Obamania not so happening everywhere

Since there is a sizable population here of Obama supporters, I'm going to write something that might be construed as criticism, but it's really just gist for discussion of this very long process. I'm looking at this from the outside-in for all of the Presidential campaigns, and I really don't have a favorite of the big top three, so spare me the self-righteous complaints.

What I don't see, is any of the top three candidates catching a break for even the minor mistakes. It's very competitive at this stage, much more so than in 2003 at the same time. So just chalk this up as a post noticing the early critical review of Obama.

It was at the DNC winter meeting speech, when Obama gave a somber non-partisan delivery to a hall full of the most partisan Democrats in the nation, that I first noted something, and tucked it away in my mind as strange incident, but thought his presence and momentum carried him through the event. This past week though, similar events have happened, which raises the question of a pattern, and what that means for Obama's candidacy.

It just seems that Obama doesn't have the knack to plays to the crowd, or he just doesn't prepare for doing it. What happened at the DNC convo, happened again at the International Assn. of Fire Fighters convention and then during the union-organized health care policies forum at UNLV.

The LV Gleaner and Taylor Marsh were pretty plain spoken in their dismissal of Obama in Nevada.

Obomba: But at the forum Saturday, even a mild-mannered questioner in the crowd basically ripped into him because there's no there there. When we take notes of what people are saying when they are speaking, we sometimes like to write little missives to ourselves in brackets or off to the margins, in the hope that they'll remind us of our reactions later. Such little reminders that we scribbled while Obama was speaking include: "He comes to a health care forum unprepared?""Un. Fucking. Believable.""Painful.""Anybody who has been checked in at all has more specific answers than this.""Is it fear?""Yikes." And like that.

The big loser: What I came away with from Obama was that he punted. He felt he absolutely did have to show up in Nevada, especially after flying over the state previously, but he simply wasn't prepared. It was obvious. His speech was on point and he's a gifted man in front of people; clearly comfortable with speaking without a script, unlike so many other politicians, but when he talked about the series of round table discussions he had planned before he announced his health care ideas my eyes glazed over. It was obvious he wasn't up to speed for this event. I can't say it more plainly, except to add that no one in the audience was fooled. Barack Obama blew it. Hey, but it's one event.

It is, but the Fire Fighters convention was another. On this, Ron Brownstein has a must-read article on Obama and blue collars: Do they fit? that delves into Democratic Party presidential archetypes (In modern times, the Democratic presidential race has usually pitted a warrior against a priest). But the skinny of the convention was that "Obama received a tepid response while Clinton blew away the room when she followed him to the stage." Sounds a lot like Nevada. What's going on?

Tags: Barack Obama (all tags)



Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere
Jerome, no criticism just, you point out things even we supporters know but, dont' really say much more.
Kept looking for read more.
I do have to say that the DNC speech stayed with me (and other people commented the same)for a long time.  Not alot of red meat but, it stuck with you.
by vwcat 2007-03-26 07:53PM | 0 recs
It's simple

Either skip the event or come prepared--do some homework. You don't have to have an entire plan; just basic principles.

The truth is, Edwards has done something unique that's beginning to impact the campaign; he's putting out detailed and progressive policy positions early, very early, setting the standard. Normally an event like the health care forum, this early, would be a cliche fest, but Edwards brought substance to the party, making Obama and Hillary look more unprepared than they really are. This is being played out all over; yesterday in Iowa a man held up a copy of Edwards's DVD on health care and asked Hillary when she was going to provide specifics. And when Hillary and Obama finally do produce plans, their plans will be measured against Edwards's--unfavorably, most likely, because Edwards is going farther left than the other two will dare tread.

If I were Edwards, I wouldn't trade positions with anyone.

by david mizner 2007-03-27 05:21AM | 0 recs
The DvD

I read that as well about the man holding the Dvd and asking Hillary what her plan is. Pretty powerful stuff there. And hard to respond to.

Edwards pulls off this strategy of specifics very well because he comes off as more than a policy wonk, but someone committed to finding solutions. I think its clear that he is going to push this strategy on a number of issues and it should serve him well in the debates as well.

by okamichan13 2007-03-27 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: It's simple

The DVD approach was a good one.  Edwards is playing well so far, getting out in front on substance on the issues.  He's also betting everything on Iowa, which is also the right move.  Will it work out?  Who knows?  But it's the right strategy.

by rashomon 2007-03-27 08:57AM | 0 recs
Strange Quirk

I'll tell you another strange quirk I noticed, he seldom looks straight ahead at the events, he tends to look hard right, then hard left, then back to hard right, then down, quick glance forward, back to the left, etc.  Ever since I noticed it the first time, I can't quit noticing it. Just watch the first minute of this, then watch the first minute of this.


by Robert P 2007-03-27 10:08AM | 0 recs
No There There

What's going on is what I brought up rather frequently a few monthts back--there's no there there.

Of course, my parents back in 1960 supported Humphrey over Kennedy for the same reason.  And they were right.  Sometimes it's enough to have a charismatic figure whom people can read their own content into.

Provided they organize like hell on their own.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-03-26 07:58PM | 0 recs
Re: No There There

I actually like the fact that there's a candidate out there that can be vetted all the way down to trivial events; on the GOP side there's a bunch of deep "macaca" to wade through there.

The key to understanding this post and others like it is to look at the size of the event. Town halls, small meetings - should all be reported and with the exception of what we see here at myDD, are not.

Frankly, I think stuff like this does not show up on the radar screen of the American voter. In fact, I would go one step further and tell you that the huge spike in Obama popularity on the youTube ad - means more to the average voter now than any town hall or issues discussion event.

I would also like to re-iterate the poor statistical predictive value of polling at this point; we are not talking about the candidates when we are talking about the polls that are being conducted at this stage - we are talking instead about instruments being used in a concerted attempt by others to charge premium for their media timeslots.

We are referring, Mr. Rosenberg, to a quote that was previously applied to the City of Oakland, California. Can you name the man who originally said it?

by heyAnita 2007-03-26 10:06PM | 0 recs
Re: No There There

PS - sorry - regarding the poor statistical predictive value and the comment on youtube ad - at this point, most voters simply have vague ideas about the candidates and do not consistently check in to the candidates platform or stance but rather , their interest spikes and wanes - they look into candidates, then ignore them completely along with all the others.  

The reason the statistics are so bad is that they don't represent a continuous line of interest out of the voting population, but instead, the ebb and flow of cursory investigation. People will get serious about this sometime in the late summer.

by heyAnita 2007-03-26 10:09PM | 0 recs
True, But Beside The Point

I'm not talking about the horse race.  I'm talking about the very real problem that Obama doesn't seem to care about policy much.  Maybe he did once upon a time.  But he sure doesn't seem to now.

The quote is from Gertrude Stein, of course.  And its original reference makes me wince, since Oakland's such a standup working class town.  (Hence, I was a Raiders fan from their first season, living as I did in the suburban wastes of Westside San Jose.) Fortunately, Jack London ably refuted her.  But the phrase is a real keeper.

    "Where did all those people go
    When 'Frisco burned?
    They all went to Oakland
    And they never returned.
    She's got pride, she's got hope
    And oh, what a view!
    Oakland we're for you!"

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-03-27 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: No There There

trick question. It wasn't a man.

by clarkent 2007-03-27 03:41AM | 0 recs
Re: No There There

lol don't listen to him! he's had too many STEINS of BEER! he's just trying to gert it all away

by heyAnita 2007-03-27 05:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

well, he ain't Dean, but is that necessaruly bad?

by David in Burbank 2007-03-26 07:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

There is not going to be another Howard Dean-like candidate in the near future. I don't think that's what Jerome's point was, but the netroots needs to stop comparing the candidates against Dean. Doing so will only result in some form of disappointment.

by PsiFighter37 2007-03-26 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Dean lost, so its probably not so bad that there are differences.

by mihan 2007-03-26 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Yeah, I would agree that if Obama's going to show up at various interest-group settings, he really should come prepared to talk about the issues.

Which, in my opinion, is the big hurdle that Obama faces: I think he is quite possibly the best general election candidate we have in the primary right now. But he's got to make it through the primaries first.

by PsiFighter37 2007-03-26 07:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Hillary Clinton had a health care plan for 14 years.   14 years a failure.  Clinton was in office for 8 years and no universal healthcare.  John Edwards promised to raise taxes for his healthcare plan, Great way to get elected......hahaha!

Obama did not PANDER to the crowd, unlike the rest of the field.  Of course he has a healthcare plan, he will unveil it when he is ready.

by vamonticello 2007-03-26 08:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

hey, I'd be careful...there is almost no way to get a universal healthcare plan passed without raising taxes. I think Obama is smart to avoid directly saying that he'd do so, but Edwards' frankness on the matter was rather refreshing.

by mihan 2007-03-26 08:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

one way we could fund healthcare, would be simply to use the power of the federal government to form a PEO by which small businesses could partake in a group rate setting.

This could be done as immediately as the contracts could be drafted and the general hospital billing rates could mirror medicare.


by heyAnita 2007-03-26 10:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

It is not just taxes that are going to be raised, but the mandate to force everybody into the system that has many people spooked.  On taxes you can explain it away by claiming that only the rich will be taxed for this (whether in the final tally that will be enough is another matter,) but you can't explain away the health insurance mandate.  That is wrong-headed and, IMO, turns a lot of people off Edwards' healthcare plan, and by extension Edwards.

 It is perhaps smart on Obama's part to not to offer too many details, as those are bound to run a bunch of people the wrong way.  But if you are going to a health care shindig, you better be prepared to speak on the issue itself rather than talk in general terms and offer only platitudes.  Obama already has to battle the perception that he is inexperienced, why compound the problem by showing up unprepared?  

by georgep 2007-03-27 05:35AM | 0 recs
you're just pre-emptively

getting ready to defend Hillary.

either everyone should have health care or they shouldn't.

we actually force people to live in a house to but no one's advocating we should let people be homeless.

by TarHeel 2007-03-27 05:41AM | 0 recs
Re: you're just pre-emptively

How so?  I am going on record to state that a health care mandate "for all" is wrongheaded.  Why would we want to place an additional burden on folks who are already strechted beyond reasonable?  How is that "preparing to defend Clinton"?   You make absolutely no sense with this.  I am already stating that a health care mandate is the wrong thing to do.  Therefore, should Clinton's health care proposal include such a mandate you can rightfully point to my position on that, I would therefore have no "defense" for a similar inclusion of such a mandate in a Clinton plan.   In fact, what I am doing here (going on record about health care mandates) means I am doing the opposite of what you state.  I am willingly "painting myself into a corner" on health care mandates on principle, regardless of what my chosen candidate may include in his or her plan eventually.  Thus, if an Obama plan or Clinton plan includes mandating health-care to all (removing the current choice of opting out of the system if one wishes) my comments will be as negative about these mandates then.    

by georgep 2007-03-27 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' plan

...Are you suggesting that a universal health care plan shouldn't include everybody? Isn't that kind of inherently contradictory?

If you're just worried about poor people not having the money to buy insurance, note that in Edwards' plan the mandate is only imposed after an extensive series of steps to make sure that insurance is affordable for them. It's all on his website, if you bother to read it.

by McSnatherson 2007-03-27 10:29AM | 0 recs
What the...

How the hell is it pandering to have actual answers to the questions you came to be asked?

Also, that's a tasty Republican frame you're slapping on Edwards there (that is, "honesty on taxes = dirty fucking unelectable hippie"). I kinda thought that was a no-no around here?

by McSnatherson 2007-03-26 11:15PM | 0 recs
Re: What the...

I agree on the pandering statement. Having an answer just might mean he has thought out his position, rather than focus-roup it.

by del 2007-03-27 07:58AM | 0 recs
Its something he needs to take to heart

This IS a long campaign, and like a lot of campaigns in the past, the person you see at the start is not often the person you see at the end. Soon enough he does have to start figuring this stuff out, because he can't afford to have too many appearances where the attendees really felt let down or disappointed after his speech.

Most definitely he'll start to make real progress once his campaign really kicks off, and he gets his policy proposals in order to present to the masses. Unfortunately for him, he just wasn't as prepared to campaign this early when compared to Clinton and Edwards especially, who have their message down pat.

That'll be the key...if Obama can step it up, he'll be right there at the end. If not, he'll prove his critics right. We have some time before we start seeing which way.

I'm rather encouraged though because the guy is pretty smart, and giving speeches that bombed followed by a speech from Clinton that rocked will not sit well with him. Look for him to show how competitive he really is.

by mihan 2007-03-26 08:02PM | 0 recs
This is a critical point.

Obama has arguably the most upside of any candidate in the race...but he's going to have to prove it on substance.  There's plenty of time in this race to see what he's made of.  It's not like we're voting next week.

If he doesn't step up, he won't win.  If he does (and I happen to believe he will), then he can be an incredible candidate.  But we've got plenty of time to find out.  Nobody wins the nomination in March.

by rashomon 2007-03-27 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I think part of this is that Barack Obama is, in so many ways, atypical candidate.  He gets attacked for "not standing for anything" but it's very telling that he's willing to show up at events like the DNC and the firefighters and not pander.  Clinton knows what those audiences want to hear and crafts her message to them.  Obama knows what he believes and will share it with every audience.

by LPMandrake 2007-03-26 08:04PM | 0 recs
being prepared is not necessarily pandering

At some point, Obama will have to share more than his basic stump speech about working together, getting past partisan differences, etc. He will need to be able to talk specifically about whatever subjects interest the people he is talking to.

That doesn't mean that he changes his viewpoints, but it does mean that he has to be ready to address specific concerns. Bill Clinton could do this well, and Gore learned to do it pretty well too.

Many active Democrats are put off by Obama's usual rhetoric, because he seems to imply a false equivalency between Democrats and Republicans in terms of creating a nasty atmosphere and "smallness" of politics in DC.

by desmoinesdem 2007-03-26 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: being prepared is not necessarily pandering
I disagree that Gore learned to do this well. I think Gore got screwed by the media and perceptions, but there's no escaping that he was not a great campaigner. Since his win in 2000, it seems to me, he has learned the opposite lesson:
He speaks only about those things that he is passionate about. When he spoke about the mistakes being (or about to be) made in Iraq and when he speaks about climate change, he is a great speaker and he motivates. I think he would be a good president, but I'm not sure, when people call for drafting him, whether they really want him out there talking about his position on the death penalty or free trade.
by jujube 2007-03-26 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

This is very true.  I sometimes forget (and I'm from Illinois!) that he doesn't operate the same way as the other candidates or present things the same.  I should know this as I have seen him run for Senate.

by vwcat 2007-03-26 08:31PM | 0 recs
Obama was NOT tested in 2004

He emerged out of the 7 candidate primary field when the front-runner's marital problems came to light, sinking his candidacy. Then the Republican nominee's truly sick marital issues came out and he was replaced by a joke of a candidate because some idiot thought they could fool people by choosing a black man to run against Barack.

As a result, the Repugs did nothing to drive up Obama's negatives in 2004 (something I'm sure they now regret), but they also didn't give him any kind of a campaigning test. The one time Obama did get into a tough race, Bobby Rush kicked his butt. Barack is incredibly smart and knowledgable and a gifted orator and legislator, but his learning curve during this primary season is likely to be steep.

by Jim in Chicago 2007-03-27 08:20AM | 0 recs
Disagreeing somewhat...

There was more than one top-tier candidate in that 7 candidate field...Obama was closer to the bottom.  While the Blair Hull stuff certainly helped, it's a bit unfair to portray it just like the general.  Obama was already a close second and gaining when the Hull stuff went down.  That's different than a 2 person race and the other guy drops out.

by rashomon 2007-03-27 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Very constructive conversation...I'm liking.

by danIA 2007-03-26 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I don't think Jerome's point was that Obama doesn't pander.

I think his point is that for all the hype about the Obama candidacy, there isn't a lot of meat there.  The candidacy is an idea.  And when he gets an opporunity to present specifics, he doesn't.  He didn't have to lay his health care policy all out, but why on earth would you go to a forum on health care and NOT talk about your plans?

Instead you talk about "a new kind of politics."  Pandering is telling people something they want to hear when you don't believe it yourself.  Being prepared to talk about the subject you were invited to discuss is something else.  By that metric, Obama failed.

At the DNC winter rally, I too remember how... boring his speech was.  It was cooly received by the crowd and his campaign didn't do the right amount of advance planning.  I felt like I was in lecture.

by Vox Populi 2007-03-26 08:15PM | 0 recs
Consensus vs. Plan

I think Obama's point about healthcare was that everybody agreed the current system was broken and the most important thing was building consensus for a new system, not the specifics of any plan. Canada and France have different plans and both are far better in the US. What's similar is the understanding that all should be covered.

Obama's campaign to this point seems to conciously avoid selling plans to voters. Maybe Obama is young enough that losing won't hurt him in the long run if he loses well (honorable campaign, not quite enough). But if Obama is perceived as slick or too ambitious and fails he's going to be seen as ambitious always and have real problems changin the impression left today down the road.

Sen. Al Gore did a lot worse than Obama is doing in 1984 and still had a great effect on American politics. I think Obama's campaign has to be viewed in both short-term and long-term perspectives. A solid 30% in primaries (and a loss) under the 'new politics' banner is great building block for the future. If Obama gets a break or issues swing his way or he kills in the debates he may get the plurality and win. He may not. Still, I think Obama is very shrewd to go with muted rhetoric and modest proposals this far out from the real campaign.
- - -
OT: Here is Obama's IL State Senate record for anyone interested.

IL State Sen. bio for Barack Obama

90th IL General Assembly - bills sponsored

91st IL General Assembly - bills sponsored

92nd IL General Assembly - bills sponsored

93rd IL General Assembly - bills sponsored

Obama resigned from the IL State Senate two days after he won election to the US Senate on 11/2/04.

by joejoejoe 2007-03-26 09:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Consensus vs. Plan

Links above are broken. Follow link below to working links - I couldn't copy them over.

http://www.myleftnutmeg.com/showComment. do?commentId=32911

by joejoejoe 2007-03-26 09:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Consensus vs. Plan

A little snippet from a bill that Barack Obama proposed when he was in the state senate, three years ago.. I thought quote interesting.. a bill opposing RealID, which would

RESOLVED, That the members of the Illinois General Assembly  
17  oppose any portion of the Real ID Act that violates the rights  
18  and liberties guaranteed under the Illinois Constitution or the  
19  United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights;..

3      RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be delivered to  
4  President George W. Bush, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales

I find it quite interesting how such substantial ideas about civil liberties, and particularly, how relevant such opposition to the actions of a then-sitting Attorney General and Administration - can be considered insubstantial. I would consider this action, prescient.

by heyAnita 2007-03-26 10:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Consensus vs. Plan

This would indeed be substantial - if he was talking about this sort of thing now, when (not to put too fine a point on it) people are actually listening. But he's not. I think that's a lot of what's got people bothered - Obama's got this cool progressive pedigree, so why the hell isn't he talking about it? If he really does have all these great ideas and stances in his history, why is he afraid or otherwise unwilling to put them forward now?

Of course, there's still plenty of time for him to come up with satisfactory answers to these questions. But until or unless he does, they're gonna keep bugging me, and I think quite a few other people as well.

by McSnatherson 2007-03-26 11:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Consensus vs. Plan


Obama is untested. This is the bottom line.. bill clinton had to battle jerry brown in his primary race. obama got who- alan keyes? Is this right?

Ok. well, alright as my granddad-in-=law always loves to say. I guess I will just have to say .."Let me see, said the blind man! "

by heyAnita 2007-03-27 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Consensus vs. Plan

His primary in 2004 was the real fight, and it was hard-fought.

by Adam B 2007-03-27 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Consensus vs. Plan

Opposing Real-ID isn't that groundbreaking.  The fact that it is a HUGELY EXPENSIVE unfunded federal mandate is what turned off most states.

by andy k 2007-03-27 06:15AM | 0 recs

I remember your early comment after the DNC Winter Meeting that Obama was underwhelming -- and (gasp!) didn't arrive with a bunch of stickers, etc.  This despite much coverage elsewhere that Obama blew the room away with his un-stereotypical approach to the event (i.e. Feldman's account on Kos -- and many others) that apparently didn't alter your assessment of his performance that day.

The point being that there are plenty of people who find his fairly consistent lack of typical politician-like behavior refreshing.

The appeal of Obama is subjective. But, apparently not so uncommon that he can't draw huge crowds around the country.

So, when I read that x person said that Obama was underwhelming in front of x event, I can't help but think a similar dynamic to the DNC speech is at play.

And, for whatever reason, people seem to enjoy the role of suggesting that Obama's not absolutely 100% perfect -- at a level that far outstrips similar posts on other candidates (except for Clinton, of course, but that's a given in netroots circles). And often prototyping what will likely be RNC spin should Obama win the nomination.

After the ~300th post/article that suggests the shine is off of Obama, I wonder what the likelihood is of reading a front page post here about the widely held feeling by many Democrats that Edwards comes across as a lightweight cheesy used car salesman. Or the likelihood that even mentioning the sizable anti-Edwards sentiment wouldn't get you branded as an RNC troll.

So, I think there is something going on here.

But, I tend to think it has more to do with the subjective leanings of some observers than any failings in Obama's political abilities.

by Vermonter 2007-03-26 08:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome...

Did you and I watch the same event?  I watched the DNC Winter Meeting and Obama's reception was cool compared to Clinton and Edwards, and his speech was filled with platitudes about "a new kind of politics."

I don't think anyone who isn't an Obama zealot would say he "blew the room away."  He went to a pep rally and gave a sermon.  I do think he's going to develop, but to pretend he's the Second Coming is silly.

by Vox Populi 2007-03-26 08:42PM | 0 recs
Typical strawman...

Who said he was the Second Coming? (Can we please dispense with this all too common straw man?).

Yes, I watched the speech... And I read the numerous accounts of people who were there who thought the room was hanging on Obama's every word.

The reaction was "cool" in that he wasn't going for cheap applause lines.

And, he intentionally didn't do any advance in order to demonstrate that he was a "different" kind of politician. He had no t-shirts or theme song or any of those game show trappings.

Here's one very positive take from Jeffrey Feldman who was live blogging the event...

http://peasantswithpitchforks.com/point/ 2007/02/02/jeffrey-feldmans-notes-on-oba ma-at-dnc-meeting/


   (Crowd goes wild...they love this guy-no music, just endless cheers)

   Congratulates Dean for victory.

   * Proved that progressive, "common sense" message is not restricted to one region. It can sell everywhere.
    * We are going to compete everywhere
    * Sometimes you feel like you're a part of a "reality TV show" Obama is trying to address the problem of stardom.
    * Obama has a very distinct way of speaking. I never noticed it until now. The contrast with Dodd is huge. Obama does not sound like a politician so much as a community leader. Very noticeable.
    * "Campaigns should not be about how we can make each other look bad, but about how we can do some good."
    * Rivals are not each other or the other party, but "cynicism"

   (this is the theme in the final chapter of my book, BTW...and it is a theme from Teddy Roosevelt...)

   OK...this is a big statement he is making: laying claim not to issues, but to the nature of politics itself. He is talking at length about "cynicism."

   * Cynicism makes our politics small.
    * If we spoke the "truth," we would not be afraid to speak
    * "We internalize our fears, we edit ourselves, we censor our best instincts."
    * We have "lost faith" in the political process. "We don't really think we can transform this country."
    * "We don't have time to be cynical" (the "wasting time" frame-very important)
    * "This is not a game" (keeps pushing this theme)
    * "We owe it to the American people to do more than that."
    * "We owe them an election where votes are inspired."

   (this is a great speech)

   * "We have always been the best when we aim high" (Kennedy's frame)
    * "Let's have a serious discussion..." (variation on the "conversation" frame)

   I am just now noticing that Obama is a mix of bold statements about principles and relatively cautious statements about policy promises. Interesting mix.

   The crowd goes wild again, this time about his statements about Iraq.

   * "Let's have an honest debate about how to end this war in Iraq."

   This is a "here are the rules of the game as they should be" speech. He's trying to take on the whole system of doing politics, doing media-he wants to establish ground rules for the whole system. This is what makes this speech distinct-he's framing the entire idea of politics, not just in it, he is saying how it should be.

   A campaign against "cynicism." This would be the correlate to the "audacity of hope."

   * "We've had a lot of plans. What we've had is a shortage of hope."

   And he's done.

   Oh, boy. I don't know if it's really possible to relay the energy that literally explodes in the room when people cheer for this guy. Like the response to seeing Elvis or The Beatles, maybe? That's close.

   I'd hate to have to follow that if I were running in `08. Incredible stuff.

(And, as always, I hope you've read Dreams from My  Father and the Audacity of Hope before weighing in  on Obama's lack of substance.)

by Vermonter 2007-03-26 08:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Typical strawman...

Huh. I saw the speech and the liveblog of it kind of reminds me of the powerpoint of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

by afertig 2007-03-26 09:11PM | 0 recs
Huh. (n/t)

Huh. I saw the speech and the liveblog of it kind of reminds me of the powerpoint of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

by afertig 2007-03-26 09:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Typical strawman...

You rely on Jeffrey Feldman, one person, to say that Obama rocked the socks off the DNC meeting attendees.  Despite several observations to the contrary (Jerome and myself for example).

And speaking of strawmen, let's look at one that Senator Obama made:

From David Sirota's blog in June 2006: http://davidsirota.com/index.php/2006/06 28/obama-bayh-reinforcing-dishonest-sto rylines

"I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."

Obviously, there are Democrats who hate and disrespect religion.  Obama is not one of those.

by Vox Populi 2007-03-26 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Typical strawman...

Thomas Jefferson ..

May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government

There have always been democrats who hate, and disrespect that priest who sees as his duty ..(again Jefferson) ...  

alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."

I thought I'd mention that this was the democrat who was the same President to have invited prayer in several branches of the executive office.

In my view, any presidential candidate who is glib about faith, is likely to be of poor mettle.  Thomas Jefferson had , on his epitath, in stone, chiseled "author of the statute for religious freedom" - a single act of legislation that removed tax base support for the anglican church - in Virginia..  and yet, often engaged in conversation about faith and in fact it was one of his favorite subjects. He was a professed Deist, and saw the bible as sacred but abstract of miracle.

by heyAnita 2007-03-26 10:34PM | 0 recs

... is just one example. I didn't just rely on his assessment. The positive comments about his DNC Winter Meeting speech exceeded the negative ones. Seems that only an anti-Obama zealot would assert otherwise.

And frankly, I grew up in a liberal household which was rather hostile toward religion. So, can we please stop pretending that there aren't a significant number of educated, agnostic/atheist liberals who don't "join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy" because they believe that religion is primarily for simpletons?

The reason religious people this is true is because there is some truth to the stereotype.

by Vermonter 2007-03-27 04:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Feldman...

So what if there is truth to it?  I suppose those who think that NO RELIGION has the answers are "lesser" than those who think ONE RELIGION has the answers.  Certainly we have NO RIGHT to insert those views into policy, whereas the religious have to "find a way to reconcile their faith with politics." Obama makes me angry just for pushing that meme.

by andy k 2007-03-27 06:25AM | 0 recs

That's fine. Let's just stop pretending that we don't alienate lots of people because of it.

We should recognize that the majority of Americans don't share the views of non-religious netroots white males in their 30s and 40s.

While we shouldn't pander to religious people, we should understand that if we want to win elections, we need to make sure that religious people don't feel unwelcome in the Democratic party.

A small state Governor by the name of Howard Dean also shares this view.

by Vermonter 2007-03-27 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Well...

Who do we alienate who wouldn't otherwise vote Republican?  Who is this "who" and what specific actions or words alienate these "religious people"?

Whatever, Obama and the other candidates can keep talking about their faith, but it doesn't move me one bit.  Mixtures of faith and politics have brought us some of the worst legislation ever created.  Draconian drug laws, discriminatory marriage laws, etc.  

This is a never ending argument.  I support the inclusion of faith in politics as long as it is expressed through secular policy.  At that point, faith can be unspoken.  

by andy k 2007-03-27 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Well...

Who do we alienate?

Well, religious Democrats for starters -- Reagan Democrats. Religious independents. Centrist Republicans who don't recognize their party anymore, etc. etc. And even the religious left.

Look, I'm not religious. Wasn't raised with religion. In fact, just the opposite. And out of virtually everyone I interact with, I can think of very few people who attend church, believe in an organized religion, etc.

But, I have to remember that my northeastern values and views are not even remotely held by most of America. See, it's not necessarily what is said that alienates people, but perhaps what is not said. And the demographic breakdown (church attendence, etc) speaks volumes as well.

Seems to me, at the very basic level, Obama is simply trying to convince people that it is not religiosity, in and of itself, that some Democrats are wary of. And he's also trying to recast Progressive values as universal American values that people of all creeds can rally around.

by Vermonter 2007-03-27 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Well...

I dunno, but every post you make comes off as insulting and denigrating both to my beliefs and the beliefs of the majority of our party.  

You consistently use right wing talking points about "northeastern liberals" and "values that arent shared the the majority of the country".  What got Democrats elected in 2006 then?  Was it conservatism?  NOT AT ALL.  In fact, it was "northeastern liberal values" and god had nothing to do with it.  It is beliefs in health care for all, helping the poor and downtrodden, avoiding unnecessary war and destruction, and protect the rights of all people.  These are MAJORITY values, despite your religion.  If you want to couch them in Religious language, fine, but don't tell me that MY BELIEFS and those of most liberals/progressives are "out of the mainstream" or "not in tune with religious values".  Its offensive and it accomplishes nothing.

You say Obama is trying to :
"recast Progressive values as universal American values that people of all creeds can rally around."

Yet in the sentence just above it, you say that progressive values are "not even remotely held by most of America."  

Either you are trolling or you are confused.

by andy k 2007-03-27 09:19AM | 0 recs

I'm sorry you feel that way Andy. I don't see anything insulting in the comment you replied to. In fact, I thought I clearly stated that I share those very same "northeastern" values. Born and raised in Vermont. I believe the "northeastern" liberal values are what made this country great.
However, most of the country doesn't share my world view. I won't change my world view because of it. And I hope nobody else would either.

I'm just saying that I agree with Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, etc. who are making a more concerted effort to reach out to people who feel alienated from certain -- sometimes unfair -- stereotypes of the Democratic Party in regard to religion.

And, perhaps I didn't make clear one important point. I don't think that religion is the most important issue, or that people's voting decisions are based entirely on this. The victory for Democrats last November was for a lot of reasons, to be sure.

Just don't hate Obama for trying to reach out to religious voters. Because he's certainly not alone in doing so. And I think it's a good idea.

Sorry again if you felt insulted. It really was not my intention.

by Vermonter 2007-03-27 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Insulting?

"But, I have to remember that my northeastern values and views are not even remotely held by most of America."

That is really the comment that I can't understand.  There is nothing to back up this statement beyond your own belief that it is true.

I could point out that since the Northeast has such a huge population compared to "the rest of the country" so our values really are more mainstream than you would think.

I could point out that California seems to hold a lot of "northwestern liberal values" for being solidly located on the west coast.

I could point to pockets of liberalism equal to pockets of conservatism in major cities and small towns all across the country.  

Its just rather strange that a person involved with the Obama campaign, who is trying to create a "new kind of politics" retires to the same right-wing stereotypes when it comes time to think up political strategy.  

We may as well just rename "liberal values" "northeastern atheist gay baby-killer values" because that is exactly what you are conceding.  Our values need to be "tweaked" or "fixed" to be palatable, while this fixing and tweaking always equals stepping to the right on important issues.  

by andy k 2007-03-27 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Insulting?

I specifically said that "our" values shouldn't be fixed. I'm proud of traditional American liberal values that, to me, represent the ideal of America's founders.

And, of course, by "northeastern" I meant to include all the liberal enclaves around the country.

Do you really think that it's strange that an Obama supporter would echo Obama's own statements on this?

And, of course, there is plenty of evidence that being an agnostic/atheist is not a mainstream attitude. I don't really see what is hard to understand about that.

Not fair, sure, but there can be no denying that there is a stereotype of Democrats as being the party of "northeastern atheist gay baby-killer values."

My point, and this is the last time I'll make it, is that Democrats can only benefit by reaching out -- and not automatically writing off anybody who might not share the exact same secular, pro-choice, pro-gay rights, etc. views.

Again, this does not mean changing one's own values. It simply means that you treat people with a little respect. You get what you give. Howard Dean seems to understand this dynamic and is reaching out to evangelicals. And so is Obama.

My comments are not unusual in today's Democratic Party -- which is searching for ways to improve its image in non-traditional voting blocks.

by Vermonter 2007-03-27 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Well...

And I would love to see statistics that show Religious Democrats voted more for Republicans in 2006 because of being alienated by "anti-religious northeastern liberal values".

by andy k 2007-03-27 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Feldman...

Read the hotline's take on the DNC meeting. They did a pretty good job of breaking down all the candidates speeches in a systematic way.

by adamterando 2007-03-27 06:46AM | 0 recs
I don't want him to be the second coming...

the expectations of Obama have been borderline ridiculous.  I hope he has some stumbles and disappointments...it will make him a better candidate.  If he can't handle it, he won't win.  It's not like we're voting tomorrow...

by rashomon 2007-03-27 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

  That's disappointing to hear.  I've been waffling between Obama and Edwards these last few months.  I think I'll vote for the one that is closest to (or leading) Hillary, since I may actually have an important primary vote.

by cilerder86 2007-03-26 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

It seems to me that this post is about Obama not capturing the moment and not so much about pandering.  Those at the conference wanted to hear about Obama's health plan that day, not tomorrow or sometime within the next ten months.  When the conference participants think of health care, they are going to think of what they heard when they saw the candidates in person and could ask questions. If the participants at the conference left saying that Obama said he would tell us about his plan later, that's not good.  

by Kingstongirl 2007-03-26 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I agree for the most part, Obama hasn't really addressed anything, and his Liebermanesque call for more bipartisanship is somewhat tired.  

by Max Friedman 2007-03-26 08:30PM | 0 recs
Obama on "cheap bipartisanship":


Mr. Obama is well aware of the serious criticisms he engenders, including the charge that he is conciliatory to a fault. He argues that he is "not interested in just splitting the difference" when he habitually seeks a consensus on tough issues. "There are some times where we need to be less bipartisan," he says. "I'm not interested in cheap bipartisanship. We should have been less bipartisan in asking tough questions about entering into this Iraq war."

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/2/12/ 057/32283

by Populism2008 2007-03-27 02:03AM | 0 recs
Sizzle and the Steak

Uh you have a bi-racial candidate and you think there would be substance?

Does anyone talk about Tiger Woods' actually game on golf. No it's about the "damn there's a black (and Thai) guy playing the whitest of white sports".

Moreover, this is exactly like what happened in '99 with Bush. The big money didn't want to have the candidate cast in any particular light other than the favorable one he had naturally by being "Junior". He ran on "tax cuts" for what, a year?

It won't be long before Obama reveals himself, and then he will either rise to the top or fall apart.

by risenmessiah 2007-03-26 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Sizzle and the Steak

Does anyone talk about Tiger Woods' actually game on golf. No it's about the "damn there's a black (and Thai) guy playing the whitest of white sports".

I can't tell if you're being facetious or not, but I would venture to say that the articles about Woods are predominantly about how he dominates the game to a degree not seen in a long time.

by PsiFighter37 2007-03-26 08:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Sizzle and the Steak
If you're implying that the media may focus on the wrong things, perhaps you're right, but this post seems to be about what the candidate himself is saying. In that light, your comment sounds racist: the black candidate can't, or chooses not to, discuss issues because he's the black candidate.
I hope that's not what you're saying.
by jujube 2007-03-26 09:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

He would be offering specifics if he had run an agency, business, or a govenment, or had been a cabinet member like Richardson was. When you are in charge you think about solutions & policy all the time. You hone your skills - it's not just about crafting the message.

This time around the message is less important because people have been lied to so much. Show me! That's going to be a rallying cry. Not inspire me. Listen to me. Convince me that your plan works. What's your vision for the country, for fixing this mess, and convince me you believe what you say.

Like Edwards last time, Obama will gain experience and maturity through the campaign process, and the senate process, and will be ready next time. He'll be meeting Americans and will learn from them, but hopefully won't learn, like Clinton, how to distract listeners with charming message.

by mrobinsong 2007-03-26 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

But he has been a state legislator for 8 years and a US Senator for two.  Is that not enough time to develop policy positions?

by Vox Populi 2007-03-26 08:39PM | 0 recs
Your assumption is...

Obama's got to roll out specific policy positions on every issue today.  Why?  We've got a 10 month campaign.  If Obama never gets more specific, then he won't win, pure and simple.  But I don't see why he needs to have a 10 point plan for everything right this second.

Last month, the criticism was that Obama wasn't specific enough on Iraq.  You don't hear that too much anymore.

by rashomon 2007-03-27 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere
there are specifics and there is alot of substance.  the thing is obama is not going to unveil them earlier than he wants to in order to satisfy some who are impatient.  He has enough on his website to give you alot to take in and you have his bills in the US and State to look over.
There is a plan in place on how he is going to run.
There is more than meets the eye which is why he is always surprising CW and even you guys.
by vwcat 2007-03-26 08:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Er. Hate to be a wet blanket, but what beyond "Obama is awesome!" gives you such total faith that he's actually got this secret plan filled with "specifics and [...] alot [sic] of substance"? I mean, I've been watching him, and I've been to his website, and that whole schtick, and I haven't seen anything that'd give me even 1/10th as much confidence as you seem to have. Can you point to something in particular - and I don't mean "well go look at his website" or whatever, I mean actual quotes or whatever - that you're drawing this from?

by McSnatherson 2007-03-26 11:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Dude, I just like totally noticed that I used "whatever" to like a really ridiculous degree or whatever, y'know? Curse my Californian acculturation. Or whatever.

by McSnatherson 2007-03-26 11:34PM | 0 recs
He had only recently hired public policy advisors

one guy alone can't put together comprehensive plans that will affect the entire world in a profound way. If he was running for Governor of Illinois he'd probably have it all together in a snap, but I personally am willing to give him some time to put together policies of such a large magnitude.

Now, if this were October-December time frame and he still had nothing, I'll jump ship without hesitation. For now, as long as he's giving people a sense of who he is and what he's about, that'll have to do.

Its a pretty easy critique to make of the guy because Clinton and Edwards were pretty much ready to go...much more ready to start campaigning this early. I think we get a little ahead of ourselves proclaiming this or that when there are like 8 months remaining before the first caucus is held in Iowa.

by mihan 2007-03-27 04:38AM | 0 recs
A good blog item I point to

On Obama's "substance", at least in the US Senate.  Gives you a sense of the kind of issues he's worked on under the radar.

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_ wings/2006/10/barack_obama.html

by rashomon 2007-03-27 09:17AM | 0 recs
With respect

I think that item's a bit dated now. Not because those issues aren't still important - they are. But because the context Obama's working in has changed. He's no longer the junior Senator who has to lay low if he's to avoid alienating his colleagues, he's a major candidate for the nomination for the Presidency of the United Freakin' States. "Substance" in this context does not mean being effective under the radar, it means being able to put forward substantive, serious plans for the issues that are on peoples' radars... like health care, for instance.

Now, as people have pointed out, it's still a long time until the first primary, and assuming negative press for holding back doesn't bring him down (which it may be doing), Obama's still got plenty of time to put some substance together on those big issues. But until or unless he does, his lack of substance is going to be a valid criticism of him, especially in those settings where he's specifically there to talk about those issues (which was the original point of Jerome's post).

by McSnatherson 2007-03-27 10:49AM | 0 recs

I totally agree.  I keep that link handy for the "what has Obama ever done"? folks.   To me, it says that he can be substantive...but he's going to have to prove it.

by rashomon 2007-03-27 11:50AM | 0 recs

To the person that is sick of bi-partinship.  Too Bad.  If they had more, maybe Bush wouldn't veto everything. Get It.

Not all Republicans are Dick Cheney.  I know that is hard for the hate Bush crowd to understand.  At some point, Dems will have to do something. Besides say Bush Sucks.  People will get sick of it.

Obama has many wonderful issues.  Maybe you should read more, instead of just reading moronic diary spam.

And now you are excited because Hillary gave a great speech.  I'm dying.  You are the same mopes that all ripped Obama because all he was known for was his speeches.

Obama has done plenty, and Hillary ain't done squat, besides change her mind 9 million times on Iraq.

Obama has run things.  Really people, learn to read.  You talk about Fox brainwashing. We are seeing it here.

But he also knows, anyone can say we need health care, and everyone will go, YEAH.  Now what have you done about it Hillary.  

If you listened to Barak's Presidental speech. What he said was, anyone can promise the world.  But it usually never gets done.  

What we need is millions of Americans all calling for that change.  Then it will happen.

Hillary can give her Rah Rah to the DNC.  Big frickin deal.

Barak Obama inspires people to get involved.

We will be solving the problems.  And the rest of you will just sulk and cry because WAR LIARS Hillary and Edwards get sent back to learn.

But you all have a nice cry.  And get back to us when you actually accomplish something.  Besides your daily Lieberman rant.

by rapallos 2007-03-26 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Jerome and other mainstream political pundits either don't get it or don't want to get it. They will insist on measuring Obama by their yardstick. They're entitled but what value does it have. If Obama measured up to their yardstick, I would venture to say that most of his early supporters, me included, would not have signed up. Jerome et al apparently believe that a real candidate says different things to different audiences. I prefer a candidate who speaks his mind whomever the audience. And to tell the truth if I want detailed information about an issue, my first thought isn't I better attend the annual conference of this or that special interest group. No, I would go on-line and do my own research. When Obama appears before a special interest conference, I honestly hope he speaks without notes and without a position paper. I don't want my candidate to lecture on this plan or that. I want my candidate to speak to me as an interested citizen; no more, no less. Let me end by noting that, on occasion, there is more than meets the eye.

by pservelle 2007-03-26 08:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Ah yes, "special interest conferences"... like the DNC convention.

by andy k 2007-03-27 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I think Obama needs to pay attention to the criticism. He seems to have a tin ear for different gatherings. He has a set speech delivery and does a great job with it. BUt adjustability is key too in politics. Let's see how he grows. I am willing to give him time.

As far as Hillary's command over health care issues compared to Obama, no shit. This was her project during the Clinton years. So why shouldn't she be much prepared for the details? That would be like Wes Clark dominating every single Presidential candidate on military issues by a huge margin. The key thing is leadership. We are not electing best government beauracrat. Obama can hire people to do the details. That is not the main job of the President. But I am curious to see if Obama failed on the mission statement too. He needs to nail that. He doesnt need to nail down the details.

Leadership is the key here. Details are to be delegated. What use is a plan if you do not have the guts to act at key moments. That is why I am not going to give Obama the key advantage in the military issue the same way I will not give Hillary the automatic advantage in other issues because all policies are useless when you lack the guts to implement the tough ones.

Hillary has failed those crucial gut checks more than Obama. Obama better watch out. He has been right on the issues, but I am not thrilled with some of his gut check moments. I will still give him more leeway because he is a fresh face to our political scene compared to Hillary.

by Pravin 2007-03-26 08:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

There is a lot of time left to brush up on stuff, but offering generalized statements and relying on "people" to do that stuff for you may work when you are president, but not before.  Wonkism and command of the issues may be unnecessary to some, but it is an essential ingredient to win televised debates.  

by georgep 2007-03-27 05:57AM | 0 recs
About Obama, Unions and Nevada

Jerome, I agree with much of what you are saying here and have posted some comments on this before.  I have seen many Obama speeches now including the announcement, the DNC speech, the South Carolina speeches, the Selma speech, the massive crowds speeches, and the Firefighters' speech.

My overall assessment of Obama is that he is multi-talented in the speaking department.  When he applies himself (which is not always the case) he is an excellent, adaptive speaker, adjusting his style to best suit the particular audience.  He can hit home runs with the grass roots, the young, African Americans, and the religious.

But, for almost inexplicable reasons (considering what appears to be his skill set), he can really fall flat in front of certain audiences.  His DNC speech and his Firefighters' speeches, in particular, were head scratchers.  My sense is that he just didn't apply himself to the task at hand. He went on autopilot. And when Obama goes on autopilot, he becomes a bit of a droning, verbose law professor.  Like a good law professor, he consistently demonstrates his intelligence and an uncanny ability to finish every single sentence, no matter how awkwardly begun, or how indefinitely paused...in midsentence...with...an inarguably appropriate word.  This style is impressive to some.  To others it is opaque.  (What did he just say?  I don't know honey, but it sure sounded intellligent.)

It is tempting to concur with Brownstein here:  namely, that Obama has trouble connnecting with "blue collar" voters.  But, I don't quite see it that way.  I sense that Obama has the ability to reach these voters, but so far, he is just not applying himself.  To me, the evidence suggests that Obama has intentionally written off these voters, conceding them to Edwards, and to a much lesser extent, Hillary Clinton.  In truth, blue collar and union voters are fairly solidly Edwards voters, so writing them off is not so hard to fathom.  

In the case of the Firefighters' speeches, as I saw it, Hillary Clinton and her staff spent a lot of time putting together an expert presentation.  They took this speech seriously.  Obama did not.  Obama's "fly past" of the first union forum in Nevada, and his ho-hum performance at the second union forum in Nevada continue this trend.  So, again, the evidence strongly suggests that Obama has written off union support and the Nevada caucuses.

But...I want to throw out some possibly exculpatory ideas.  Hillary Clinton's strategy is to build maximum momentum right now, today, to make her the unconquerable, inevitable candidate for the nomination.  She wants all the money and all the talk of inevitability.  As such, she is clearly trying her best to hit on all cylinders, at all times, in all speeches.  

By contrast, Obama's campaign strategy appears to be very different.  He already has a fair amount of superficial buzz pumping up his national numbers.  And, to me, it looks like he is very deliberately pacing himself, and his appeal (and actually holding back a bit!), such that, I guess, he does not peak too early. (The lesson of Howard Dean in 2003?)  

So...Obama is working, I think, with a completely different campaign strategy, a strategy that may irk political junkies who think the election is, uh, tomorrow?  It's not.  I think that Obama believes he can create a lot of buzz with his skill set, whenever he wants to, and he does not want to create maximum buzz this early in the race.  He does not want to be Mr. Inevitable.  Instead, he wants to be in a close second place spot, then he wants maximum crescendo in January and February of 2008, not Spring of 2007.  And you heard it here (perhaps not first), Obama is very very quietly assembling a database of one million supporters.  Around November, he will tap it, and tap it hard.  What will that mean?  You tell me...  :)

by Demo37 2007-03-26 09:05PM | 0 recs
Re: About Obama, Unions and Nevada

Thanks for these very insightful comments. About Obama not being able to connect with blue collar audiences - it takes a lot of life-molding experience to develop such a skill. Remember, Obama studied at an elite private school in Hawai, followed by an Ivy League education, both during his undergrad years and at law school. These are not training grounds for a blue collar candidate or a union organizer. But he does have a solid community organizing background, working for several years as a volunteer in Chicago's low income neighborhoods. His knowledge of their needs and concerns should be especially attractive to urban minority voters.

Problem is, Obama does sound like a law professor at times. He needs to break away from such an academic mold during the primary season. However, his effervescent personality, easy approachibility and overall genial demeanor will stand him well in any crowd, whether he's visiting a college campus or a union hall. What is still missing is the  ability for him to use his natural speaking skills and deliberately hone it to an audience, like any well-practiced politician is able to do on short notice. Does he have a knack on occasion to wing it on a topic not too familiar to him remains to be seen.

On the other hand, not having well-developed positions on health care or other public policy issues at this stage of the campaign is not all that crucial or even desirable. Allow him to take time to master these subjects well before glibly spouting them off to the press or the public.

Stay tuned...

by mobiusein 2007-03-26 11:09PM | 0 recs
Peak too early?

...such that, I guess, he does not peak too early...

If a candidate is going to win they need to be "hitting on all cylinders" from the beginning.

Any successful candidate needs to do well at the things they control (like preparation) and hope for the best for those things they don't.

As for the course of a campaign:

Mongol General: What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.

That's how you win in politics.

by Michael Bersin 2007-03-27 04:43AM | 0 recs

US elections are a single moment in time.  You can have all the momentum in the world and it won't matter if you don't time things around the only day that counts...election day.

Bush 2004 is a good example of this.  Their campaign was clearly designed around the idea of peaking in Novemeber, not July.  The Swift Boat thing wasn't rolled out in full force until August, even though it was on the scene in early April.  That's not an accident...it was pushed hard when it would do maximum damage in November.

Dean in 2004 is another example (a counter one)...lots of pedal to the metal all through 2003 that didn't matter when it counted.

by rashomon 2007-03-27 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: About Obama, Unions and Nevada

Good insight, I don't know about the pacing though, that's problematic in a presidential campaign, you plateau and go higher, not ever stay still; he's got as his main supporters the youth, which will be interesting to see if he can build and maintain with the incredible early enthusiasm.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-03-27 05:25AM | 0 recs
Main Support is Youth?

Do you have data to support this?

Seems like the same label attached to Dean which was not at all the case with the Blog for America Dean community -- or his supporters. Average age was over MyDD levels. Remember the Pew Survey on Dean's supporters? Hardly a bunch of kids.

Same goes for the BarackObama.com campaign and site. Average age of the online organizers is definitely higher than your comment suggests.

by Vermonter 2007-03-27 05:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Main Support is Youth?
Remember the Pew Survey on Dean's supporters? Hardly a bunch of kids.

That was my point.

I do think Obama is pulling in a younger audience, but only through anecdotal evidence, like at the DNC convo, where it was all the College Dems that were  high on Obama, or at the Austin rally, which was predominantly UT students. We'll have to wait and see if that's the case, but I think it is.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-03-27 09:50AM | 0 recs
But wait,...

...the quote you use of mine to support your position is the one I used to negate yours.

Hmmm... How can that be?

Young people showed up to Dean rallies. People saw that and said Dean's support is all from young people (oh and birkenstock wearing hippies, too).

But the reality was different.

Young people showed up to Obama rallies. People saw that and said Obama's support is all from young people.

But the reality is different. At least judging from the Obama site where I am deep in the weeds. The leaders of the online community are not largely college kids. They are the same kind of activists and concerned citizens that came out for Dean.

And, hey, it's nice to see that you joined the site and the Deaniacs for Obama group on the first day. Just testing the system, I'm sure, but still... You helped raise the median age a bit...

by Vermonter 2007-03-27 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

A great analysis Jerome.

The Ron Brownstein article has good insight on where the problem areas are for Obama. Those are the areas where Clinton is securing the base and Obama is missing the mark.

Obama's early support is following a pattern familiar from the campaigns of other brainy liberals with cool, detached personas and messages of political reform, from Eugene McCarthy in 1968 to Gary Hart in 1984 to Bill Bradley in 2000. Like those predecessors, Obama is running strong with well-educated voters but demonstrating much less support among those without college degrees.

by robliberal 2007-03-26 09:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Funny you should mention the candidates from previous elections.

What Bronstein fails to mention was the year the three aformentioned candidates lost, the Republicans won (or in the case of Bush "won").

I believe there's plenty of time for improvement. Give it time.

by Nedsdag 2007-03-27 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

if the msjoriy of dems still want an unlikable nominee with the best position papers, and ability to coonect with each "special interest" in the democratic party than so be it Hillary will the nominee, the problem is the American general electorate votes for who they like and who feels like he/she can lead the counrty best,Hillary with the 46% who refuse to consider voting for her looks like a another member of the democratic losers club. Fred Thompson is tied with her and has no Id, about half of this country will never vote for Hillary, they don't like her and she gives us the worse chance to win, if thes fire fighters and health care workers can't see that then they'll be dealing with Rudy or Fred in 2009.

by nevadadem 2007-03-26 09:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Fred Thompson has no ID?

That's funny.


by phatass 2007-03-26 10:19PM | 0 recs
Not much ID

He doesn't have much ID. If you say "Fred Thompson", most people will say who?

If you say, "Fred Thompson...y'know, that guy who plays the DA from Law & Order?"

People will say "Ohhh," and think you're talking about Sam Waterston. "He's a Republican? I thought he was liberal?"

Then you say, "No, not that guy. The other guy. His boss."

Then you get "Ohhh. That guy? He's running for President?"

Outside of his homestate, he's not a household name. A somewhat familiar face, and for now, that's about it.

by LiberalFromPA 2007-03-27 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

We have to remember that the non-netroots who are over 99% of the voters are not looking at the candidates the way we are.  At the end of the day voters do not always look for likability and dazzle. After 6 years of Bush one thing they will be looking for is who they think can get the job done based on intelligence, experience, and a lot of other factors. They want to be comfortable that a candidate has the depth to do the job and is tough enough to carry it out.

Whether people like her or not you won't find many in either party that will say Clinton is not tough enough for the job.
When you look at the frontrunners in both parties Clinton and Guiliani neither have the "American Idol" factor but they have the characteristics of governing and that may be what voters are looking for in 2008. There are reasons we see their names at the tops of the polls over and over because they are similar in many ways and at this point in the election cycle that appears to be what voters in both parties are looking for.  

by robliberal 2007-03-26 10:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Well for every "Firefighter" speech, there is a Selma speech the MSM pretty much ignores.

by RandyMI 2007-03-26 10:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Jerome criticizing Obama?

Really?  How...USUAL, for Jerome.

At some point, I expect Jerome to come clean with his subterranean dislike of the Obama candidacy - it's pretty clear in what he CHOOSES TO FOCUS ON.

Funny enough, I'm more of an Edwards guy myself.

And, to be fair, it's good to see what Obama will be going up against - the highlighting of "weak" moments, brought forth by a convincing writer.

so, in that sense, it's good for Jerome to highlight weaknesses, I don't have a problem with it.  

by jc 2007-03-26 10:37PM | 0 recs
What I want

As a member of two unions, I don't want to be pandered to, but I do want a Democratic candidate who understands the issues facing working people today, and this is where Obama fails.  This business of him not applying himself to the issue and going on autopilot does not bring me closer to him, and is a insult to the union members there in Las Vegas. Obama's been getting a free ride, playing to college Kids and all, but now he's facing some thinking audiences, not American Idol fans, and he'll change or be gone.

Yeah, he's made some terrific speeches. Big deal. And his health care plan--what is it, Nixon's secret plan to end the war?  He's running for President--he needs a damned health plan. You Obamoids need to get the glitter out of your eyes and talk substance and so does your candidate--or you'll all be history by 2007.

by Nick Stump 2007-03-26 10:40PM | 0 recs
But does he need it today?

If he has a comprehensive health care plan in May or June, is that okay?  I agree with you, if he never articulates a plan, then he's toast.  But that assumes that he can't do it, which remains to be seen.

by rashomon 2007-03-27 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I too have been underwhelmed by Obama of late. I'm hoping that he's just a bit tired from all the hype surrounding his announcement, and will bounce back. It's still fairly early in the process. But if he doesn't get up to speed on the issues and generate some passion, he's not going to get money, and without money, he's going nowhere, Geffen or no Geffen.

Incidentally, why are we suddenly seeing a lot of Bill Bradley (MTP, Charlie Rose)? Is he thinking of getting into the race--especially with talk of Gore possibly getting in later this year? Could we see a repeat of '00?

Funny how the dynamic seems to have changed so much in a month.

by kovie 2007-03-26 11:22PM | 0 recs
don't worry about Obama and money

Bradley has endorsed Obama, so no, Bradley's not running.

Obama will have plenty of money. He's going to Los Angeles and raising $1 million or more in a single evening.

by desmoinesdem 2007-03-27 07:42AM | 0 recs
Cool post, except...

What's with the near-total buying into of the MSM binary dynamic on this? It's not just Obama v. Hillary here, y'know. Edwards is in the race too. It seems like here in the netroots of all places, we should be willing to make a point of including arguably (please don't just skip over this qualifier  - I get that the Obama folks think he's awesome too, but that's not what this is about right now) the most progressive candidate in the race when we're evaluating our field. Yeah, this post is mainly about Obama, and I get that, and that's cool, but if you're doing the contrast with Hillary there at the end, why wouldn't you include Edwards in that too?

I'm not just saying that because I'm currently leaning towards Edwards, either - if Edwards has a path to the White House, it's largely dependent on him making a strong showing or outright winning in the early states, which is in turn gonna be largely dependent on how he does in front of comparatively small-group, highly-dedicated audiences like the ones being discussed here. So how he compares to the other first-tier candidates in that setting is a huge deal for anyone trying to evaluate the race, IMO.

So - that's my contribution to the constructive criticism. Again, other than that, thought this was a well-done, interesting post. Certainly sparked a good bit of discussion. ;-)

by McSnatherson 2007-03-26 11:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I've got to admit that I've been a little underwhelmed by Barack Obama too, which is a shame because I really want to be behind him 100%.

The problem as I see it is this - it's perfectly reasonable for Obama's campaign either to have not fully developed its issue positions yet or to simply not want to announce them now in order to have something to make news with later. But if you don't want to talk about specifics or details, then you've really got to nail what you do say, otherwise you come off looking uninformed and unprepared. I listened to Obama blathering about his Senate website and couldn't quite believe what I was hearing.

Obama is undoubtedly a smart and charismatic guy. His campaign theme of "hope", of a "new kind of politics", ultimately of "leadership", is a good one. Nobody can tell what challenges the next President will face, so people should pick the person who they think is best equipped for any challenge, not the person who happens to currently have the most specific plan about this or that problem. Having said that, being able to show that you have a firm grip on the problems that face America and you have ideas about how to solve them is an important card to be able to play. Say what you like about Bill Clinton, but as well as offering charisma and leadership, he was pretty much a walking policy encyclopedia. I don't think you'd ever have heard Bill talking about how he's not sure if they've transferred all the information from one website to another website if he were running now.

Of course, we're all politically engaged individuals and are thus disposed to picking over the minutiae of events like this even this early in the cycle when nobody else really cares that much - and it should be our job to keep poking even our favourite candidates with a stick (albeit gently), to make them be better, to make them be all they can be. My feeling is that Obama, for all his undoubted natural skills, is still green as a campaigner on this scale. But this is spring training for the campaigns - and a chance for Obama to hone that raw talent and get fully up to speed for the regular season - and when I talk about honing, I'm not talking about becoming a slick, pandering, "regular" politician, but simply about avoiding the kind of occasionally negative impressions he's giving to Jerome and a lot of other commenters on this thread, myself included - people who would naturally be inclined to be a sympathetic audience.

Perhaps the extraordinary length of this election cycle is actually a major bonus for Obama, giving him more time to really get the experience of running at the national level before things start to matter too much. Hopefully he can use the time and perhaps take on board the constructive criticisms of smart, engaged people like those here on myDD and become the great candidate and President we all know he can be.

by onliberty 2007-03-27 12:34AM | 0 recs
Well Said...

I think the criticism you're offering makes a lot of sense; far more than Jerome's.  I'm an Obama supporter, but I will readily concede that as a presidential candidate he's not nearly as polished or refined as Hillary or Edwards.  He simply doesn't have plans that are as detailed as either of his competitors and he probably HAS fallen flat at a few forumns thus far.

I guess my question, however, is why any of us are suprised that that's the case?  Edwards has been running for presdient since 2002.  Hillary has been preparing for her own presidential run since 2000 and was in the oval office for 8 years.  Obama's been a candidate for 2 months.  PLUS, it's still March 2007.  Senator Obama clearly has work to do, but what I think Jerome's comments miss is that HE DOES HAVE TIME to make those improvements.  

At any rate, I think you've made some good constructive points.  Hopefully Obama addresses your criticisms.

by HSTruman 2007-03-27 05:43AM | 0 recs
Wow, I Just got a '1'?

Hmmm, I just got a '1' from someone who seems to only give out 1s when they rate people.  Interesting.  I'd LOVE to know exactly what about my comments warranted that kind of rating.  WTF?

by HSTruman 2007-03-27 07:32AM | 0 recs

If we're just comparing him to Edwards and Hillary, then it's not surprising he has some catching up to do.  What with Edwards having run in the last election with a permanent campaign since then, and Hillary having put together a health plan under her husband's Administration.

So perhaps he'll do better next time.

by catherineD 2007-03-27 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

At long last the truth has been revealed concerning Senator Obama's presidential candidacy.  

Indeed, he is brilliant, and an extraordinary speaker.  But try as his most ardent supporters may, beneath the rhetoric the Senator is much too green at this stage.

One witnesses above every effort by his advocates to dismiss this lack of substance, this constant falling back to speaking in platitudes.  The excuses are astounding:  well, they comment, so what if there is no specific plan, that is refreshing.  So what if he cannot tailor his speech to any given crowd, well--at least he's not programmed.  

It is both sad and amusing to learn how they dismiss what they must know themselves is his obvious lack of preparedness.

What is even more tragic, is that they cannot comprehend that the very same reasoning was used by the supporters of then presidential candidate George Walker Bush in 2000.

Well, such supporters then commented, so what if GWB isn't that prepared--just a few years as Texas Governor under his belt.  So what if he often mispeaks before a crowd.  Well, isn't it refreshing that his words don't sound like all that other Washington rhetoric?  And, after all, the country wants a time away from those carefully attuned policy wonks.

In other words, the supporters of GWB in 2000 were willing to take a chance with him because he was not President Bill Clinton.  And the supporters of Senator Obama today are willing to take a chance with him because he is not Senator Hillary Clinton.

But what the United States now desperately needs is a demonstrated ability to govern and govern well.  For all the hatred of things Clinton, those Clinton years were ones of fiscal solvency, strong world alliances, genuinely successful peace initiatives from the Middle East accords to the cease-fire in Northern Ireland, a measure of real social progress, whether tackling the lethal effects of tobacco to at least attempting a comprehensive medical plan--in short, it was a period that much of this nation and most of the rest of the world yearns for a return to.

It is why, for all the invective, Senator Clinton is the very best prepared.  No one currently running comes close to her credentials--from several terms as a very hands-on First Lady of Arkansas to the most socially active United States First Lady since Eleanor Roosevelt to a supremely successful United States Senator from the State of New York.  

She was an advocate from her days at Wellesley and has remained highly conscientious of civil liberties and children's issues in particular.

Those that would say she failed in her comprehensive health care initiative fail to understand just how trail-blazing that initiative was, and just how powerful were the forces in opposition then and now.

This demonstrates not a weakness, but a strength, because Senator Clinton has learned, and learned very well, from every government initiative she has sought to implement.  She has learned, through long experience, how to coalesce forces, and how to strengthen alliances.

She is the absolute opposite of where then presidential candidate George W. Bush was in 2000.  She has understood well the need not to be an ideologue, not to close options, and how to work with one's political opposition.

Her positions on the Iraq incursion and the terrible quagmire that followed are seen as calculated.  But that is precisely where a mature and thoughtful candidate ought to be on this and all other pressing issues.

What passionate advocates of Senator Obama view as cold and calculating and Washingtonian, we advocates of Senator Clinton see as one of her great strengths--to be indeed measured, always prepared, always fully cognizant of the views held dear to any specific audience and why those must be addressed in anything but platitudes.

In 2008, this nation will indeed have a clear choice.  We can return to the false imagery created in the aftermath of 9/11, of which former Mayor Rudloph Giuiliani is currently the beneficiary--although that false imagery proved to be a disaster for the United States and its former allies.  We can yield to the not calculated, refreshingly unscripted, but not necessarily ready for primetime candidate--Senator Obama, drawing a page out of the presidential candidate GWB program in 2000.

With respect to the last such "unscripted, uncalculated, but not necessarily ready-for-primetime candidate," elevated to the presidency, our nation now finds itself governmentally impotent and completely disrespected on a world stage.

Or we can choose that very measured, very studied, always prepared, and very long experienced candidate, which this year is Senator Hillary Clinton and no other currently on the national political screen.

I believe that for every passionate supporter of Senator Obama, lost in the potency of his rhetoric, and every advocate of former Mayor Giuliani, still clinging to the false imagery of 9/11, there will be that conscientious citizen who casts his or her ballot for the certainty of experience and measured consideration of all viewpoints--and that, this election cycle, most properly describes Senator Clinton.

Maturity and experience has been long wanting in our national government.  Indeed much of the nation, and certainly the majority of thoughtful citizens all over the world, are yearning for an American President who is indeed measured, sincerely considering all possible circumstances before acting impulsively.

If the horrendous presidency of Bush 43 demonstrates nothing else, it is that a measured study trumps the rhetorician, and that an experienced leader trumps the not-ready-for-primetime candidate, anytime.

by lambros 2007-03-27 12:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Your  comment was too long for me to read, but of the points I managed to skim:
Not everyone thinks the response to Bush is that we need more experience. I happen to think that Cheney easily dispells that notion. I think the response to bush is a Democrat. Preferrably a liberal Democrat. Also someone smart and not psychotic and interested and hardworking who can admit mistakes and hear bad news and relies on evidence over faith and is not only in it for power and the further enrichment of his friends.

That said, if you are looking for the experienced candidate, I'm not sure how you pick a one term Senator and former first lady, over a former congressman, ambassador, cabinet member and governor.

by jujube 2007-03-27 01:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

If you are talking about Richardson:  He may well end up as Clinton's top VP choice.

by georgep 2007-03-27 06:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I see him as Obama's best VP choice.

by jujube 2007-03-27 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

At long last the truth has been revealed concerning Senator Obama's presidential candidacy.  

...the truth..revealed  tonight at 11pm on channel 4 your local Fox station

in a channel 4 exclusive it is revealed that Obama attends church on sundays

you heard it first; stayed tuned to channel 4 for all the late breacking news    

by pservelle 2007-03-27 01:28AM | 0 recs
Nice post, but what you don't seem to get

is that people vote for the most likeable candidate, not the smartest or most experienced one. John Kerry lost to George W Bush. A highly intelligent and experienced man lost to a clueless moron.

Hillary Clinton is probabbly the least likeable of all politicians in DC. I mean, I can't stand seeing her or hearing her speak. And I am a progressive Democrat.

Hillary would be an unmitigated disaster for our party in 08. Say farewell to the presidency and most of the donwticket races.

When will well-meaning Democrats learn that elections are all about likeability and gut level attraction, not policy wonking and intelligence?

Barack Obama has got it, and so does Edwards. Hillary is way off.

by Populism2008 2007-03-27 02:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice post, but what you don't seem to get

Many will disagree with you.  In fact, Clinton is very well liked by many Democrats.  Of course, some try a cartoonish portrayal in their best Rove/GOP-like fashion, but the fact remains that on a personal level she is able to connect, which is what is driving her poll numbers and consistent lead.  Thus you get comments that "she brought the house down" while Obama's speeches are oftentimes greeted with ho-hum "polite applause."  

I agree with the writer of the diary that as of today "Obama does not have it."   We are not electing a preacher or motivational speaker to the highest office of the land.  And, a lack of appropriate wonkism is poison for any debate, whether it be scripted podium-style or townhall-style.  

by georgep 2007-03-27 06:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

It is precisely because, jujube, so many of you who are anti-Senator Clinton completely ignore both her experience and credentials that your advocacy of Senator Obama waxes hollow.

First of all, she is not merely a former First Lady, although that unto itself would be a most extraordinary experience.  It would mean that she, unlike any other candidate running (even superseding Governor Richardson, serving as an ambassador in her husband's term), has had immediate experiences with almost all of the world's current leaders, within a White House setting.  

The only other individual with such an experience would be a former President himself.  Thus Senator Clinton is already prepared to act with those officials she has known well and confided in on a world stage the moment she would assume the presidency.

She is, of course, as well, an extremely seasoned Senator from the State of New York--a microcosom for the country if not the world--in her very successful second term, not a senatorial neophyte as is Senator Obama.

And she has had decades of experience as an advocate for civil liberties and children's issues both in her legal practice and as an extremely conscientious First Lady of Arkansas, helping to transform there an earlier system long in the dark ages on literacy standards.  She was an advocate when Senator Obama was not long out of diapers.

And she is, unlike Senator Obama, indeed ever prepared, and, I submit, very properly calculating and measured.

This nation desperately needs her maturity and measured comprehension.

As I have emphasized previously, the very same attributes you now ascribe to Senator Obama were those the advocates of then presidential candidate GWB ascrbed to him as well.

Senator Obama, is, of course, quite brilliant and with the capability of soaring oratory.  But the bottom line is, the then GWB advocates believed that it did not matter that he had only a few years as Texas Governor under his belt.  They liked the fact that he didn't speak calculated or "Washingtonian."

He came to the presidency (even if he didn't actually win the presidency) and both the United States and the world has been much diminished because he did.

President Clinton was the measured study that was Bush 43's opposite; Senator Clinton is now the mature measured study that is Senator Obama's opposite.

We are are her advocates would argue that is exactly what this nation--and thus the world itself--desperately needs at this time.

by lambros 2007-03-27 01:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

"calculating and measured"

In short: flip-floper. An unlikeable flip flop Senator from the Northeast. We tried that in 2004, time to learn the lesson me thinks. Hillary is supremely unlikeable, aloof and cold. You cannot deny that can you?

by Populism2008 2007-03-27 02:21AM | 0 recs
but but

she's a female unlikeable senator from the northeast..

by TarHeel 2007-03-27 05:42AM | 0 recs
Clinton likeability

Hillary is supremely unlikeable, aloof and cold. You cannot deny that can you?

I can deny that. Supremely unlikable? GOP Hogwash dressed up as conventional wisdom.

I like her just fine. I'd even like to have a beer with her.

I'd just prefer that Clark, Edwards, Dean, Kerry, Gore, or Obama be the Democratic nominee.

by Curt Matlock 2007-03-27 05:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton likeability

"GOP hogwash" is exactly the right description for these slams.  I don't trust any politician, but she as likeable as any candidate.   Obama has elements about him I can't stand, an aloofness and "holier-than-thou"-ness I find distasteful.  Perhaps that is a pre-requisite to aspire to the presidency, but it seems more distinct with him than others.   Edwards seems fake somehow with his folksyness.  But all three candidates are generally likeable in their own way, which is reflected when people are asked about "personal likeability," independent from whether they think that person is going to win the presidency.

 Now, if we are talking about "likeability" within the ranks of conservative Republicans, why?   Isn't being disliked by conservatives (the counter-opposite of progressives) a prerequisite for being a good Democratic candidate?  

by georgep 2007-03-27 06:15AM | 0 recs
no, georgep, she is disliked by many Democrats

Many, many Democrats. People like one of my brothers, who would never vote Republican but swears that he would write in a candidate before voting for Hillary if she is our nominee. He would vote for any of the other Democrats without a moment's thought.

I'm talking to active Democrats in my precinct, and very many of them are for "anyone but Clinton." Liberals don't like her because she is not passionate about progressive issues and wastes everyone's time with stuff like sponsoring an anti-flag-burning measure (which she herself probably knows is wrong).

by desmoinesdem 2007-03-27 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: no, georgep, she is disliked by many Democrats

Then that should be reflected in polling.  She should logically be a distant third or fourth, if you were correct.   She is not, she leads basically every poll we have seen for a very long time.  That alone tells me that your unscientific "inside poll" is subjective and suspect.

I know several people who support Clinton, like myself.  I know several people who support Obama, one who supports Edwards (my mother-in-law.)  I could easily conduct an informal poll and put together a group of people who would not vote for Edwards under any circumstances, or who would vote for Obama as their top choice.   That is meaningless, as it does not translate into the opinions of Millions, even in my own state.   People tend to surround themselves with like-minded individuals, so your (or my) little polls would typically skew that way instead of going clear across racial lines, generational lines, etc. and then adjust the numbers for recent voting history of said groups.  

Now, once Edwards takes his rather disappointing 12% to 14% polls and turns them into 38% polls, you may have something.  The same is true for Obama.  But, for Clinton, who supposedly is as disliked and disdained as you claim, to have the leg up on Edwards in polls by more than 20 points (and to Obama by a sizeable margin) would suggest that they don't "rock em" for whatever reason, they can't make their own case with Democrats, have been received with reservations.  Even more, if you look at virtually all polls that ask this question you will find that Obama and Edwards receive MORE "would never vote for" votes from Democrats than Clinton, when adjusted for name ID differential.  

She is obviously more popular than you care to admit.

by georgep 2007-03-27 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I think I just made this point elsewhere, but I disagree that experience is the critical factor here. Yes, Obama or Edwards are somewhat analagous to GWB, running as less experienced but more charismatic candidates. However, they are also analagous to Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and John Kennedy all of whom had less experience than John Kerry or Walter Mondale or Bob Dole (or Joe Bidden or Chris Dodd or Bill Richardson), and also got elected. It is not inexperience that made George W Bush a terrible president. Being evil, having the rich at heart, refusing to admit mistakes, lacking curiosity, appointing people for ideological loyalty not competance, ignoring facts, heeding Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and many other faults are what make Bush the worst president ever.

2. I am not anti Clinton, I will support her if she's the nominee. And I don't think I'm ignoring her experience or credentials. Perhaps I'm underselling her experience as first lady, but some of her experience doesn't endorse her to me. I think her health care plan as first lady was a failure in large part because she was too willing to kowtow to the insurance companies. I think there was an opportunity to put forth a simple effective bold single payer plan and she botched it.

by jujube 2007-03-27 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Could we quit with the negativity a bit?  The infighting isn't helping anybody.

by RickD 2007-03-27 02:03AM | 0 recs
Good idea...... NOT

Yes, let's wait until after we've nominated someone to discover his weaknesses. That worked so well in 1992 and 2004, for example.

by Jim in Chicago 2007-03-27 08:24AM | 0 recs
Oops... 1988 not 1992

Meant to say 1988 (Dukakis) not 1992. In 1992, we knew all to well what Clinton's weakness was going in (hint, it's what got him impeached later) and still won.

by Jim in Chicago 2007-03-27 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I think this is decent enough criticism.  It will be  interesting to see what Obama does to counter criticism like this.

by sterra 2007-03-27 03:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

That's the key....sometimes postings like Jerome's are really crafted to help candidates like Obama, meaning that no matter how much people like him, he's making mistakes that could cost him in the end.

The man is no dummy though, and neither are his advisors. I'd literally be shocked if he didn't step it up at some point.

by mihan 2007-03-27 04:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Obama is shaping up to be a generational candidate, a change candidate thus it is hardly surprising that audiences of Democriatic Party leaders are a little puzzled by him and prefer red meat, time tested rhetoric.

Obama has yet to be tested really while Hillary has been tested for the last decade & a half.  All of the big three have different strengths.

by howardpark 2007-03-27 05:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Obama is being tested NOW at events like the SIEU forum and there is going to be more scrutiny, not less. I hope he and his campaign realize this.

If you are going to run as a change candidate, eventually you have to show people where you are taking them. Its not too late of course, but Obama really needs to deal with this strongly or he is going to be in more and more trouble and people leaning towards him are going to lean to someone else.

by okamichan13 2007-03-27 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

You are overreacting to some bad press.  

by aiko 2007-03-27 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I'm giving Obama more time with the policy papers and the like. It's pretty obvious that Clinton and Edwards have been running for president for years, while Obama's been running for just a few months.

by Newsie8200 2007-03-27 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

First and foremost, cease and desist to assume that Senator Clinton is not likeable.  

She has consistently led in all primary opinion polls, and although seemingly self-defined progressive bloggers like the above detest her immensely, they assume that their own hatred is transferable.  It is not.

The bubble has burst on Senator Obama.  He is brilliant, but wholly untested for the Chief Executive office in 2009.  He is utterly a product of the same media which has loathed the Clintons for decades now.

You will not hear a kind word uttered for Senator Clinton from the inveterate news media operatives such Chris Matthews and Brian Williams and company.  They have been fueling the passions of the anti-Clinton forces for fear that the Clintons (ever and always a political tandem) will again come to power.

But we longtime veterans of the political process know all too well what becomes of the neophytes--they become devoured by the reactionary machine which has become the underpinning of today's Republican Party.

Senator John Kerry and former Vice-president Al Gore in fact both won their presidewtial elections, but in the end they hadn't the fortitude to challenge the results as presented.  Neither Clinton would ever have abided by those results, too toughened by years of derision from reactionaries not to have understood that those elections were stolen, pure and plain and simple.

Senator Clinton was on the money when she made manifest that there is a "Right-wing conspiracy."  She calculates because she must.  She is anything but a flip-flopper.  She has stood by her position on the Iraq incursion.  The information provided to her was then faulty, not necessarily her voting as she then understood the facts to be.

If she were to give in to the "purists," the bloggers who give her no slack--then, she would be manifestly a flip-flopper, and she is too intelligent to go that route.  She knows, because she and her husband are both light-years ahead of the current pack, how everything a candidate says or does is redfined by the opposition in a general election campaign.

From the above posts, one would conclude that it is not necessary for Senator Obama to be experienced.  He only needs to be likeable, for that is what wins general election campaigns.

That may have worked in the past.  It will no longer work in this election cycle.  The established media forgave all of then candidate George Walker Bush's inadequacies (indeed his total lack of qualification for the Executive Office), based on "likeability."

The result has been a United States in deep debt and the ridicule of all the rest of the world.

Senator Clinton may not be likeable to that same thirty-five percent or so who never accepted her husband in the presidency.  (This is the reason he has difficulty even now surmounting his most recent 67% approval figure).

But post 9/11, and the false images created from 9/11 (on which former Mayor Giuliani is entirely basing his election run), Americans are going to turn to substance.

Thus, in the end, the most likeable candidate in the year 2008 will be the one with the demonstratable credentials who can take America back to the era before President Bush 43 plunged the country toward certain disaster.

We need an antidote to GWB's "likeability."  We need an immunization from candidates who want to be President and get their on-the-job training while in the Executive Office.

Senator Clinton's experience; her maturity, and her being a brilliant "measured study," makes her eminently likeable to a great many Americans.  We who support her submit that this will be her trump card going into the general election campaign.

by lambros 2007-03-27 06:10AM | 0 recs
she also leads in the "never" category

Do you deny that of the declared candidates, Hillary provokes the highest percentage of people to say they would never consider voting for her?

by desmoinesdem 2007-03-27 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: she also leads in the "never"

Amongst Democrats, ABSOLUTELY.  Amongst the general population, no.  But that comes largely from right-wingers who would rather cut their right arm off than to vote for a Clinton.  But, should someone else win, they'll easily transfer that same dislike towards the other candidate at the top of the ticket, courtesy of some trumped up issue or messed up comment that is hung around the eventual candidate by the GOP.    

by georgep 2007-03-27 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

What's going on with Obama?  Simple.  The guy is not ready to run fro president.  He has been in the Senate for two years!  He is a charismatic speaker but we need WAY more than that.  I consider his candidacy a huge mistake and have since it was first discussed.

Running for president requires more preparation, experience, organizational skill, and committed fundraisers than anyone can imagine, even people like Tom Vilsack, Orrin Hatch, Phil Gramm, and even Howard Dean, who have been around for a while.  I still cringe when I think of Dean in the early going telling people they were "on the list" for VP nominee!

Hillary has been there and has all the connections.  She is the natural next leader of the party (along with Bubba).  In many ways, it's a slam dunk.  Edwards also has experience, though not as much, on a presidential campaign.  And Richardson has the experience and connections from years of appropriate service.
Obama?  Looks good, sounds good, and makes nice "Can't we all get along speeches."  That's exciting for a half year but eventually someone, even with the minimal imagination of the Mondale team, will ask, "Where's the beef?"  Gary HArt actually had the beef; Obama not yet.

by Thaddeus 2007-03-27 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

That's ironic because I compare Hillary to Mondale: resume, endorsements, and money. Yet, we all know what happened that year. Only one state went for him.

Granted Hillary will win more states; however, if a candidate like Fred Thompson decides to run it'll will be difficult for her to win. He passes the smell test: conservative, charismatic, folksy, yes, the "I can have a beer with him" type of personality.

He'll win the south, probably steals Pennsylvania and a couple of other "purple" states such as Michigan and Ohio.

I hope the Democrats know what they're doing if they nominate Hillary in 2008. If that happens, be careful what you wish for.

by Nedsdag 2007-03-27 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere
they don't know what thier doing. The problem with big money dems who support Hillary is is that they don't understand or care that half the country can't stand her and it's not because of her stand on issues, only a bunch of insiders who have a financial interest in the Clintons vould be so stupid as to nominate the most unpopular and unlikable democrat as possable in the must win 2008 election, I wonder if Hillary supporters really care if we actually win the electtion in 08 or is it just good enough that we nominate the "best qualified person for the job"Another elitist northeastern unlikable, cold
nominee incredable that wer'e that dumb.
by nevadadem 2007-03-27 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I genuinely HATE it when posters are presumptious enough to call EVERYONE who does not agree with them stupid.   What a lame way of making your case.  

by georgep 2007-03-27 06:21PM | 0 recs
Is Jerome Reading From Drudge/Politico Script?

Read the latest Glenn Greenwald and decide for yourself.

by jc 2007-03-27 06:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Jerome Reading From Drudge/Politico Script?

Get lost you little tool. I totally agree with Glenn that

But whatever else is true, it is now inescapably clear that The Politico will be working hand-in-hand with Matt Drudge. That seems to be the very purpose of The Politico -- quoting a blogger with whom I exchanged email on this topic earlier this week: "to put the full stamp of legitimacy on the Drudgification of politics."

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-03-27 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Jerome Reading From Drudge/Politico Script?

Actually, I'm a pretty BIG tool, physically at least.  Next time you are in San Francisco, you and I can go sparring here, if you want.

Winner buys dinner!

Back to the serious point, you must see that your last four articles about Obama have been critical and negative.

This one, of course.
The one where you weirdly compare Obama to WW II Japan

Obama would rather play even than win.

Robert Gibbs, the drag on Obama.

Do you truly think any thinking netizen can't see the obvious string?  Come on, you have to take us as brighter than that.  Even if you just say you are being "an analyst", that doesn't jibe, otherwise, you would have mentioned something about the HUGE crowds Obama brought in, in Oakland.

Do I believe you, or do I believe my lying eyes?

Myself, the point I was making is, the risk of, even a liberal political consultant, buying into the "gossipy" frames, again, in order to advance an agenda.  Are you Politico or Drudge?

Of course not.

But you run the risk into buying into an overarching frame.  

And hey, if I don't tell you, someone else will.

Again, people can make up their own minds.  

Truly, if you decide to "ban" me, I will take up my case with Chris and Matt.  I've been around here for almost a year now.  I am giving my honest perception, and I've been right about other things here, like Lieberman. If they agree with you, fine.  

But I'm not shutting down my brain, and not seeing the obvious in front of me.

by jc 2007-03-27 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Jerome Reading From Drudge/Politico Script?

Okay, I could have made my point better, rather than going for the easy snark.  I admit that...

by jc 2007-03-27 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Jerome Reading From Drudge/Politico Script?

Myself, the point I was making is, the risk of, even a liberal political consultant, buying into the "gossipy" frames, again, in order to advance an agenda.

I never read the crap you cited. I was forming my own judgement from what I saw, and from the two progressive bloggers in Nevada and from the LA Times article by Brownstein. You think that they all too have bought into the frame?

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-03-27 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Jerome Reading From Drudge/Politico Script?

Ckeck out what Greg Sargent is saying over at TPM.  And Glenn Greenwald at Salon.  And the comments in the Klein blog at Time.

It seems to me that you may have fallen for a rightwing RNC meme on Obama's substance/mistakes without even realizing it?

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/horsesm outh/2007/03/associated_pres_2.php

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2 007/03/27/politico/index.html

http://www.attytood.com/2007/03/rookie_m istakes_plague_the_pol_1.html

http://time-blog.com/swampland/2007/03/h oneymoon_over.html#comments

by aiko 2007-03-27 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Jerome Reading From Drudge/Politico Script?

Yeah, that must be it, because no one could possibly be unimpressed with Obama for their own reasons.

It's just bizarre to insult Jerome's intelligence by claiming he fell for a right-wing "meme" (god I hate that word). If anyone is guilty of that, it's Obama himself, who has repeatedly knocked down the "liberals hate religion" strawman.

by Nasarius 2007-03-27 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Is Jerome Reading From Drudge/Politico Script?


"because no one could possibly be unimpressed with Obama for their own reasons".  

Of course Jerome can be unimpressed for his own reasons - but two things -

a.  He should admit his bias, if he has any.  Just be HONEST about his biases. In this case, the last 4 articles were negative about Obama, he kept picking and choosing negative aspects of Obama to focus on - so it seems like something else is going on.  (Now, I should note, today, he finally has a positive Obama article)
b. Only a hope but, it would be great if Jerome's analysis was incisive, and not something repeated by "the punditry at large".  Because, really, the whole punditry at large grasped onto this same theme AND it became a Republican talking point.  Not good.

Jerome's 1st article, tracing the origin of one of his consultants was fresh.
And today's post is fresh.  

Not that "consultant common wisdon", that, I believe, even he hates so much.  (Although yes, sometimes common wisdom is true.)

by jc 2007-03-29 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Perhaps it has something to do with the way Obama seems compelled to scold those in his party, particularly those further to the left.

Or perhaps Obama is too drawn toward wanting to fit in and get along with everybody --- too much a follower --- to be a leader.

Or perhaps he is meant to be a centrist Kucinich, moralizing in his own little bubble without reference to reality.  (Okay, that one's probably too harsh on both Obama and Kucinich.)

by catherineD 2007-03-27 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

if this is the case with obama, the opposite is the case with richardson

by tpiddy 2007-03-27 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

We who support Senator Clinton are fully aware of the fact that there are those who firmly maintain that they would never vote for her.

Currently the major contenders for the Republican presidential field would seems to be former Mayor Giuliani, Senator McCain, and Senator Fred Thompson, according to the most recent poll.  Senator Thompson is there as the tried and true pathway for many a Republican coming to national prominence--an actor manifesting conservative images when there is no substance to his record.

But, come debating season, assuming any of the above three are the GOP standard-bearer, one can only imagine what Senator Clinton against any of them, alone among Democrats can do.

For example, she might pose this question of either Senator McCain or former Senator Thompson: "You believed that my husband committed 'High crimes and misdemeanors' and cast a vote to remove him from office.  And you did so although most Americans at the time disagreed with you.  Now, how do you feel about the current president, of whom several in both parties have called for his Impeachment?"

Imagine either Senator McCain or former Senator Thompson explaining themselves!

And Senator Clinton alone could pose the following question to former Mayor Giuliani, or Senator McCain or former Senator Thompson:

"When my husband left office, our nation was at a surplus state, and our world alliances were firmly intact.  Why would Americans opt for your would-be leadership, when you have adopted and long praised the policies of this administration, which has been so clearly a disaster for the United States and thus for the world?"

"After all, former Senator Thompson (or Senator McCain) you thought to impeach my husband, against popular opinion.  Haven't we had enough of an administration that goes against popular opinion?"

And, possibly addressing former Mayor Giuliani:
"You have been on record, Mayor, as believing the current President to be among the best American presidents ever.  On that, you certainly disagree with myself, Donald Trump, and indeed most of the American people.  Would you like to explain yourself?"

The above demonstrates the ways in which Senator Clinton alone among Democrats can frame the debate.

Currently the passionate anti-Clintonites come to the fore in possible match-ups for the general election.  But Senator Clinton's negatives were seemingly sealed in mindsets long ago.

Yet when she poses any of the above questions, she alone makes clear to much of America what a profound difference exists between the Clinton and the current Bush administrations.

I would expect to find many many of those then opting for a Giuliani, McCain, or Thompson candidacies to seriously consider anew.

Nothing trumps peace and prosperity.  And many an American has memories of that former time.  Former Vice-president Walter Mondale could not provide Americans with any reason to want to return to the days of President Carter.  He was in effect a loser before he began his quest for the presidency.

Whereas Senator Clinton can provide a myriad of reasons why life in the Clinton years, overall, was a much better period for the nation and the world as a whole.

She will punctuate that fact, as no one else currently can.  And the faded, utterly false imagery of 9/11 which holds up former Mayor Giuliani will be no more.  The ridiculous "L.A. Law" imagery of former Senator Thompson will be no more.  And the "straight-talking express" of Senator McCain will come to a dead halt.

You who believe Senator Clinton's negatives are intractable will be in for a stunning surprise.

There is a reason why she handily bests any GOP candidate--including former Mayor Giuliani--in her home state, which is, in fact, a microcosm for the world itself.

New Yorkers have learned just how tough an opponent she can be, and just how effective she can be in bringing disparate political forces together.

Just watch her stuff, and look out.  It is Senator Clinton who will out-maneuver anything Misters Giuliani, McCain, or Thompson can possibly throw her way.

She's already been defined by her opponents.  She intends on having enough money to define her rivals in terms their records richly deserve.  Many Americans may never like her, but they'll be avoiding her rivals like Piranha when she's done with them.

She has survived every form of investigation and her husband's Impeachment.  And she has been long villified in the press as no other conceivable candidate.  Lord, she has survived many years under the gaze of Ken Starr and company!  She is the ultimate survivor. Whatever are to be the actions of her rival forces are just so much kidd stuff to her now.

She meant what she said at the outset--that she means to win it.  Aside from her husband, who will be at her side in any event, the Democrats have not had a more ferocious candidate in the past half-century.

Remember the cardinal axiom of American politics: the most ferocious, the hungriest to win of candidates, inevitably prevails.  Today, that means having a formidable campaign chest, strong and powerful alliances among the rank and file, and the seasoning of a true political pro.  And she has all of this in spades.

by lambros 2007-03-27 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I thought Thompson voted against one of the articles of impeachment so your argument is moot.

You have to remember, this is Hillary running against the Republicans not Bill.

If she keeps bringing up what happened in the previous decade, a shrewd candidate like Thompson will say that was then this is now. What's past is past.

You contend she's running to avenge the things done to her husband albeit by his own hand. Thompson wasn't around for Katrina nor the attorney firings so she can't use that against him.

I don't think McCain nor Giuliani will be the GOP nominee. They don't have the religious right in their pocket.

As for the "L.A. Law imagery," this is America. As much as we in the netroots go after those who don't read or investigate, Thompson's image as a "tough guy" a la John Wayne resonates to the lower levels of those who vote. I don't agree with this but unfortunately that's what got Reagan and Bush 43 elected.

You simply cannot say Hillary will be able to win the grass roots over. It just doesn't work that way. You also say Mondale couldn't offer anything for people to vote for him, what does Hillary have to offer? A failed health care plan? An IWR vote? What? I'm still waiting to hear.

Again, I haven't decided on a candidate but I truly do not think that Hillary will carry a lot of the Gore/Kerry blue states. There are plenty of "purple" states that can go either way. If a candidate such as Fred Thompson is able to get the nomination in spite of his negatives, Hillary is in big, big trouble.

by Nedsdag 2007-03-27 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Interesting: all those who are giving their free advice to Obama are supporting someone else. Fortunately we Obama supporters aren't buying it even if it is free.

by pservelle 2007-03-27 09:36AM | 0 recs
Are Greenwald and Sargeant...

...starstruck teenagers about Obama?

I doubt it...

Greenwald on Beltway Hacks:

"Obama's vocal opposition to the rotted cynicism that plagues our political discourse and drives our dysfunctional Beltway system is substantive. It is arguably the most important issue we face. Yet the jaded Beltway media, precisely because it is drowning in the very cynicism that Obama is criticizing, will never see that issue as anything other than empty cosmetics."

Sargeant on Pickler suggesting Obama "lacks substance":

"But wait -- no policy speeches since the campaign started? What about this speech on March 21? What about this one on March 2? Those are both foreign policy speeches -- or doesn't that count?

Here's a speech calling for universal health care on January 25. Obama announced his exploratory committee on January 16. Perhaps the AP is suggesting that the campaign didn't "start" until his official announcement on Feb. 10. If so, laying down this marker is artificial and silly, and indeed is quite transparently designed to elicit the conclusion it did. Amusingly enough, the AP does mention Obama's health care and Iraq positions way down in the story -- without noting that Obama has indeed spoken about them at some length during the campaign. If you want to say these speeches are too short on specifics, go ahead, but that doesn't mean they're not policy speeches -- just thin ones.

Would it behoove Obama to go into more detail about his plans and policy prescriptions, and would it behoove him to do better on health care than he did over the weekend? Sure it would -- and his lack of experience is undoubtedly a valid topic. But taking things to the point where you're suggesting that the guy may have "little substance" on the strength of this stuff alone seems pretty damn thin. It's deeply superficial and stinks of the worst sort of slavishness to predetermined narratives -- today's being that Obama is a closet lightweight. Your Hack Pack at work, ladies and gentlemen.

One other point: The piece didn't mention that Obama has written several books. If you're going to question whether a guy has substance, that seems like it might have deserved a mention." I wish others could agree that the "Obama lacks substance and policy positions" propaganda is really rather empty. And dare I say it again... Prototypical right-wing/media hack spin.

by Vermonter 2007-03-27 10:16AM | 0 recs
Speaking for myself

The reason I don't consider talking about how cynicism in politics is bad to be substantive is that I can't figure out how to answer the question "so what the hell are you going to do about it?", with anything other than "I'm going to talk about how cynicism in politics is bad".

by McSnatherson 2007-03-27 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

The argument against Fred Thompson is not moot; it is most relevant.  He wanted President Bill Clinton out of office, and you are dead wrong that this will not resonate with voters, who will have had the nightmare of eight years of GWB, easily the worst president in United States history, to consider.  And the contrast to the former adiministration's very real successes can not be in greater contrast.

Senator Clinton offers far too much for you so steeped in the hatred of all things Clinton to understand.  President Bill and now Senator Clinton were ever and always a political tandem.  

One cannot thus measure the success of one without the other.  And the Clinton years were truly Halcyon ones for most of today's electorate whose memories go back that far--and that is indeed most of today's electorate.

Bill Clinton alone understood the way to the White House after years of Democratic candidates in the political wilderness.  Today, the distaff side of that Clinton team understands it as no one else.

Misters Thompson, Giuliani and McCain will be lightweights against her, if she is the nominee, when the time comes.  And that you shall surely realize.

by lambros 2007-03-27 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

As I said to another Clinton supporter who refuses to see her weaknesses, has the sand clogged your ears and your judgement so badly due to your head being buried in it?

Fred Thompson voted against one of the articles of impeachment. I'm sure of it.

Second of all, I do not hate Hillary Clinton. I don't hate anyone; however, I don't think she has a vision of where she wants to lead this country. You bring up the Clinton years but forget that was the 1990s. You have to move into the future. Apparently the Clintons believe if they are back in the White House, all problems will magically disappear. It doesn't work out that way.

When Clinton became President he had both sides of Congress under Democratic rule, many state legislatures and Governors were Democrats. When he left office, the exact opposite occured. The Democrats were practically bankrupt and even his own Vice President refused to use him in the 2000 campaign.

Sadly, for Hillary, she's trying to campaign like her husband; however, there are better candidates on both sides. She just doesn't heed the passion the other Democrats have and it will cost her in the end.

Again, I do not hate Bill Clinton but his words will be used against him. He's now the past, it's time for someone else to lead this country into the future and that person is not his wife.

Remember his "bridge to the 21st Century." Well, that bridge has been built and it's time to build new roads to continue on.

by Nedsdag 2007-03-27 10:48AM | 0 recs
It was the same in Virginia

Obama came to the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner, a fundraiser held by the VADP every year. He drew the largest crowd we've ever had -- 4,000 people paid $165 to come and see him speak -- full of the most partisan Democrats in the state, and he gave the same non-partisan speech, completely lacking specifics of what he wanted to do with the country.

by msnook 2007-03-27 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Dear Nedsdag, it does not matter that former Senator Thompson voted against one article of impeachment, his other vote would have sought to remove President Clinton from office, decidedly against the popular will, in any event.

Cease with this silliness.  If there is more than one count to remove a President from office, and one votes in the affirmative on any one of them, the intended result is the same.  

Yes, weird actor turned GOP hack Fred Thompson would have removed President Clinton from office, and he has been an apologist for all things George Walker Bush ever since.

If you do not believe that having the former First Lady of the United States, the wife of the only twice popularly elected President in United States history to face impeachment, up against the likes of two senators who would have removed her husband from power, is not supremely powerful, you are too long living in the nether world of intransigent bloggers.

I vividly recollect every day of that strange trial that the rest of the world mocked as indicating all that was wrong with America, and Senators Thompson and McCain, neither one of them a maverick, looked like idiots to all rational people the world over.

It is time for royal payback.  This current president's both abrogation and negation of laws commands no less than his impeachment.  His adverse actions are precisely why the framers of the Constitution created the impeachment clause.

The Clintons were subjected to years of utter hell, in the spotlight of the maniacal Ken Starr chamber.  And still they managed to conduct themselves brilliantly.

And when the Clinton years were over, America was the better for them.  Today, America itself is in both fiscal and international hell.

You most certainly do harbor an anti-Clinton mindset.  Do not attempt to redfine yourself.  I suggest you attempt to redfine Senator Obama, a brilliant and talented man, but who is not yet ready for prime time.  

But he will need far more soaring rhetoric and anti-Clinton forces to surpass the Clintons in this fiercest of political games.

When one has endured decades of character assasination, even impeachment and unending Starr chamber trials from political heavyweights, as have the Clintons, what the lightweights have in store for you is kid's stuff in comparison.

I dearly admire Senator Obama for his many fine qualities.  But sorry to be the sweetly smiling face of truth: one truly does need more than two years in the Senate before one can seriously consider a run for the United States presidency.

by lambros 2007-03-27 04:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

I hope you're not right.  I was moved more by Obama's winter meeting speech than Clinton's or Edward's.  He was the only one to me who seemed authentic.  I haven't listened to the speeches from the other two events discussed above, but will be interested to see if I have the same impression.  

Call me naive, but I'll risk having a "lightweight" rather than someone who doesn't to me seem authentic.

I don't think the GWB comparison is worrisome, as his "authentic" appeal was the "average joe" appeal.  Obama's is the appeal of someone who is thoughtful, intelligent, and not yet totally a slave to the machine.  That appeal is the only thing that has a chance to inspire me, and no other frontrunner has it.

Maybe having someone he trusts actually write a few speeches wouldn't be a bad idea though, and I'm not at all sure of the wisdom of quitting smoking while campaigning!


by GaryK 2007-03-27 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

"Royal payback?" Oh, so THAT'S what it's all about, eh? Another "royal" family at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Last I checked, the United States was not a monachy but apparently you want one or perhaps you'd like an oligarchy.

This is spitting on the graves of our founding fathers with this infatuation of having two families run this country.

As for "not being ready for prime time," Hillary's "sermon" in Selma was quite painful to watch. She's not her husband and she'll never will be.

You still haven't answered my question: What does she have to offer this country? I'm still waiting to hear. Revenge is not a campaign theme. "I'm in it to win it" is not a campaign theme. I've heard wrestlers in the WWE sound more convincing.

As for Obama "not being ready for primetime," when is the time? 2016? Please! We know what "seasoning" has done for Presidential candidates who are/were Senators. John Kerry could write a book on it. Besides, knowing you lambros, you'd probably endorse Elliot Spitzer over Obama anyway.

by Nedsdag 2007-03-27 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Obamania not so happening everywhere

Poor Netsdag, you are lost in your own anti-Clinton vitriol.

Senator Clinton offers much to this country, as did her husband before her.  They have ever and always functioned as a political tandem.  For you to pretend not to know that indicates that you are indeed in the nether-world of too many ceaselessly patronizing netrooters.

President Clinton had a successful presidency, in spite of the vitriol from anti-Clinton forces of which you are most prominently one.

Senator Clinton has been an advocate for all manner of progressive issues, long before Senator Obama had a political consciousness.

She long ago outlined what she would bring to the presidency.   She cannot prove that she would implement those policies until she assumes the presidency.  But on that, her rhetoric is far more compelling than is Senator Obama's.

She is the ineluctable distaff side of her husband's rise to power, and he has a proven record of progress on many issues, easily verified.

Senator Obama is brilliant, and possesses fine oratorical skills.  But for millions of us, he is not yet ready to assume the presidency.

You cannot escape that fact, and arguing against Senator Clinton, in all your sundry ways, does not change that fact.

by lambros 2007-03-28 12:45AM | 0 recs


Advertise Blogads