safe as they come. A blue state and Bush is in the dumps. He had  plenty of room to raise a little hell for principled causes such as what Feingold, Kennedy, Pelosi, and Reid have done. But those with Executive ambitions play towards the middle. We should be glad he's on the right team but I wouldn't waste progressive resources on him.

by padcrasher 2006-04-17 07:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

One piece of legislation?

Look, I don't wanna ruin a good thing, since I realize how hard to please many of you are & how fleeting your support for me. But a thrashing of Obama combined with Salazar triumphalism perfectly illustrates how warped the priorities are of many in the progressive blogosphere. Obama, who has the disposition of a moderate, but one of the most progressive voting records in the Senate (more progressive than Feingold) is denigrated, meanwhile Salazar, an excellent campaigner who really plays the populist card well is praised, even though his voting record is rather modest progressively, and has far more in common with those dreaded DLC types than the type of people netziens usually go gaga over.

It's this set of priorities, that values triumphalism & theatrical pugnacity over legislative substance, that considers superficial observations about a politican's public demeanor (He's too bland!) over how he actually does his job, that really lowers my confidence as to just how much an intenret grossroots can be taken seriously.

by Epitome22 2006-04-17 10:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I base my responses to the speeches they have delivered on the Senate floor.  Obama engages in grandstanding, while Salazar's words seem motivated by authenticity.  I also believe Salazar has been more outspoken on energy and environmental issues, and I find his statements on immigration policy more compelling.  Salazar was also at the center of the Patriot Act debate, while Obama stood on the sidelines.  The Patriot Act, I believe, is a very important peice of legislation, and it was Salazar who was most visible during that very important debate.  Salazar's stance on the Patriot Act alone distinguishes him from Obama.

by illinois062006 2006-04-17 11:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

The Black Commentator has their own point about the good Senator from Illinois:

http://www.blackcommentator.com/161/161_ cover_obama_iraq.html

And the Senator's been trying to make amends ever since. While I'm in agreement with Tom on this issue, I can't help but like how he came out of nowhere and knocked the formerly "annointed" rising Black Star (Harold Ford, Jr.)off his perch, big time.

by Political Junkie 2006-04-18 05:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Thanks for the link.  The article captures very well the "stylelistic" and, on this issue, "substantive" objections I have about Sen. Obama:


Obama's speech had the Democratic Leadership Council's (DLC) brand stamped all over it. Triangulating expertly, Obama first praised the war record of Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), who has called for immediate steps towards U.S. military redeployment out of Iraq, hopefully in six months, then dismissed both Murtha's bill and any hint of "timetables" for withdrawal. In essence, all Obama wants from the Bush regime is that it fess up to having launched the war based on false information, and to henceforth come clean with the Senate on how it plans to proceed in the future. Those Democrats who want to dwell on the past - the actual genesis and rationale for the war, and the real reasons for its continuation - should be quiet.

Both sides are wrong, says Obama - deploying the classic triangulation device - for engaging in a "war of talking points" - "one I am not interested in joining." Then Obama positions himself above the fray:


    "Iraq was a major issue in last year's election. But that election is now over. We need to stop the campaign."

Americans want a "pragmatic solution to the real war we're facing in Iraq."


by bedobe 2006-04-18 06:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I understand your frustration.  God knows that after the last 6 years there would be something wrong if progressives weren't impatient for real change and accomplishment.  That being said, I think that saying that Barack hasn't done or said anything of consequence during his first year in the Senate is just not true.  

Looking at the press releases on his web-site, he's made statements regarding energy independence (in which he scolds washington in general for ignoring global warming), the ridiculous lobbying "reform" bill, the Bush administration's disgraceful response to Katrina, and the need for innovation and investment in public education.  Not all of this stuff gets a ton of press, and these statements aren't necessarily on the most politically sexy issues, but that doesn't mean what he has to say isn't important.  Honestly, I think he's been pretty darn effective and impressive during his FIRST year in the Senate.      

by HSTruman 2006-04-18 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

I guess this is a disagreement of branch philosophy.  Yes, sometimes the allegiance has to be to the nation as a whole.. however, the first allegiance should be to the people who put them in office.  If a senator constantly goes against the will of those he represents, he will be out of a job at the next election.  For instance, Dem or Republican... if an Iowa senator tried to get rid of corn subsidies, they would be in deep trouble with their constituents.

by yitbos96bb 2006-04-18 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

Perception is reality in marketing, politics and elections.  Always has been.

Inspiration is reality in the heart.

Does Barack Obama have noble inspiration beneath his shiny, diplomatically chameleon-like and charismatic perception?  I have a hunch he would enjoy trying to prove that he does in '08.

When someone comes along who can play the beautiful chameleon for the sake of his own inspiration, perhaps we should not try so hard to disbelieve the genuineness of the heart beneath the face.  I hear and feel genuine caring when he speaks and interacts with others in a way conspicuously absent from Hillary, John Kerry/Edwards, and almost every other one of "our" candidates I've seen lately, and I see the potential for a winning Presidential candidate and a caring and effective progressive President.  Caring for equity and fairness, caring for equal opportunity, caring for dogged friendliness, for defense of the little guy against unfriendliness, for hope, for honor.  For pete's sake, for GLORY for this tarnished idea of a democracy that champions rights for all.  I used to believe in a glorious vision of America.  Someone unafraid to speak to that belief is a powerful candidate indeed.

From what I know so far (by definition always incomplete information), I think this man would tirelessly champion so many deep-down-in-the-caring-heart positive policies and causes as President, even if he lied, cheated and stole his way there.  Does that sound hypocritical, imperfect and a not much lesser evil than what's there now?  Guess what, he's human and politics in 2006 is not for wussies.

And I for one think we should get him out of the Senate as fast as possible.  Old Senators do not strong candidates make, whether you dig their policies or not.

Barack, run for the whole thing in 2008.  I'll come work for you if you do, and it will be some kind of a fun race to run no matter what happens.  Because I think you really have hope and aren't just trying to CYA.  Tell us that's so...

by havehope 2006-04-22 12:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

you all are all haters you hold on to such stringent liberal values that you have no grip on reality. Barak has worked to clean up the projects and ghettos of Chicago long before he was an elected official. But because people you don't like. Like him you hate on him. We don't need marches and Jesse's and Sharptons and uber Liberal whites talking a lot of crap. we need a winner that every one is willing to get behind. Was is sometimes a nessity. Comprimise and the ability to work with those you don't agree with is a sign of a superior leader. And you wonder why you all keep backing liberal leaders that fight and constantly lose. Barak won a Republican state by the largest landslide in history. get it straight

by KRCarter 2006-09-18 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

you all are all haters you hold on to such stringent liberal values that you have no grip on reality. Barak has worked to clean up the projects and ghettos of Chicago long before he was an elected official. But because people you don't like. Like him you hate on him. We don't need marches and Jesse's and Sharptons and uber Liberal whites talking a lot of crap. we need a winner that every one is willing to get behind. Was is sometimes a nessity. Comprimise and the ability to work with those you don't agree with is a sign of a superior leader. And you wonder why you all keep backing liberal leaders that fight and constantly lose. Barak won a Republican state by the largest landslide in history. get it straight

by KRCarter 2006-09-18 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts on Barack Obama

you all are all haters you hold on to such stringent liberal values that you have no grip on reality. Barak has worked to clean up the projects and ghettos of Chicago long before he was an elected official. But because people you don't like. Like him you hate on him. We don't need marches and Jesse's and Sharptons and uber Liberal whites talking a lot of crap. we need a winner that every one is willing to get behind. Was is sometimes a nessity. Comprimise and the ability to work with those you don't agree with is a sign of a superior leader. And you wonder why you all keep backing liberal leaders that fight and constantly lose. Barak won a Republican state by the largest landslide in history. get it straight

by KRCarter 2006-09-18 11:37AM | 0 recs

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