How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

This post is for people planning to volunteer for Barack Obama's presidential campaign this summer and fall. My goal is to help you be more effective in communicating with voters like me, who don't care for Obama.

I know that the Obama campaign has scripts and training sessions for its volunteers, and those worked well in the primaries.

Now you have to reach out to Democrats who weren't buying what Obama was selling in the primaries. It seems to me that many Obama supporters respond in a counter-productive way when they encounter people who are not sold on the candidate.

In this diary, I will offer two basic principles to guide your conversations with non-supporters.

Then I will cover types of comments you may hear from resistant Democrats when you are doing GOTV for Obama. Those are all based on things I have heard people say (not comments I have read on blogs).

I will give examples of what I consider ineffective and constructive responses to those comments.

Follow me after the jump if you care to hear more.

I am not an expert in political communication. However, as a precinct captain for John Kerry in 2003/2004 and for John Edwards in 2007/2008, I talked with hundreds of Democrats in my precinct and around the Des Moines area.

Because of certain features of the Iowa caucus system, it was important for me to remain on good terms with non-supporters, who might be able to help me win my precinct. So I feel my perspective may be useful for Obama volunteers.

Before I get into specific dialogs you may have with non-supporters, I encourage you to embrace two "big picture" principles related to GOTV for the general election.

First: Try to "respect, empower and include" the Democrats who will not be excited about Obama.

To do this, it helps to be a good listener and have some empathy for their point of view, even if you strongly dislike the candidate they preferred. The candidate they supported lost, and now they have to come to terms with that and vote for the man who derailed their dream. Don't rub it in their faces.

Second: Remember that voter contacts are not about winning an argument. They are about finding ways to get on the same side as the person you are talking to.

If you talk to someone who seems to have a totally irrational dislike for Obama, take a deep breath and remember that your guy won the nomination.

Repeat after me: your guy won the nomination.

You do not need to prove this person wrong. You have nothing to gain from attacking this person's first choice. Obama needs this person's support in the general election, and you are Obama's ambassador.

So resist the temptation to say that Hillary ran a disgraceful, dishonest, race-baiting campaign, or that Edwards is a phony loser.

You will find these conversations easier if you can change the subject from something you disagree about (e.g. Obama's qualifications or skills) to something you agree on (e.g. how frightening it would be to have more conservatives on the Supreme Court).

As I mentioned above, some Obama supporters tend to respond to critics in a counter-productive way. Here are a couple of real-life examples.

A few months ago I ago I had some e-mail correspondence with an Obama fan who was perplexed by my dislike of his candidate. I sent him a message listing a bunch of things that bug me about Obama and his campaign strategy. Here is part of the reply I got in return:

I actually feel bad for you, I really do, and I do NOT mean to be even the least bit demeaning, or snooty (no matter how it may sound -- I really don't ).

Because I think you are missing out on a unique time in US political history.  Seriously.  Obama is a candidate who, no, is hardly perfect, but has (1) inspired millions of young people, minorities, Indies, etc. to be involved in the political process, when they were not before; (2) been an incredibly inspirational figure and has generated excitement and hope among millions more; and (3) is our best chance in decades -- yes, literally decades -- to win, and to possibly even win big, and form a working majority for progressive change so issues like health care, energy dependence, ethics reform, etc., etc. will finally be addressed.  For those reasons, he's very special, a once-in-a-generation candidate.  It's too bad you are missing out, and not seeing what so many, many, many others are seeing.

Saying you feel sorry for someone because she (unlike millions of more insightful people) cannot recognize Obama's fantabulous awesomeness is not a good outreach strategy.

I spent a week in the hospital in February, and a close family friend who is a doctor called regularly to check on my progress. It drives this guy crazy that I do not like Obama, even though I've assured him that I would vote for Obama in the general. Every time he called me when I was in the hospital, he ended up changing the subject to Obama. Didn't I understand that Obama is the most gifted politician of our lifetimes? One day he even called back later to apologize.

Once people tell you they will vote for Obama, stop trying to convert them into true believers. Just thank them for their support and let them know how important every vote will be this fall.

Also, be aware that bashing the other candidates is a big turn-off even for some people who voted for Obama and prefer him to Clinton.

Now, I've tried to come up with comments you may hear from voters who don't like Obama, along with some ways you can get on the same side as these voters.

"He's so inexperienced"; "He doesn't seem very qualified"; "I wanted to see a woman president"; "Couldn't he have waited another few years? He's barely done anything in the Senate yet."

Get ready to hear this from older voters, especially women over 50 who backed Hillary. If they have worked outside the home, they have seen this movie before: the younger, charismatic man gets the job (or the promotion, or the account), while the older, more qualified woman gets passed over.

These people are just as disappointed by the way things turned out as you would be if the superdelegates had handed the nomination to Clinton after Obama earned it. They liked Bill, they like Hillary, and they thought she would do a great job. They are frustrated that millions of voters picked the hot shot over the smart, hard-working woman. In their minds, Hillary deserved the nomination, but voters picked someone less prepared for the job.

To add insult to injury, many of them now believe that they will not live to see a woman president.

Ineffective responses to these voters: telling them that Hillary isn't more qualified than Obama, that it would be disastrous to have the Clintons back in the White House, that Hillary's sense of entitlement is offensive, or that Hillary deserved to lose after running a sleazy, racist, deceitful campaign.

More inclusive and respectful responses:

I understand where you're coming from--I know I would have been really disappointed if my candidate had lost the primaries. I hope we can count on your vote, because we can't afford to have any more Republican judges on the Supreme Court.

You know, I've been on board with Obama for a long time, but my [mother/neighbor/cousin/colleague] was a huge Hillary supporter. I have a lot of respect for some things she has done in the Senate, and I think she has great work ahead of her after we beat the Republicans this fall.

The first example changes the subject from whether Obama deserved to beat Hillary to something you and this voter can agree on: it would be disastrous to let John McCain appoint Supreme Court judges.

The second example validates this voter's feelings about Hillary and reminds her that Hillary's work is not done, even though her presidential aspirations will never be fulfilled.

If you can't truthfully say that you respect anything Hillary has done in the Senate, I recommend that you read markw's diary on "Four Reasons I Support Hillary." A friend of mine who was once a confirmed Hillary-hater changed her views after she learned about Hillary's work on behalf of children with autism and other special needs.

If you are a woman, you might borrow some ideas from this excellent diary by noweasels. I have reworked the last couple of paragraphs of her diary:

Although Clinton wasn't my first choice, I hope she knows that a lot of women in my generation were glad to see her run. It made me feel empowered to see that a woman had a real chance of winning the presidency.

That approach validates this voter's feelings and reminds her that Clinton achieved something by running, even though she didn't win.

I guarantee it will get you further than saying you're sick and tired of feminists telling women they should have voted for Hillary.

"I'm worried he's just too green for the job"; "I wanted someone who wouldn't need on-the-job training"; "I don't need a rock star for a president."

People who preferred one of the second-tier candidates may feel that Obama didn't deserve to win the nomination. They are frustrated that the media shut out their candidate and reduced the campaign to a two-person celebrity competition. These are the Democrats who laughed when I used to joke that those "HOPE" yard signs with the sunrise "O" logo should have said "HYPE."

Ineffective response to this kind of voter: saying that Obama is a "once-in-a-lifetime candidate," who was simply more compelling, exciting, or inspirational than Joe Biden or Chris Dodd or Bill Richardson.

Instead, I recommend acknowledging that many people share their doubts:

Well, I like Obama a lot. I know a lot of Democrats [don't think he's ready/wanted someone else], but I think if we get him elected, he's going to surprise a lot of people.

I have a lot of respect for [Biden/Richardson] and would love to see Obama pick him for VP or Secretary of State.

Chris Dodd would be a great Senate majority leader.

Yeah, I know a lot of people feel he ran too soon. He's got a lot of experienced people around him, though. I think he is smart enough to know where to look for the expertise he doesn't have.

These comments show empathy and remind voters that their preferred candidate still has a political future under a President Obama.

Another response that might help you connect with this kind of Democrat:

Obama was my first choice, but I think we had a really strong field. [Or: Obama wasn't my first choice either--we had a really strong field.] I saw some of the debates, and I always felt like everyone on the stage could do a decent job as president, especially compared to the losers on the Republican side.

Now you have changed the subject from whether Obama was the best candidate to something you agree on (the Republican alternatives were horrible).

"What has he ever done besides talk?"; "He's really good at saying nothing and getting people all charged up about it"; "I know he can deliver a speech, but what's he actually going to do if he gets in there?"

This may mystify you, but some people who hear Obama speak walk away unimpressed. That would include my friend who was undecided between Obama and Edwards until Tom Harkin's steak fry in September, which convinced her that Obama had no idea what needs to be done. Or my friend whose reaction to Obama's "Yes we can" speech (the night of the New Hampshire primary) was, "He said absolutely nothing."

When I was in the hospital, I had CNN on a lot, which led to some political conversations with the nursing staff. One nurse's aide said she'd like to know when Obama is ever going to do something besides give speeches.

Ineffective response: remind this person that millions of Americans find Obama's speeches very inspiring, so inspiring that they have gotten involved in politics for the first time in their lives.

That will work about as well as telling people they should go out and buy every record that tops the charts, or that the Oscar for best picture should go to the movie with the biggest box office. They know Obama has this effect on people, but they listen to him and they just don't get it.

I couldn't agree more with a point kid oakland made in a diary a few months ago:

In my view that is a crucial question that every candidate for elected office must be able to answer in clear, simple declarative sentences: what will the voters get when they vote for you?

My honest assessment is that Senator Obama has gone as far as he can with the imagery and demographics associated with his campaign: youthful voters lined up around the block to demand change and express hope.

It's time to add another approach. Barack Obama needs to practice retail politics. He needs to understand that some of his weakest demographics are those where a message of change will not resonate, will not win votes.

During the last month or so, Obama has been talking a little more about policies in his speeches. Still, his volunteers need to be able to tell skeptical voters what "change we can believe in" means. Be prepared to hand out some position papers or at least talk about some specific policies he would enact:

The media tend to be pretty superficial, but he has done a lot you probably haven't heard about. Did you know that he has worked on laws to protect children from lead poisoning?

One thing that impressed me was his [energy/education/tax reform] plan. (Then talk about why you support Obama's specific plans in that area.)

I also thought that newyorknewyork had a great suggestion in a recent diary about phonebanking for Obama:

You can use this with ANY issue that comes up:

Let's face it, Obama and Clinton's policies are 95% identical.  So `who has the best policy' is not really that important.  It's who is most likely to be able to IMPLEMENT that policy that really matters.

Then you can explain why you think Obama's approach will help him implement the policies that are pretty much the same as what Hillary was offering.

"Oh yeah, let's all be friends and play nice with the Republicans--that is really going to work"; "He is going to get eaten alive."

Obama's post-partisan rhetoric drives some Democrats crazy. They think that if he's sincere, he must be incredibly naive to imagine that he can get everyone to coalesce around some kind of common-sense, unity agenda. These are the Democrats who laughed when Hillary mocked Obama's rhetoric during a rally in Rhode Island. They thought she was using humor to make a valid point.

Many of these people are offended that Obama implies both parties are equally to blame for our political problems. What rock was he living under during the 1990s, when the Republicans played dirty, never sought compromise in good faith and even abused the impeachment process?

Some of Obama's rhetoric suggests that he thinks reaching out to Republicans is more important than fighting to enact Democratic priorities. That makes some Democrats wary, and it didn't help that Obama has avoided the spolight during some of the key Senate battles of the past year (such as over Iraq supplemental funding bills and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act).

Ineffective response: Tell these people that both parties are to blame, no party has a monopoly on good ideas, and/or we're in a political rut because too many people are cynical.

If you look too young to have been politically active during the 1990s, I would particularly caution against suggesting that hyper-partisan Democrats are just as bad as hyper-partisan Republicans.

You would do better to remind these voters that Obama has been a team player for our side:

Yeah, I've heard some people call him Republican-lite, but I just don't see it. He worked his butt off campaigning for Democrats all over the country two years ago. (If Obama campaigned for any Democrats in your state or region in 2006, be sure to bring that up.)

I get what you're saying. One thing I do know is that if the Democrats can get some good stuff through Congress, Obama isn't going to veto it like McSame-as-Bush would.

Well, even if Obama isn't as liberal as I would like sometimes, I know he would appoint good judges, which is more than I can say for McCain.

It never hurts to remind fire-breathing Democrats that the Supreme Court hangs in the balance right now.

"Screw him. He talks about hope and then turns around and calls the Clintons racists."

As angry as you may be about Hillary's campaign tactics, many of her supporters are just as angry at Obama. The way they see it, the Obama campaign set out to brand the Clintons as racists in order to get a political edge among blacks and white liberals. Meanwhile, the media gave Obama a pass on his supporters' comments that denigrated Hillary, sometimes in sexist terms.

Ineffective response: Taking the bait and telling this person why the racial polarization is all the Clintons' fault, or nitpicking to say that Obama himself never directly called Hillary a racist.

Don't waste time arguing with these people. They've been watching the same campaign that you have. You will never convince them that Hillary is "deeply, grievously, morally wrong." I would try something like this:

It's too bad that our primaries got bogged down in [identity politics/finger-pointing about racism]. I liked it better when they were [hashing out the issues/fighting about their health care plans]. I know it was divisive, but I think Democrats will be able to come together now. At least I hope so, because I don't want another four years of McSame-as-Bush.

Now you have put yourself on the same side as this voter: you regret the racial polarization that accompanied our primaries.

You may wonder why you should validate the concerns of people who weren't offended by Hillary's campaign. Please remember that Obama can't win the general without the overwhelming majority of Clinton supporters voting for him. It doesn't help your candidate to ascribe the worst possible motives to people who backed Hillary in the primaries. Don't take my word for it: kid oakland has also made the case for respecting the reasons some people preferred Hillary.

On a related note, if you talk to someone in the LGBT community who is still mad about the Donnie McClurkin debacle, do not try to convince this person that Obama was just pragmatically recognizing the widespread homophobia in the black community. Also, I wouldn't bother showing them Obama's open letter to LGBT voters, which he released after winning 10 primaries in a row.

The voter you're talking to probably believes that Obama threw gays under the bus when he stood to gain politically, then paid lip service to their concerns once he felt confident he was winning the nomination. I suggest showing empathy for this person's anger:

Truth be told, I wish he'd never scheduled that event. It wasn't in character for him--he's got a strong record on equality issues. I hope you'll vote for him anyway, because all of our civil rights are going to be flushed down the toilet if McCain puts more right-wing judges on the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is your trump card. Don't be afraid to play it.

"He is going to get killed in the general"; "Sorry, America is not ready to elect a black president"; "Yet again the Democrats were too stupid to nominate someone who could actually win the election."

The dustup over Reverend Wright's comments and the results of the Ohio and Pennsylvania primaries reinforced many Democrats' belief that Obama is a weak candidate for the general election.

Ineffective responses: Accusing this voter of tolerating racism or making excuses for racists. Also, I wouldn't start an argument by telling this voter his or her preferred candidate would have done even worse. (Find me one Deaniac who will admit that Kerry won more states than Dean would have.) Bringing up Clinton scandals or the Edwards $400 haircut is not going to inspire this person to help Obama.

Remember: your guy won the nomination. Be gracious toward supporters of other Democrats.

Try something like this instead:

Well, Bill Clinton was behind in the polls in the summer of 1992. I think Obama will make up ground when people get to know him better, but no one's going to hand it to him. I'm out here [or: I'm calling you today] because we need all hands on deck. Can we count on your vote at least?

Democrats have been so energized this year, with huge turnouts all over the place. I think we will be able to bring this one home. I hope you'll be able to help us too.

I saw a poll where more people said they wouldn't vote for someone over 70 than said they wouldn't vote for a black man. Have you seen McCain lately? He looks really old, and he sounds old too.

I think we can get enough people to vote for Barack. Look how well he's done in a lot of states that never elected a black man to anything before. Even I was surprised.

Note: When I was a precinct captain for Edwards, it was extremely alienating to hear a few Obama supporters accuse me of favoring Edwards because he was a white male. (I am not talking about bloggers, I am talking about Obama supporters I talked to in the "real world.") Do not make the same mistake if you are talking with former Edwards supporters. Some of them might be willing to volunteer for Obama themselves, but not if you make them feel like they will be looked upon as racists.

"He is going to sell out progressives"; "He's just another corporate Democrat"; "What has he actually done to end the war?"

People who backed Edwards or one of the second-tier candidates are most likely to express this kind of sentiment about Obama.

Ineffective responses: Arguing that Obama is much more progressive than the candidate they preferred, bashing Edwards or Dodd for voting for the authorization of the use of military force in Iraq. You gain nothing from fighting this battle.

You might try giving some examples of progressive causes Obama has supported, or of beloved liberals who have endorsed Obama, but I think one of these approaches would make more headway:

I hear what you're saying. I hope we can count on your vote at least. I think Obama is going to do better than you expect, I really do, but the main thing is to keep John McCain out of the White House. This guy has voted for every Bush judge and is terrible on [choice/the environment/labor issues/whatever].

Well, I believe he is sincerely committed to ending this war. I know what you mean--maybe he could have done more in the Senate. It's hard when Bush is sitting right there with his veto pen. I guess the bottom line for me is I've got young [kids/nephews/grandkids/students], and I would hate to think that we'll still be in Iraq when they grow up because we elected a guy who wants to keep us there for 100 years.

This diary is getting quite long, so I'll end with one last piece of advice.

If you are so angry at the Clintons that you cannot have a respectful conversation with Hillary supporters, then I encourage you to volunteer for the Obama campaign in some capacity that does not involve direct voter contact. Not every volunteer has to do phone-banking or canvassing.

I'm talking about those who harbor "a hatred towards [Hillary] that is difficult to imagine let alone describe."

Bring some home-made meals to your local Obama headquarters. Offer to do data entry, stuff envelopes or sort literature for the door-knockers. If you have a spare bedroom, offer to house an Obama volunteer or field organizer. They will appreciate your efforts, and you can feel morally superior that you did not "debase" yourself by asking a Clinton supporter to vote for our nominee.

As for the majority of you Obama fans, please do your part to help our nominee mend fences with Democrats who don't like him.

Tags: 2008 elections, Barack Obama, GOTV, president, volunteering (all tags)



Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

If the Supreme court argument is the only one that Obama really has then his is a very weak candidacy. I've talked to a lot of people who feel that Obama is an unelectable candidate and that if the DNC was so darn concerned about Roe V. Wade then they should have nominated someone who isn't as big of an electoral risk.

by Ga6thDem 2008-06-08 11:25AM | 0 recs
in my opinion, it's not the only argument

in Obama's favor, but it's the one with the best chance of working with the Democrats who are most resistant to voting for him.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: in my opinion, it's not the only argument

No one should feel they are being blackmailed by one issue, which is why I think we should expound on the supreme court, go beyond the RvW issue to other things the court may decide in the future.

by patooker 2008-06-08 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: in my opinion, it's not the only argument

I've seen the "blackmail" sentiment before, and I don't really get it.

A presidential election is supposed to be ABOUT the issues, isn't it? That's why we support Democrats. So how is it "blackmail" to point out where the candidates differ on important issues?

by ZombieRoboNinja 2008-06-08 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: in my opinion, it's not the only argument

My wife is the best example, any time she feels like someone thinks her most valuable asset as a woman is her uterus she gets angry.

So by looking at a woman, of child bearing age or not, and saying, "You have to vote for Barack because otherwise the court will be lost for a generation." can feel like you are saying "The  most important thing about you as a woman is your ability to make babies, not your mind, ideals, etc so you have to vote for the guy I'm telling you to vote for." It is the use of the word 'have', and the fact that feminism is about being valued for having more than a pair of X chromosomes.

by patooker 2008-06-08 12:48PM | 0 recs
I would disagree - it's a turnoff

and everything about him reeks of coersion and eliminating our choices so we have only one choice - to vote for him.

1) You have no choice, Roe v. Wade will be overturned.

  1. He booted his first Illinois oppoenent off the ballot so the voters had no choice.
  2. You are kicked off dailykos if you don't like Obama. Your comments in favor of Hillary are deleted from Huffington Post. A pro-Hillary writer is fired from Talking Points Memo.
  3. Democrats MUST have unity, if you don't vote Obama you can't be a Democrat. You have no choice, you must vote Obama.
  4. He doesn't answer reporter's questions.
  5. He reacts bitterly to an unfriendly debate at ABC by allowing his campaign to lash out at Charlie Gibson and George S. He "scratches his face" with his middle finger while talking about Hillary "being in her element" at that debate, he wipes her off the bottom of his shoes metaphorically in reference to "BITCH" rapper Jay Z.

There is only so much convincing his supporters can do. Waving a coat hanger in women's faces will repel them further from this man.

Oh - and him slapping Michelle's butt after they did the little fist-bump Tuesday night was a bad move. It's not just because of Hillary that women don't like him. Michelle is a big reason for this. And treating her like eye candy is another big reason for this.

by catfish2 2008-06-08 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: I would disagree - it's a turnoff

True.  Barack and Michelle should have no contact unless they're procreating.  Anything further is sexist and demeaning to women.

by Subroutine 2008-06-08 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: I would disagree - it's a turnoff

ok as far as #6 goes you have no idea what you are talking about

I can tell by your comments you never heard of jay-z or any of his songs but before you continue to make more of an "ASS" of yourself that brush off has NOTHING to do with calling her a "BITCH"
absolutely nothing with brushing her off the bottom of his shoe. Now if you want to stop ASSuming what the reference means  just listen to the song "dirt off your shoulder" by jay -z and stop making yourself look stupid

by wellinformed 2008-06-08 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: I would disagree - it's a turnoff

1. yes roe v. wade will be overturned if McCain is elected

  1. zzzzzzz
  2. Clinton supporters left DK, at the time it was called a BOYCOTT
  3. You have a choice, ignore Hillary pleas to vote for Obama.
  4. He answered "sweeties" questions and she said their encounter was not that big of a deal, but if you are looking for something to make out of nothing, then who can stop you.
6.LMAO! Rapper Jay Z incident has been proven false which must make you a  republican troll.

Oh, he didn't slap Michelle's ass--he tapped just above her ass. In my culture we call it the lower back. There wasn't even close to cheek contact. Oh Lord, I am going to stop typing now because you must be a troll

by susu1969 2008-06-08 04:50PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Go Away Troll.  Shoo Fly Shoo.  You aren't a Democrat, so don't worry about our party.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-08 11:41AM | 0 recs

The old "love it or leave it" line.

by susie 2008-06-08 08:54PM | 0 recs
It isn't.

"If the Supreme court argument is the only one that Obama really has then his is a very weak candidacy."

Jobs/the economy.
Gas prices/energy policy.
Iraq Disaster.
Foreign policy.
Health insurance.
GI bill.

How can anyone who supports the Democratic Party and its nominee not realize that there are many issues Obama has a lock on over McSenile?

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-08 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: It isn't.

Actually I wouldn't use the gas prices/energy issue since he voted for the Cheney energy bill and McCain didn't.

by Ga6thDem 2008-06-08 11:49AM | 0 recs
I'll take just one rejected point as vindication.

Since it still leaves McInsane with precious little to campaign on but his war wounds and Bush's record.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-08 11:56AM | 0 recs
Nothing to do with the Energy bill

Gas prices have nothing to do with the Energy bill.  The main issue is the slumping US dollar.  In order to fund this war and to keep the business cycle from going into its natural slowdown, Bush and his cronies on the Fed have watered down the value of the dollar.  

The last time I was in Europe, which was just after 9/11, the US dollar bought over 1.35 Euros, now the dollar is worth less than half of that.  It is going to be really ugly when a grown up takes over and has to start arguing for strong money policy.  

Remember that It was Jimmy Carter who nominated Paul Volker to the Fed.  He was the one who really saved the US economy in the 80s but people want to give the credit to Reagan.

The other part is China.  In order to meet the needs of Wal-Mart selling cheap crap, we have to send more oil to the Chinese factories.

by monkeyga 2008-06-08 12:09PM | 0 recs
After watching a hearing on that

On C-span, it appears that about a third of the price drive up is folks like those that were at Enron have gone into commodities and are manipulating the shadow financial sector to make money, just as they did before.

It's people gambling with investments, since there is no real estate bubble any more they have gone to the next unregulated thing to screw around with it.

Blame deregulation, as in Repubs, for all this. They made it so that energy is not regulated here in the US, according to the hearing I watched. It's regulated in the UK, Dubai, and other places now.

by splashy 2008-06-09 01:12AM | 0 recs
Re: It isn't.

I was very surprised to find that out. Only about 25 senators voted against the energy bill. McCain was one of them. McCain is even saying something along the lines that Obama voted for the "Bush-Cheney energy bill."

Strange bedfellows indeed.

by OrangeFur 2008-06-08 02:24PM | 0 recs
Health insurance is not a good one

Since his plan will fail and will give the Repubs ammunition to kill universal health care for another decade or more.

Now, if he would actually START with universality, including EVERYONE, then we may HAVE something. That would cut costs by almost half, and would take away the biggest argument the Repubs would have, that it costs too much.

by splashy 2008-06-09 01:07AM | 0 recs
If you think...

McBush has a better health insurance proposal than Obama, it can only be hoped you have insurance that covers mental treatment.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-09 08:23AM | 0 recs
The electability question

is very much in the eye of the beholder.  As of this moment Obama leads McCain by 8 in the Rassmussen poll, and Gallup suggests he will have a substantial lead on Monday.

But for these purposes the question is irrelevant.  Democrats disagreed on this issue.

As long as the discussion focuses on issue differences between Obama and McCain the differences are stark everywhere you look: Iraq, Iran, the economy, health care.

The truth is there wasn't much difference between Obama and Clinton on the issues.

The other truth is that the number of Democrats who are defecting from Obama at this point is small.  There will be some who won't come home, but no more than 10%.  

by fladem 2008-06-08 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: The electability question

"The other truth is that the number of Democrats who are defecting from Obama at this point is small."

I find it curious that there is so little speculation on how many Reeps will abandon the Bush/McCain ticket, either for Obama or for Barr.

It seems to me that it is MadMcCain who should be worrying about defections.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-08 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: The electability question

You should worry about Dems abandoning ship for Barr too. People thought that Andersons run in 1980 was sure to help carter get reelected because he was going to pull liberal Republicans away from Reagan. In the end, he hurt carter more. So relying on Barr is to help out Obama isn't good policy.

by Ga6thDem 2008-06-08 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: The electability question

Seeing that you are also in Georgia, I am sure you realize that, at least in the South, Barr is less a threat to Obama than he would have been to HRC.

I do admit that he is going to take away votes from Obama, but I know he would have taken a lot more votes away from her here in Metro Atlanta.   I know that he was the back up for a lot of people I know if Obama was not the nominee.  

Who knows how they really would have voted in November.

by monkeyga 2008-06-08 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The electability question

Are you kidding? Barr is probably more of a threat to Obama but McKinney would be more of a threat to Hillary. Do you really think that there's that many single issue anti war voters in GA? I think Hillary would have gotten some of the working class votes though that Obama won't.

You don't know that he would have taken votes away from Hillary in metro Atlanta. Heck I live in the exurban ring and there's only one person here I know voting for Obama. Hey, it's anecdotal I know but still.

by Ga6thDem 2008-06-08 01:06PM | 0 recs
even Poblano admits

that in the deep south, Obama will do significantly worse against McCain than Clinton would have.

You can argue that it doesn't matter, because neither Democrat could win those states' EVs. Who cares if we lose Georgia by 10 or by 25?

On the other hand, Obama's weakness in some states will cost down-ticket Democrats.

But Hillary would probably have hurt down-ticket Democrats in other states where Obama runs stronger than she does (e.g. Colorado).

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 01:15PM | 0 recs
No way

Clinton would be lucky to get 35% of the vote in the Deep South.  Look how poorly she did in all the Deep South states.  She wasn't even close in a single one.

McCain would not even have to campaign in the South if she had been the nominee.

Please remember that Tennessee and Arkansas are not the South, they are Appalachia.

But once again, you are doing what so many others have done, you are writing us off completely.  Obama is within 12 of McCain in Georgia.   There is a massive voter registration drive to get African Americans who have never voted to the polls this year.

With Barr running, Obama will be close enough that McCain will have to spend resources here that he would want to spend in Ohio.

Clinton would have also KILLED all down ticket dems in Deep South states.   It happened in 1994 and it would happen again.

See once again logic is not working.  You are talking about how Obama is the weaker candidate and going to cost us down ticket votes.   This is one of the main reasons that I voted for him because in this part of the country he is going to help significantly

by monkeyga 2008-06-08 01:50PM | 0 recs
The polling in the south

is surprising.

One of the tings I have been watching is the extent to which the Southern States on the Atlantic will trend differently than the other deep south states (I include GA in the deep south - which I know has a coastline...)

Obama runs better than Clinton in both SC and VA.  He runs worse in North Carolina than Clinton (which Obama won), though I am suspicious of the polling.  In any case there is evidence at this point that Democrats are doing dramatically better in these states in '08 versus '04.

The story in the South is a surprising one (see also the McCain margin in Mississippi, which is WAY down from '08) and rather inconsistent (Obama gets killed in GA, Tenn and KY).  

by fladem 2008-06-08 02:21PM | 0 recs
that is interesting

I am skeptical that any of those states will still be competitive after Labor Day, but who knows?

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 02:52PM | 0 recs
It's not that hard to figure out

Obama does well among wealthier and better educated suburban whites in the South. He also cleans up among African Americans. He does poorly among uneducated white Southerners.

NC, VA and GA have a lot of the well-educated Sunbelt whites who find Obama's message appealing. Tennessee has some (around here in Knoxville and south of Nashville), but overall Tennessee has fewer Sunbelt yuppies. Arkansas has even less. And forget Kentucky (except parts of Louisville and Lexington).

by elrod 2008-06-08 05:59PM | 0 recs
Before Nader in 2000

I would have worried.

Not now.  Democrats have heard the siren song of third parties before.

And they won't buy it this time.

by fladem 2008-06-08 09:24PM | 0 recs
In truth

McCain has consolidated the right better than I expected.

If you look at the surveyusa numbers in the individual states, the supposed opposition from people like Dobson has done little to hurt McCain.

Each party has consolidated faster than expected given their nominees.  

by fladem 2008-06-08 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

The ONE issue that should now be tossed out of the damn park is electability. That one is 100% pointless now, and even when it IS an issue, it's still pretty specious.

Screw electability. What, is somebody going to vote for someone else because they think Obama can't get votes? Is there anyone THAT in need of validation?

by vcalzone 2008-06-08 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

I think you are missing the point. The super d's had to decide the nomination. There were lots of questions as to whether Obama could win in Nov. but no one listened to those concerns. They felt like the primaries weren't about finding the best candidate for the general election but about having a "first" or "making history" therefore issues and winning seemed not to be a priority. If the primary voters are getting that message then the response is to the effect that issues and winning aren't that important at least to the super d's who had to decide the nomination. And if you aren't serious about winning then you really aren't serious about things like the supreme court.

by Ga6thDem 2008-06-08 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

I think my point is that it's a dumb idea to overturn elections based on opinion. It was a dumb idea to award those extra few delegates in Michigan to Obama, too, for the record. The process is flawed, but the mechanism for overturning the recorded votes of the people is the most flawed part of it.

I find your "electability" argument to be one that reeks of fascism.

by vcalzone 2008-06-08 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

I am completely serious about the Supreme Court. That is why I am voting for the candidate that will preserve balance.

by vcalzone 2008-06-08 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

The super d's even went public to ambinder about Obama's problems. they felt that he had electability issues but felt pressured to nominate him. Of course, if he loses in Nov, the joke is really going to be on them.

by Ga6thDem 2008-06-08 02:42PM | 0 recs
And if he wins, will you be quiet?

Obama isn't the one with the 56% disapproval rating, and anyway, you can't read superdelegates' minds.

by corph 2008-06-09 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Pedantic correction:  No delegates were given from Clinton to Obama in Michigan.  First there were no delegates at all for either candidate, then there was a meeting where the Mi-DP was given some half-delegates, which were apportioned based on exit polls from the primary day.  The 'delegates taken from Clinton OMG!!11!' meme is a divisive falsehood best put to rest.  My correction is also divisive, I guess, but what can ya do?  Must go heal now.

by Endymion 2008-06-08 07:03PM | 0 recs
I think while you write this

There were lots of questions as to whether Obama could win in Nov. but no one listened to those concerns. They felt like the primaries weren't about finding the best candidate for the general election but about having a "first" or "making history" therefore issues and winning seemed not to be a priority.

you mean this:
Clinton was electable, Obama is not.

But the truth is that the polling is ambiguous.  In fact a more than credible case can be made on polling that Obama was and is a better general election candidate.  

To argue that the Super-D's didn't consider the electability question is simply wrong.  They just didn't agree with your conclusion.

by fladem 2008-06-08 09:52PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

If the Supreme court argument is the only one that Obama really has then his is a very weak candidacy.

The idea that McCain is going to appoint justices who would overturn his signature piece of legislation, McCain-Feingold, is perplexing to me.  He was a member of the Gang of 14, remember?

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-06-08 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

McCain's already shown that he regards that law as a stunt and not a thing he should respect.

by Endymion 2008-06-08 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama
With a baseball bat?
by usedmeat 2008-06-08 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

It is my basic argument. Really that & anything has to hopefully be better then the past 8 years we have suffered (we need a break from the GOP!) is the only reason that I would go out there. If he has someone on the ticket as his VP who I think has the ability to steer the ship for him if needed (& the ability to dominate as needed) I'd feel more faith.

And btw I extensively researched Obama prior to my NJ primary since I thought the hand was tipping his way.  I WANTED to like him & yet I wound up liking him less. This is why I have a pervasive problem too, he was a major candidate in the primary that I couldn't honestly campaign for which disappoints me since I went in highly gung ho.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-09 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

This is really fantastic stuff!  The Obama campaign could do a lot worse than emailing this to its field staff.  I'd probably stay away from talking about McCain's age, but that's about the only reservation I have.

I'd also add one thing, which is that patience is important.  Some folks have strong views that can't be turned around in one conversation, in which case the most important thing is to do no harm.  Make some of the good points suggested above and then respectfully leave.  Hopefully the next person or the next piece of news will keep pushing them in the right direction.

by TL 2008-06-08 11:26AM | 0 recs
I totally agree on patience

You don't have to win these people over today. I remember arguing with a close friend in the summer of 2002. He had some beef with Tom Harkin and Tom Vilsack, and swore he wasn't going to vote for either in the general election. I tried everything I could think of to make him see that Harkin and Vilsack, while flawed, were way better than the Republican alternatives. Finally, I gave up.

In October, this friend casually mentioned that he had turned in his absentee ballot and voted straight ticket Democrat.

As for McCain's age, I wouldn't advise the Obama campaign to push this talking point or direct field staff to use it. However, I do think it's effective for "freelance volunteers" to raise it.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Some great advice. Excellent post.

by jsfox 2008-06-08 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Let me give you some advice.  Nothing you said is particularly new.  You might want to take time and think and realize that Obama supporters are not the mindless idiots you take them for and Obama won this campaign because he connects with people and supporters did not mindlessly follow some script but instead talked to people with their heads and hearts.

by Piuma 2008-06-08 11:28AM | 0 recs
it never ceases to amaze me

how angry some Obama fans are in victory.

Hey, Piuma, your guy won.

And I can assure you from the time I've spent talking with Obama supporters this year that my advice will be "new" to many of them.

They make the same mistakes over and over again when they talk to non-supporters.

I see some of the same problems in the comment threads at Daily Kos, where I waste too much time.

Your comment has the same effect as the comments I cited above, where the Obama supporters gush about how amazing and inspirational Obama is to so many people. That isn't going to help unite the party.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:36AM | 0 recs
Keep blaming us

See, you keep blaming the other side.  What is happening this year, is the same thing that happens in every election.  The only difference is that how close things are.

Look at the comment that Ga6thDem  already posted above.  Once again, arguing already that the DNC put the wrong person in place.

First of all, it was THE VOTERS who put Obama where he is.  There is going to be no way to win the argument with people who come right out of the block stating that Obama's win is illegitimate.  The GOP is already playing this game.   Look at how McCain started his speech,  "Pundits and Party leaders"   Most Hillary supporters are already buying into the GOP bullsh*t.

Secondly, yeah, I am inspired, and I am sorry you are not.   I am not going to temper my inspiration or my enthusiasm just because Obama won.  All I can do is point someone to factual information to show how BHO and HRC are on the same page for 95%+ of the issues.  

But that doesn't work either.  I have tried already.  Look at most of the comments here on mydd.  Hillary supporters willfully ignore it.  They argue that Obama lied or will lie or whatever.

Finally, they keep wanting us to apoligize for winning.  Why?  Again, I can not tell you how many times I have read that Obama was too aggressive in the Primaries, and then people turn right around and say that he will be a wimp in the GE.  How does that even add up?

As I stated in an earlier post, post sides have stuck their fingers in their ears and are refusing to listen.  If you still refuse to vote for Obama, even after Hillary Clinton asked you to vote for Obama, then there is nothing I can ever do to change your mind.  If the leader of your cause, if your hero can not convince you, then nobody can.

by monkeyga 2008-06-08 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Keep blaming us

Nobody is asking you to apologize for feeling inspired by Obama.  The point of this diary is to suggest to you that talking about how inspirational he is is NOT the most effective way to win over new supporters to his candidacy.

by lorax 2008-06-08 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Keep blaming us

Right.  If someone isn't already "inspired" [gag] by Obama, chances they aren't going to be.   "Inspired" should not be a requirement for voting for Obama and it's actually a damned lousy argument.

by InigoMontoya 2008-06-08 12:31PM | 0 recs
Those who were

open to that approach have already been won over. What's needed now is a plan for the other 18 million or so of us.

This diary is a great start on that.

by Sadie Baker 2008-06-08 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Keep blaming us
First of all, it was THE VOTERS who put Obama where he is.
by usedmeat 2008-06-08 04:45PM | 0 recs
Re: it never ceases to amaze me

It has nothing to do with anger.  What I object to is the arrogance and condescension which lies at the heart of the diary.  He'd be better off by saying: Obama supporters, tell me how to talk to others when I start working for him?  

by Piuma 2008-06-08 11:58AM | 0 recs
I don't understand part of your comment

I am a woman, and I certainly have no intention of trying to work for Obama.

Trust me, I've got nothing on a lot of Obama supporters when it comes to arrogance and condescension.

And yes, many Obama supporters are bizarrely angry, and like whipping each other into an angry frenzy.

Do you spend any time at Daily Kos? Maybe you've noticed the last few months that Obama supporters write more diaries bashing Hillary than supporting Obama.

They rec more diaries bashing Hillary than supporting Obama.

They write more comments in diaries bashing Hillary than supporting Obama.

It's a turn-off even to someone like me, who doesn't like Hillary.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 12:42PM | 0 recs
But that is no different than here

This site was all about bashing Obama more than promoting Hillary.  They really never got into specific issues as to why they liked her better, just that they hated Obama.

If she were the nominee, I would see no reason to vote for her (other than she was a Democrat) based on the posts here.

by monkeyga 2008-06-08 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: But that is no different than here
Questions about obama's friends and associates is bashing? Who knew?
by usedmeat 2008-06-08 04:47PM | 0 recs
I really don't think

your description of DKOS is true.

If you go back and look at the rec'd diaries, the positive diaries far outweighed the attack Hillary diaries.

They were far more attack diaries on the rec list here.

Now I can't comment on what went on in the comments, because for the most part I didn't find the diaries to be much more than "yea for my team", and as a result I didn't read the comments. I tend to read the diaries on issues (particularly economics and healthcare) or on election mechanics.  Both types of diaries tend not incite flame wars.  

Here is what I have noticed over this cycle and the cycle in '04 (I was for Edwards - and DKOS wasn't a fun place to be in '04 among the Deaniacs then, either).  
*People who are actively working for a candidate are passionate.  If you give your money and your time to a candidate, it is VERY hard to argue without getting emotional.
*The emotion fades a couple of weeks after the race ends.  In my case it took me a Month to get behind Kerry emotionally in '04 and about the same time this cycle to get behind Obama.

The reason that the discussion will become less combative is because the topics here will change.     And when they do many old disputes will be mostly forgotten.  

2008 drew a lot of new people into blogsphere. A good percentage will leave in the next month with Clinton leaving the race.  That happened on DKOS after Dean dropped out.  Some will slowly migrate back depending on what happens in November.

by fladem 2008-06-08 09:37PM | 0 recs
I haven't counted the rec list diaries

but I honestly disagree that there were more positive diaries about Obama than negative diaries on Clinton.

There were times when five or six of the eight diaries on the rec list would be Hillary bashing fests.

There was one day when I counted six front-page posts at Daily Kos on Geraldine Ferraro and more than a dozen diaries about Geraldine Ferraro that made the rec list.

I am not sure any diaries made the rec list when the head of Obama's working group published a secret paper saying we should keep 60K to 80K troops in Iraq at least through the end of 2010.

There were many days when constructive, positive Obama diaries would not make the rec list at DKos, or would drop off quickly, even when they were written by "star diarists" like Populista and kid oakland.

The diaries attacking Hillary generated more comments and tended to stay on the rec list for a long time.

It is true that once Edwards was out of the race, attack diaries on Obama started to dominate the rec list at MyDD, but even here pro-Obama diaries had a decent chance of making the rec list if they were by prominent authors such as Bob Johnson or kid oakland.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 10:12PM | 0 recs
I have now read this comment, the one above

and the diary several times.

I think he has a point (though he is to emotional in making it).  In my experience people expect you to defend your candidate. If you don't, they can sense that you aren't fully committed yourself, and that does more damage than you can hope to undo.  Some of the answers here don't fully meet the defend your candidate standards

It is possible to be polite to a voter and to disagree with them at the same time.

One last point:  The most effective way to deal with Clinton supporters is to find quotes from journalists talking about how similar their positions are.

by fladem 2008-06-08 10:03PM | 0 recs
I take this point

and maybe my tactic of trying to redirect the conversation does not adequately defend the candidate.

At the same time, I think people tend to tune you out once you start arguing with them. Listening to people and making them understand that you heard what they said really helps.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 10:14PM | 0 recs
tell it

This post is extremely demeaning and condescending to every person who has worked their heart out to get Obama to where his is.

Look at some of the comments already posted, it is obvious that a great number of Hillary supporters want nothing to do with reconciliation, at all.  They are determined to lose the election.  Not just sit back and do nothing, but to actually do everything in their power to lose the election this year.

I could ask the same thing of you as to why Hillary should be the VP nominee.  

by monkeyga 2008-06-08 11:37AM | 0 recs
a "great number"?

I am guessing that I have talked to a lot more real, live Hillary supporters in the non-blog world than you have.

It's absurd to say that they want nothing to do with reconciliation.

They are sick of being told they are low-information racists or afraid of change or whatever crap they hear from certain Obama supporters.

A friend of mine (who doesn't like Hillary) was a precinct captain for Edwards and an Edwards delegate at the county and district conventions. He never visits Daily Kos, MyDD or any other blog.

While waiting to sign in at the district convention, he had to listen to all this Hillary-bashing crap from some Obama delegates standing in the same line. He's probably told 20 people about what assholes they were.

This is the kind of person who will vote for Obama, but might have been motivated to put up a bumper sticker or a yard sign if he weren't so turned off by some of what he hears from Obama fans.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 12:46PM | 0 recs
You probably have

I only know one real life Hillary supporter, my boss.  She is a 50-something voter who really supported Hillary more for her mother than for any other reason.  She wanted her mother to be able to have a woman President.  Her mother is now 79.

Up until that moment she had been planning to vote Obama.  So yes, by experience with Hillary supporters is almost all online or via radio talk shows.   Every other Democrat I know personally voted for either Obama or Edwards.

I spent all day Wednesday listening to 'so-called' liberal talk shows (on Satelite radio) where HRC supporter after HRC supporter kept saying that Obama would be worse than John McCain.  That he would be the worst President ever.  That they would rather re-elect W than to vote for Obama.

Granted, I think a lot of this was fanned by the hosts, but it was anything but productive.   When that is where the conversation starts, there is no where to go.

by monkeyga 2008-06-08 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: You probably have
When that is where the conversation starts, there is no where to go.
No, the conversation started after the New Hampshire primary when obama surrogates played the "Bradley Effect" card to explain his loss.
by usedmeat 2008-06-08 04:50PM | 0 recs
You utterly missed the point of this diary

which is not about how to make Obama supporters feel nice that they picked the winning candidate.  It is about how to make supporters of other candidates get on board now that the primary is over.  Which part of that did you not get?

by lorax 2008-06-08 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Frankly, I've read a lot of what Obama's supporters have said with their heads and hearts on the blogs, and right now, they're a huge part of why I'm having trouble with Obama.

I like Obama more the less I hear from many of his supporters. I suspect I'm not the only one.

by OrangeFur 2008-06-08 02:27PM | 0 recs
The supreme court argument

In the past I've spoken with a couple of Hillary supporters (women) who didn't respond well to the supreme court argument.  I think bringing it up felt a bit like blackmail to them, or had the implication of reducing them to one-issue voters - their uterus.  I know my wife always gets upset when she feels people reduce her or other women to their reproductive capacity.  Perhaps it is best to lead with something else?  Or when talking about the court, make sure to point out the non RvW cases that democrats want to see upheld.

by patooker 2008-06-08 11:31AM | 0 recs
it's not just Roe v Wade

it's environmental and labor regulations and a whole lot of other things too.

Earlier this spring, when I would go into the Hillary-hating threads at DKos and urge people to support our nominee, whoever it is, because the Supreme Court hangs in the balance, a few people reacted the same way as your wife. They felt like it was blackmail for me to use the Supreme Court to pressure them to vote for Hillary.

I guess volunteers can use their best judgment on this one. In my experience, a lot of people who can't stand Obama say they are voting for him because of the Supreme Court.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: it's not just Roe v Wade

Yeah, those other issues are the key to the SC argument, throw in RvW as well, but make sure people know everything that could be overturned.

And actually my wife is an Obama supporter for other more substantive reasons. She just can't stand situations where her worth is her reproductive organs.

by patooker 2008-06-08 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: The supreme court argument

I take it you're a guy... as a fellow Y-chromosome-bearer, I can say I tend to avoid bringing up abortion as an issue when talking to women, because it's too easy to sound patronizing or presumptuous.

I've seen women bring it up more directly without causing offense, so it may be a more acceptable approach coming from a woman.

If I were gonna try to push the issues, Roe vs. Wade wouldn't even be very high on the list, honestly. The economy, the war, and healthcare are pretty easy ways to distinguish between McCain and Obama.

by ZombieRoboNinja 2008-06-08 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: The supreme court argument

Well, don't talk Roe then, it's not the final goal of a conservative SC.  Griswold is what men can bring up--right to privacy, foundation of the modern understanding of our Constitutional protections--when you need to explain why McCain is Not Acceptable.  Reproductive rights must always be high on the list, but if you want to be careful about it, Griswold v. Connecticut's the way to be hip.

by Endymion 2008-06-08 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: The supreme court argument

Health care wouldn't do it for me. Obama's plan will fail and will give the "free market" enthusiasts ammunition. It will set us back many years, and more will die.

Now, if those of you that might have some influence could get him to expand his plan to include everyone with a mandate, it would go a long way with me.

by splashy 2008-06-09 01:26AM | 0 recs
Re: The supreme court argument

Well the SC isn't JUST about RvW - there are a million & one reasons why having radicals on the SC would be devastating to our country; not just in the arena of reproductive rights.  To me it isn't a blackmail - it is just a fact.  If the SC wasn't at stake & times were better  I would feel the need as much to choke on it & vote for him; but I know the GOP would be disasterous again for our country. With Obama since I have less to go on, I have more hope that I am wrong about him OR that he might have some okay advisors to make things better then the GOP would do.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-09 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

I'm sure Obama's campaign has a firm grasp of how to train its volunteers to represent him to all voter types.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-08 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Probably, but for those who don't make it to field offices, this would be good stuff to keep in mind when out and about living their lives.

by patooker 2008-06-08 11:35AM | 0 recs
perhaps they do

but I hear a lot of things coming from Obama supporters that are counter-productive if the goal is to unite the party behind Obama.

Again, I am not talking just about blog comments, although it's a big problem on blogs. I am talking about real-world conversations.

I think that people who dislike Obama are probably better positioned to describe what kind of arguments can bring them around than people who have been on the Obama train for a year or more.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: perhaps they do

'I think that people who dislike Obama are probably better positioned to describe what kind of arguments can bring them around than people who have been on the Obama train for a year or more.'

If it's about "dislike," then no argument will change that.

The bottom line is anybody who would vote on their likes and dislikes is beyond convincing rationally. I despised John Kerry in 2004 and nothing could change my mind about it. But on election day I wans't dumb enough to help Bush because of it.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-08 12:08PM | 0 recs
I supported Kerry in the primaries

but I never made it my job to try to get Dean supporters to like him too. As long as they were voting for him, that was fine by me.

Too many Obama supporters seem to have a need for all Democrats to like Obama. If you're one of those people who doesn't feel inspired listening to Obama, it's a turn-off to hear other people go on about how amazing he is and how he's a once-in-a-lifetime candidate.

The point of this diary is not to help you make other Democrats like Obama. It's to help you reach out to people you disagree with in a way that will not further alienate them.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 12:49PM | 0 recs
Too many Obama supporters seem to have a need for

all Democrats to like Obama."

Nah. They just don't stand by to see him swiftboated with lies and canards.
Too many (former) Clinton supporters seem to have a need to be told their candidate really won.
Frankly, I have no interest in outreach. Let peopledo what they want with their own votes. But when any libelously attack the best Democratic nominee in my lifetime I'll kick them to the curb rather than let it stand unchallenged.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-08 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Too many Obama supporters seem to have a need
Nah. They just don't stand by to see him swiftboated with lies and canards.
This time around the republicans won't have to swiftboat all they'll have to do is publish selected quotes from obama's book, broadcast excerpts fron the TUCC DVDs and publish the picture of the man that got him started stomping on the American flag.
by usedmeat 2008-06-08 04:55PM | 0 recs
all they'll have to do is publish selected quotes

Only a lunatic fringer would think anything in Obama's books will hurt him.

I've never heard of the TUCC DVDs -- must another lunatic fringe thing.

Stomping the flag? You're definitely a rightwing Bushevik/McCainiac nutjob.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-08 07:00PM | 0 recs
You don't have to like him

I don't care if you like him.  I am just tired of trying to tell HRC supporters that he is not worse than W.  I am tired of telling them that he would not be worse than McCain.  I am tired of writing that he does not want to destroy America.

And yeah, this is all online, so I have not had this conversation with anyone face to face.

by monkeyga 2008-06-08 01:15PM | 0 recs
I am also tired

of arguing with the Obama supporters at Daily Kos who will rec up any ridiculous insult about Hillary--she's a sociopath, she's worse than W., she has "endorsed" McCain.

Get out in the real world, because that's where the voter persuasion needs to happen. As I said, every criticism of Obama I listed in this diary is something I have heard real, live Democrats say--not things I read on blogs.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 01:51PM | 0 recs
Excellent diary, DesmoinesDem.

Those who truly care about electing Obama will listen.  Those who are intoxicated with Obama and merely use his candidacy to fullfill their own psychological deficits will not.

Obama cannot win the general election as he did the primaries.  There are no caucuses.  He has to reach those Democrats who did not support him.  I think he can, but wonder whether some of his supporters are willing to let go of hero-worship and do the hard work of persuading those who do not share their infatuation.  That's why your diary is so important.  It gives those willing to listen some tools they need.    

Senator McCaskill agrees with you:

The key, Ms. McCaskill said, is approaching Mrs. Clinton's supporters with utmost humility. And, Ms. Backus added, that is not always the strongest suit of the young people who are some of Mr. Obama's most enthusiastic supporters.

"Not nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh," Ms. McCaskill said, making a taunting sound. "We need them very, very badly, and we shouldn't be able to be afraid to say that we need them."

by TomP 2008-06-09 05:01AM | 0 recs
by TomP 2008-06-09 05:04AM | 0 recs
thanks--I am adding this link

to the version of the diary that I plan to cross-post at Daily Kos.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-09 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

I think there are a lot of younger people new to politics in this campaign.  At one point during the primary I remember wincing when I read of a canvasser for Obama saying to a voter, "if Obama does not win I don't think I can vote Democratic!"  So I think laying out what amounts to the basic rules of respectful voter approach is not a bad thing.  Enthusiasm, youth, and newness to party politics can sometimes work against a persuasive argument to a supporter of the other candidate.  

My bottom line rule would be, put yourself in their shoes and act, and speak, accordingly.

by mady 2008-06-08 11:34AM | 0 recs
good comment

I agree.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 12:04PM | 0 recs
It would be better to talk about the issues Obama

is strong on.

Most female supporters don't know that John McCain voted against the minimum wage, against the Equal Pay Act, and against the Equal Rights Amendment. Obama supports all three of those issues, and he also has written legislation requiring toy safety oversight for toys that come to the U.S. from overseas. He's also written legislation on nuclear proliferation, children's issues, the genocide in Africa, and on ethics reform.

by slinkerwink 2008-06-08 11:34AM | 0 recs
you are right

Too many people are unfamiliar with McCain's rock-solid conservative voting record. Even my stepmother, who would never vote Republican, thought McCain was pro-choice.

Different approaches will work with different people.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: It would be better to talk about the issues Ob

You don't get it:  my distaste for Obama is not about the issues.  It's about Obama himself and the premises for the campaign.

It's all but bullcrap in the e-mail that someone sent DesMoinesDem:

I don't care that Obama has inspired millions of young people, indies, or purple three-legged Martians to be involved in the political process.
It's like a political version of American Idol.  

I don't find him inspiring.  That others do registers a big "So what?" from me.   As much as the fact that I find Hillary inspiring registers with many Obama supporters.  If one more Obama supporter gushes to me about how inspiring he is, I'm tempted to throw up on them if I can.

2) Ditto all the excitement.   I don't buy it.  So what?  Many of you can't remember the excitement that Eugene McCarthy or George McGovern generated.  I do.

3) A once-in-a-generation candidate is only useful if you believe in what that candidate is peddling.  I don't believe that Obama can effect "transformation" and I think he's a naive fool if the really believes that.   I don't believe that the sheer power of his Obama Wonderfulness can bring about "unity"; unity requires a common purpose and goal...this country is deeply fractured and preaching unity isn't going to change it.   And the sense that he's a fool is reinforced when notions of a "post-partisan" future are batted around.   Bullfeathers.  You can't even accomplish a post-partisan Democratic party, let alone the country.

Obama is like an American Idol phenomenon.  So what?   If one more person gushes "I like the way he makes me feel," I will throw up on them, even if I have to stick a finger down my throat.  Great reason to go on a date with someone, lousy reason to vote for them.

by InigoMontoya 2008-06-08 11:56AM | 0 recs
Generational issues

I am sure you are going to flame me for what I say, but I think your post is indicative of a lot of people from the 60s.

I was not even a zygote in 1968, heck, my parents had only just gotten engaged, so you are correct that a lot of us on the so-called Obama train have no recollection of 1968.  We have no experience of 'going clean for Gene'   We only know about this through history books and the movies

But so far we have only had 2 Baby Boomer Presidents.  Bush, who is the total moron, and Bill Clinton, who is despised by the right and (I'm sorry) but disappointed many on the left.

If Obama gets elected this year, it is probably there will never be another Baby Boomer President.  The 60's generation will have seen its moment pass without fulfilling the goals that is thought it set out on.  

Again, this is just my opinion and it is based on conversations with my older acquantences and online readings.  I feel this is a major part of why Obama is having such a hard time with people over 55.   There are a lot of that generation who do not want to pass the torch.  And I think this is just the beginning of what is probably going to dominate US issues for the next 15-20 years, the retiring of the Baby boomers.

This is why I find it ironic that so many 60-something liberal women are so quickly jumping on the McCain bandwagon.  He doesn't share any of their beliefs, but at least he shares a common reference of life experience.

by monkeyga 2008-06-08 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Generational issues

Add: the snotty generational without-a-fucking-clue arrogance of some of Obama's younger supporters.

by InigoMontoya 2008-06-08 12:35PM | 0 recs
so many?

Name three.

Seriously, I know a lot of 60-something liberal women who supported Hillary, and none of them are jumping on the McCain bandwagon.

Many of them are angry at Obama and dislike the arrogant comments they hear from some of his supporters.

All I'm asking is for you to have some respect for pluralism among Democrats.

By the way, I think you're completely wrong about boomers being resistant to Obama because they want a president from their generation. The fact is that many of them just think he's inexperienced, and/or they don't find him inspiring (enough) to make up for that drawback. Why the hurry for him to run for president now? In their minds, he would have been a stronger candidate someday if he'd waited.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: so many?


by InigoMontoya 2008-06-08 01:20PM | 0 recs
You prove my point

See.  You are so arrogant that you think the thoughts of anyone who was not around in 1968 are worthless.  You keep demanding respect, but refuse to dole any out.

by monkeyga 2008-06-08 01:32PM | 0 recs
Then Obama will lose.

Why is that hard to understand? He only got 18 million votes, that isn't enough.

You have to figure out how to get more voters than that, and "suck on this" will not help you accomplish that goal.

Some of us are disciplined Democratic voters who always vote for the nominee regardless (and believe me, you do not want to know about some of the turkeys I have voted for in the past, living as I do in Tennessee) but honestly, at this point I am not sure how numerous we are and it would be folly to think you can coast through this thing.

by Sadie Baker 2008-06-08 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: You prove my point

Sloppy reader, monkey boy.   You're the one who crows about knowing nothing about 1968 or 1972 and then dismisses it all as irrelevant and attacks the boomer generation.  

You have no idea what you're talking about, no idea what you're being cavalier about, and no idea what kind of damage you're promoting.  By all means, keep it up.

by InigoMontoya 2008-06-08 02:17PM | 0 recs
Lets go back to 1992

Come on.  Bill Clinton was just as inexperienced and green in 1992. Gov. or Arkansas?  come on.  He beat out more experiences Democrats for the nomination.   He then beat a much more experienced man who was already in the White House.

George H W Bush had more experience than anyone in history when occupying the White House, yet the less experienced candidate beat him.

You keep saying that there needs to be more respect, but that respect needs to go both ways.  Look at the posters who are telling us that we werent around in 1968, so what do we know.  

by monkeyga 2008-06-08 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Lets go back to 1992

No Bill Clinton was not as inexperienced as Obama. He had 10 ten years under his belt as a governor and also attorney general of the state.

Let's be honest here: Obama is the least qualified candidate in modern presidential history. I think we would probably have to go back 100 years or more to find one with equal or less experience than Obama. I'm one year older than him and have lots more practical work experience than he does. Apparently McCain must think this is some kind of salient point since he's running ads making fun of Obama's resume.

by Ga6thDem 2008-06-08 02:50PM | 0 recs
Let's not get crazy...

George W. Bush?  He was governor of a state whose governor has less power than the agriculture commissioner, he put up 1% of the money to be the lead owner of a baseball team and traded a young Sammy Sosa, and ran an unfortunately named oil company into the ground.  Plus, he allegedly turned the white house into a frat party when his dad was president.

I mean, I didn't even have to go back two presidents!

by TheKickingDonkey 2008-06-08 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Lets go back to 1992

Let's be honest--you're right. Problem is that Hillary is even less experienced, and John Edwards, the other "top-tier" democrat was less still.

On the other hand, if you look at history you'll see that the less experienced democrats tend to win while the more experienced ones lose. I don't know why that is, but Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and JFK were all accused of beint too inexperienced while others like Mondale, Gore, Kerry, etc., who each had decades of experience, all lost.

Funny that.

by Mystylplx 2008-06-08 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Lets go back to 1992

Nope. Hillary had more years in the Senate than Obama. Please counting his years as a part time state senator is a joke. The only experience people will count toward the presidency is his senate tenure.

by Ga6thDem 2008-06-09 04:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Lets go back to 1992

Slightly more years in the US Senate than Obama. Counting his years as in public office is not a joke. Counting her years as first lady IS a joke.

by Mystylplx 2008-06-10 04:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Lets go back to 1992

Nonsense. He has more than enough experience to be president. Any of the candidates at the first Democratic debate had the requesite experience - even crazy uncle Gravel.

The current administration is chock full of people with 'experience'. Experience isn't a panacea or a defense against stupidity and incompetence.

I gladly trust the constitutional scholar to know what to do in the oval office.

by awobbly 2008-06-08 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Lets go back to 1992


No longer a Democrat? Sorry, sour grapes do suck, huh? Well, why hang out on a site dedicated to electing progressive Democrats?

by ragekage 2008-06-09 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Lets go back to 1992

the arguably least experienced candidate to ever be sworn in was this dude named "Lincoln".

by Djo Dos 2008-06-09 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Lets go back to 1992
Gee those who ignore history ... Bill Clinton was a multiple term governor very popular in his state. He had plenty of executive experience. What does obama have? Half a term as a Senator? Even less if you count the time hes away from Washington running a campaign.
by usedmeat 2008-06-08 05:08PM | 0 recs
Bill Clinton had 12 years

before being president, from 1979-1981, and from 1983-Dec. 1992 plus 1977-1979 Arkansas AG. Thats far more than Obama's to-be 4 in the Senate. He'll have us much in January as Jimmy Carter had in 1977. We saw how well his term panned out.

by Lakrosse 2008-06-08 07:20PM | 0 recs
I think

Clinton was in his fifth term as Governor when he was elected.

He had more experience than Obama did.

Obama's lack of experience will hurt him in the fall somewhat, though I think he has effective counter arguments.  

by fladem 2008-06-08 10:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Generational issues

If this post implies that Obama will not be a Boomer president, it's wrong. He is a Baby Boomer.

And as Digby has pointed out, the young hotshots who are eager to  ring the death knell on Boomers are a bit previous. Boomers will continue to dominate the electorate for decades to come.

by Vico 2008-06-08 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Generational issues
How about being around long enough to recognize a snake oil peddler when I see one?
by usedmeat 2008-06-08 05:01PM | 0 recs
So about those issues...

You bring up Obama as an "American Idol phenomenon." The important difference to bear in mind is that the winning of this election RUNS THE COUNTRY.

Remember JohnKerryIsADoucheButImVotingForHimAnywa Best website of the last presidential election. The guy was a grade-A dork, he made me wince or snore every time he opened his mouth, but I proudly voted for him and encouraged others to do so as well because of those pesky issues.

If McCain is elected, we'll keep spending thousands of lives and billions (or trillions) of dollars in Iraq.

If McCain is elected, we'll keep selling out the country to corporate interests at the cost of the middle and lower classes.

If McCain is elected, we'll have a Supreme Court stacked with pro-corporate conservatives who'll not only overturn Roe vs. Wade but also continue to degrade our other civil liberties and prop up Big Government and Big Business.

I like Obama, but frankly, even if spent all his spare time kicking puppies he'd get my vote and my support.

by ZombieRoboNinja 2008-06-08 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: So about those issues...

I understand the issues and that's why I'll wind up voting for Obama.  

But all the reasons that many many Obama supporters have for supporting Obama won't move Hillary supporters an inch.  And that's what DMD realizes and what many in the Obama camp do not.

by InigoMontoya 2008-06-08 01:20PM | 0 recs
Practice Thought Transmission

The best way to convince someone of what you believe is to make it come out of their mouth.  Ask questions!  It not only conveys that you are listening, but even if the questions are leading, it gives them the opportunity to internalize the significance of what you are discussing.

by Pragmatic Left 2008-06-08 11:37AM | 0 recs
yes, asking questions

helps you get to the root of why they don't like Obama, and also conveys that you respect their point of view.

If you are clever, you may be able to get them to articulate the argument that will push them to the Obama camp.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Practice Thought Transmission

Yeah, but what I read in that is, "Obama is evil because he beat my inspiration leader, Hillary Clinton."

Look, this is all a waster of time.  There are going to be 5 to 10 percent of divorced, bitter, menopausal maniacs that are not going to vote for Obama.  We can live it.

by Subroutine 2008-06-08 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Practice Thought Transmission

<quote>Look, this is all a waster of time.  There are going to be 5 to 10 percent of divorced, bitter, menopausal maniacs that are not going to vote for Obama.  We can live it.</quote>

Charming.  Absolutely charming.  Keep the sexism and ageism up and we deserve to lose the White House.

by mgee 2008-06-08 12:53PM | 0 recs
such a message of hope and unity

I can see why Obama is so appealing to you.

I hope they don't send you out door-knocking among these divorced, bitter, menopausal maniacs.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: such a message of hope and unity

The Hillary bloggers really are mad at me the past few days.  I have been an intimate member of a core group of Hillary bloggers, and when the delegate count was done, and Obama was the nominee, I switched immediately last Tuesday evening.  I was telling a friend that I often had imagined that we all would write gracious diaries if Hillary lost.  I thought it so loud, I imagined they read my mind.  It didn't happen.  I wrote my diary, and they went into shock.  I think in another sense, they're not mad at me.  They're mad that Hillary lost, and I am a convenient target because I was one of them, and I guess they imagine I betrayed them.

by Beltway Dem 2008-06-08 01:30PM | 0 recs
Re: such a message of hope and unity

"they went into shock":  about Hillary's loss, not about my switching.

by Beltway Dem 2008-06-08 01:31PM | 0 recs
Re: such a message of hope and unity

I think a huge mistake Obama made was for three months or more continually prancing around calling himself the nominee, having surrogates scream for her to get out, stomping on every accomplishment she had. His behavior after WV and KY was petty and childish. If he had just shut his mouth and let the primaries play out it probably wouldn't have ended any differently and the party would likely be united. As it is, he has given the GOP tons of soundbites to keep Hillary supporters out of Obama's camp. And that's no one's fault but Obama.

by Ga6thDem 2008-06-08 02:55PM | 0 recs
Re: such a message of hope and unity

Which of Obama's surrogates were "screaming for her to get out"?  How did they "stop on every accomplishment she had"?  What was his behavior exactly?

When you say he has given the GOP tons of soundbytes what are you referring to?

In the spirit of the diarists plea, I am going to resist the urge to post a link to the anti-Obama ad the GOP put out recently using a number of dem-on-dem talking points to insinuate that McCain, but not Obama was ready to be president.

by Pragmatic Left 2008-06-08 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re: such a message of hope and unity

I'm not in shock.  I think the delegate count is crap.  Neither had the nomination by pledged delegate.  Supers had to endorse one or the other, RBC had to decide what to do about MI and FL.  We had a protracted contest to find out who was really the stronger candidate.  Hillary won each of the consecutive last four months of the process.  She beat him by over 600k votes and she won 60% of the final contests.  I think the supers hitched their tent to the wrong candidate.  But it was their choice.  No shock here.  I think you ought not tell anyone how to vote or who to support.  it's not your place.  I don't think you should go around giving personal information out about people, also not your place.  Lot's of these people plan to vote for Obama, some not.  But even those who do, think you've acted rudely.

by masslib1 2008-06-08 06:53PM | 0 recs
The superdelegates

always had the option to vote for whomever they wanted to vote based on their own personal criteria, including horoscopes for November 5.  See, this is the deal: we may not like what they did, but they sealed the deal for Obama.  Those were the rules we were touting when that position suited us, but eventually, it made Obama the nominee.  

He is the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party as the result of the work of the superdelegates in combination with pledged delegates earned in legal--no matter how unfair--contests.

by Beltway Dem 2008-06-09 02:34AM | 0 recs
Re: The superdelegates

Exactly what I said.  He would not have been my choice.  But they exercised their choice.  There were arguments for either.  No shock. I'm proud of Hillary for those four months though.  The voters cam home to her.  She won fricken South Dakota.

"He is the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party as the result of the work of the superdelegates in combination with pledged delegates earned in legal--no matter how unfair--contests."

I said nothing that disputes this.  

by masslib1 2008-06-09 06:25AM | 0 recs
By the way,

for the seventeen months that I told people they should vote for Hillary, you didn't seem to object.  Now that I am telling them to vote for the Democratic nominee, you seem to have gotten a case of scruples.

by Beltway Dem 2008-06-09 02:36AM | 0 recs
Re: By the way,

Not that it's any of my business, but I have a suggestion. Lay off of Hillary's supporters. I'm not clear on exactly what an 'elegant' candidate supporter is, but your approach as an Obama supporter is not impressing me as a strategy that will change minds, win hearts, or secure additional votes. Respectfully, your vernacular and reasoning are of the stereotypical condescending liberal elitist variety.

by phoenixdreamz 2008-06-09 04:42AM | 0 recs
Re: By the way,

I could care a less if you want to support your guy and encourage people to vote for him.  Pretty much everyone at this site is doing the same, and you'll see no complaint from me.  What I take issue with is demanding people think just like you, and revealing people's personal information.  I believe I've always argued exactly that.

by masslib1 2008-06-09 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: such a message of hope and unity

"I can see why Obama is so appealing to you."

This entire condescending diary couldn't have been summed up any better.  You just took a jerky comment and projected that single person's view to ALL OF US.  You have a bit to learn before you should consider handing out advice to Obama supporters.  You're guilty of exactly the same things you're wagging your finger at in Obama supporters.  That, my friend, is called hypocrisy.

by SpanishFly 2008-06-08 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: such a message of hope and unity

Sorry, but I'm not much for this mollycoddling, give-you-time, wait for you to finish emoting BS.  You want got it.  Your candidate lost.  Now get with the program.

Edwards, my candidate lost, too.  I emoted for twenty minutes and joined the Obama camp.

I was one of the eight people in America who voted George McGovern.  I survived.  If you can't handle a primary loss, maybe you shouldn't be running with the big dogs.

by Subroutine 2008-06-08 02:30PM | 0 recs
you're angry at the wrong person

I haven't been sulking since Edwards dropped out. I devoted myself to state-level activism--promoting environmental issues during the Iowa legislature's session and supporting Ed Fallon's campaign in the IA-03 primary.

Now that the session is over and Fallon lost, I'm focused on other races, like getting a great guy in my neighborhood elected to the Iowa legislature.

You don't need to be insulting toward people who are still feeling angry about the primaries. If the situation were reversed there probably would be many more Obama supporters screaming about how they'll never vote for Clinton.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 03:00PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

You may not like my feelings, but anyone CLAIMING to be a Democrat, claiming to support the values of Edwards and Clintons who then votes for McCain was NEVER A REAL SUPPORTER, WAS NEVER A DEMOCRAT and SPITS IN THE FACE OF ALL DEMOCRATS, THEIR VALUES AND ESPECIALLY THOSE OF EDWARDS AND CLINTONS.  

I don't care if you don't actively campaign... you claim to be a Democrat activist and don't vote for Obama, then you aren't a true Democrat.  Case Closed.  I have no use for those who claim to hold our values true and then sell those values out because of revenge or bitterness.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-08 11:38AM | 0 recs
most of these people

will not vote for McCain.

But you as an Obama supporter can help make the difference between them reluctantly voting for Obama, convinced that all of his fans are assholes, or them feeling more of a connection to the Obama campaign and perhaps even volunteering.

If the best you can say is, "I have no use for fake Democrats like you," then steer clear of volunteer roles that require direct voter contacts.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to


Maybe McCain could send out these words of yours as part of a mailer.  I am sure that this would not help BO.


by giusd 2008-06-08 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Well, I am glad that you recognize it as a feeling, and not a rational argument. You seem to have fallen into the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. Via Wikipedia:

Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the "Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again." Hamish is shocked and declares that "No Scotsman would do such a thing." The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again and this time finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says, "No true Scotsman would do such a thing."

--Antony Flew, Thinking about Thinking, 1975."

This sort of fallacy is most often seen in religious discussions, but it has been very contagious in this years Dem primary. People feel so strongly that their candidate is the best choice for the party, they convince themselves that their candidate is the party.

by itsthemedia 2008-06-08 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

And I trust that you would argue exactly the same thing if Clinton had won the nomination.

by Vico 2008-06-08 04:24PM | 0 recs
Mostly good....

..except tjhat part where you advise us not to tell voters who say "america won't vote for a black man," that giving into that sentiment IS validating racists.

The reason coded racial messages wrk is because peole euphamize it or sweep it under the rug an VALIDATE it.

We should not be doing that. Sometimes doing the right thing costs you votes. I'd rather lose the votes of these folks (and maybe even lose the election) that validate that bullshit reasoning.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-06-08 11:43AM | 0 recs
I wouldn't recommend agreeing

with a statement like that, but I think it's better just to explain why you think that person is wrong.

Conveying to resistant Democrats that you think they are racist, or that they make excuses for racists, is more likely to make them tune out whatever you have to say.

But we all have to do whatever our conscience requires.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: I wouldn't recommend agreeing

My preference would be to say: "I agree theer are a lot pf people who won't vote for a black man. Or a woman for that matter. But we cannot validate the thinking of those people by giving into it. The only way to prove them wrong is to prove them wrong."

And I would say to them, as well, "would you have supported opposing Hillary Clinton because a bunch of neanderthal sexists won't vote for a woman? Or would you want to prove them wrong?"

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-06-08 11:51AM | 0 recs
that's a good response

And in fact, a couple in my precinct who were on the fence between Clinton and Edwards for much of last year settled on Clinton because they got tired of hearing that a woman couldn't be elected president. They wanted to prove that statement wrong.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 12:03PM | 0 recs
I'm adding your suggestion

to the version of this diary that I will post at Daily Kos later this week.

Thanks for the comments.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 10:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Mostly good....
The fallacy is that most racists are also misogynists and wouldn't vote for either. What was it the Obamatons say? "I'd vote for a woman, but not that woman". Substitute black for woman and you have the reason 40% of HRC supporters will either stay home or vote McCain.
by usedmeat 2008-06-08 05:14PM | 0 recs
not 40 percent

Only a small percentage of HRC supporters will stay home or vote for McCain.

But a very large percentage of them won't feel like getting involved in Obama's campaign in any way other than voting for him. I know plenty of people who normally put the Democratic presidential nominee's bumper sticker on their car, but not this year.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 08:37PM | 0 recs
I wouldn't do any of that

stuff about age or race.  For one, it provokes ageism, a growing problem in this country.  I detest any use of age for political gain.  Second, lot's of Hillary's supporters are older and will be offended.  But the first reason is more important.  Ageism is anti-progressive.  

The race stuff is terrible too.  Most who won't vote for a black man(and I think that's a fairly small number) are not going to be swayed by that argument.  Hillary's supporters would be down right offended by the argument as it supposes their reasons for not supporting Obama are based on race.  They are not.

by masslib1 2008-06-08 11:44AM | 0 recs
well, people can pick and choose

what suits them best.

I have never come across a Democrat who has told me, "I won't vote for a black man for president." The few people who feel that way probably wouldn't admit it. However, a fair number will say they doubt Obama can win because this country is still too racist. If someone brings up this point, I think it's important to make the case that Obama can win this election.

I have heard seniors themselves tell me that McCain is too old for the job. But anyone who doesn't think it's right to make that point should just ignore it.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: well, people can pick and choose

Well, I think it condoning and advancing ageism, which I see as a creeping problem in this country.

by masslib1 2008-06-08 01:21PM | 0 recs
I would talk about very concrete things

But the starting place has to be the economy.  It is by far and away the most important issue. There is also virtually no difference between Clinton and Obama on these issues.

Both are skeptics of Free Trade Agreements, opposed tax cuts for the rich, and propose some type of limited tax cut for the middle class.

The differences on these issues are minimal, and both differed pretty substantially from McCain wh supports tax cuts and would freeze descretionay non-defense spending.  This means no increases for things Education, Cancer research and regulators who make sure things like our food and drugs are safe.  This latter becomes more improtant each day as we increase our imports from China.

The second biggest difference between McCain and Obama is on Iran.  This is a significant weakness for McCain (he addressing it in his first add).

Bottom line: I have little doubt US forces will be in Iran during a McCain administration.

The third biggest difference is on Iraq: which is pretty obvious.

One of the reasons this election was so personal is because there was in fact little difference on issues.  Even on Health Care I would agrue the differences were not huge.

I don't believe there is a split in the party.  The Democrats who are threatening to vote for McCain in blogsphere are in no way reflective of the rank in file.

The argument that need to be made are to the independents.  

by fladem 2008-06-08 11:45AM | 0 recs
I believe that the split in the party

will not cost Obama votes so much as it will cost him enthusiasm and volunteer help.

I have heard active democrats say things like, "I'll vote for him, but I'm not going to lift a goddamn finger for him."

Interacting with an Obama supporter who respects them, rather than treats them like a low-information racist, could help reduce the anger level. Maybe more of these people will agree to put an Obama sticker on their cars, or a sign in their yards this fall.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:54AM | 0 recs
Well, I repect you

but I don't think the cost will be very significant.

Because blogsphere doesn't represent even the typical activist.  

And because most Democrats remember Ralph Nader.  

by fladem 2008-06-08 12:03PM | 0 recs
I'm not talking about bloggers

I'm talking about supporters of other candidates I know in real life, who feel very alienated by the Obama campaign and are not going to do anything to help it.

In Iowa, that won't matter, because he shouldn't have trouble beating McCain.

But how could it hurt reach out to Democrats who dislike Obama in a more respectful way?

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 12:56PM | 0 recs
On this point

we have no disagreement at all.

I would NEVER talk to a voter in anything but a respectful way.  

by fladem 2008-06-08 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: I would talk about very concrete things

Both are skeptics of Free Trade Agreements

To begin with, I am a pro-trade Democrat.  

That doesn't mean pro-trade in the code-word sense of "fair trade" that some xenophobic folks like to use.  It means I'm pro-trade.  I don't want to see the Democratic party slide into Bush-style unilateralism when it comes to economics.  And I don't want to see our country lose its competitive edge.

Trade is one huge reason why I've decided to hold off on endorsing Obama.

Obama says he wants to work with our allies; but if his first act is to tell Canada and Mexico that he's renegotiating NAFTA, what message does that send to our allies?  That it's Obama -- not McCain -- who represents a third Bush term?

It is true that I disliked Hillary's rhetoric on trade, and that many of Obama's advisors -- including some who have told me as much personally -- insist, with a wink and a nod, that Obama really does get it on trade, and that his tirades against trade are campaign rhetoric.  And perhaps this is so.

But in the case of Hillary, I had a real track record to look to -- her husband supported NAFTA, and she did too.  Obama is so green that I don't know what he fundamentally believes.  And even if his positions are just campaign rhetoric, he's made them such a centerpiece that he may find it difficult to back away from them if he wins the election.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-06-08 04:44PM | 0 recs
As an edwards guy
I think neither Clinton nor Obama were honest about the trade issue. Both of them are in the end free traders, though Hillary claimed to have opposed NAFTA. I don't understand this comment at all:
Obama says he wants to work with our allies; but if his first act is to tell Canada and Mexico that he's renegotiating NAFTA, what message does that send to our allies? That it's Obama -- not McCain -- who represents a third Bush term.
Is the argument that Obama would be acting unilaterally, and that would the same as how Bush would act. On this point there was no difference between the Obama position and the Clinton position, btw.
by fladem 2008-06-08 09:44PM | 0 recs
Disgruntled Hillary voters hate John Edwards too

I actually had an argument with one when I suggested that John Edwards might be a very good VP choice for Obama in part because a lot of disgruntled Hillary supports like Elizabeth Edwards alot.

Let me tell you -- that did not go over well.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-06-08 11:45AM | 0 recs
that wouldn't be my main argument

for picking Edwards as VP.

In my experience, some Clinton supporters hate Edwards or think he's a phony, but a lot of them don't seem to mind Edwards. They just liked Hillary better.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 12:02PM | 0 recs
I agree wth saying you woukld be upset if Obama,,,

...lost and that you would probably think long and hard about supporting Hillary is things were reversed.

But one reason many Hillay backers hate Obama (and Howard Dean) is because they think they stole the nomination from Hillary.

You can reason with those folks.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-06-08 11:48AM | 0 recs
you misunderstood me

I don't like Obama or Clinton much.

I have said all year I will vote for the winner of our primary, no matter what.

Having read countless "I'll never vote for evil Hillary if she steals the nomination" diaries, and having tried to reason with the Obama supporters in the comment threads, I tend to agree with you that it's hard to reason with these people.

But you might be able to change the subject and get on the same side.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:56AM | 0 recs
Stole the election?

By winning more delegates? If the winner is supposed to have fewer delegates, Mike Gravel should be our nominee. "Stole the Election?", from its rightful owner I guess. If you want McCain, just go here

by antiHyde 2008-06-08 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Thanks for another very thoughtful diary.

by markjay 2008-06-08 11:52AM | 0 recs
and thanks for your diary

I forgot that you post here as markjay rather than markw, so I messed up the reference to you in the diary.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

This was a helpful diary. While a applaud people on the netroots for their enthusiasm, in general, they are not persuasive. Reading this diary will start them off in the right direction.

by Zzyzzy 2008-06-08 11:57AM | 0 recs

I know of people who don't even read blogs who have destroyed friendships because of comments they made during this primary season.

In a less extreme way, an old friend really alienated my husband a couple of months ago. He sent her a college course syllabus on a subject they both teach, and her reply had a sentence on how his syllabus was interesting, followed by a long message about how amazing Obama is, with links to his speeches.

My husband doesn't hate Obama, but he doesn't talk politics as much as I do, and he felt like he had been accosted by that person handing out religious literature in an airport.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

So per my chat with my mother-in-law "dont make up your mind now and dont pick a candidate to support now".  "There are five months until the election.  Give both candidates an chance and then make a decission".

While BO supporters may not like this the fact is voters like my mom in law are democrats and all things being equal after following both candidates closely she is more likely to agree with BO than McCain.  


by giusd 2008-06-08 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

So per my chat with my mother-in-law "dont make up your mind now and dont pick a candidate to support now".  "There are five months until the election.  Give both candidates an chance and then make a decission".

I think that's very sound advice.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-06-08 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

This is a really great diary.

One thing that makes me very nervous about Obama in the General is in fact the inability of his supporters to see his weaknesses. They often seem to brush off what could be real problems for him (ie: Rev. Wright) by simply saying "It's nothing. Done. Over."

Too many seem to lack any understanding of why some people have reservations about Obama and, worse, dismiss it as simply irrationality.

I think that is very, very risky.

by Juno 2008-06-08 12:13PM | 0 recs
I agree he has weaknesses

I always have.  But I also believe that all Candidates have weaknesses.  I think that even if Superman and Jesus ran on a ticket, there would be weaknesses.

Juno, on almost every post I have seen you write you refused to ever acknowledge any weakness that HRC had.  You simply turned it into a personal attack on  Obama and his supporters.  When someone agreed that Obama had weaknesses, you simply ratcheted up your attacks on why he should never be allowed have the nomination.

Yes, Rev. Wright is an issue, but it is also an issue that has been in the news for over 2 months now.  There isn't a whole lot left that is going to come out about it.  Most (yes most, but not all)  people have made up their minds on this issue.  yeah, the GOP is going to play it up, but at this point is it only going to reinforces beliefs and attitudes.

You are also correct that issues are going to come out about Obama in Illinois such as supporting gun control.  But issues are also going to come out about McCain.   It is going to be harder for him to keep up the 'Maverick' title when they see how much he supports Bush.

At this point the campaign is no longer about the differences between BHO and HRC.  It is about the diffrences between the Democrats and the GOP.  If you were a Hillary supporter, are your issues going to be better addressed with McCain sitting in the oval office?

by monkeyga 2008-06-08 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree he has weaknesses

Well, first of all, what you say isn't true.  I don't recall any posts specifically about HRC's weaknesses, mostly just ad hominem attacks on her, demands she leave, etc.  But You're quite wrong about my not agreeing she has weaknesses. If asked which campaign has an attitude that their candidate is saintly and can do no wrong, I think most would say the Obama campaign. Hillary Clinton supporters simply didn't view her in that way.  We viewed her in a much more traditionally political way. So I have to disagree with you about this.

Second, expressing what a person thinks Obama's weaknesses are in terms of winning the General or even being president is NOT "attacking." This is an example of the above-noted problem. That any criticism of Obama is viewed as an ATTACK.  I have never attacked Sen. Obama.  I even barely speak about him, per se.

I HAVE been very turned off by the tenor of A LOT, ifnot most, of his supporters on these blogs, but even then the issue for me is simply that to be have in such a manner necessarily negates Obama's message of wanting to bring change and an end to divisive, negative politics, so it is a legitimate issue since he made it the basis of his candidacy.

I do not call people trolls, or any other names. This has not been the case the other way around.

by Juno 2008-06-08 12:54PM | 0 recs
one of the reasons

I am glad the primary went on as long as it did is that the Reverend Wright stuff is now all "old news."

The GOP will try to haul it out in September and October, but it won't have the same effect as if that were the first time voters saw the clips.

A much worse outcome would have been for Hillary to drop out after Obama's string of February victories, in my opinion.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

I think this Diary is an important way to let off some steam from the primary, but I think it misses the real selling point here which is that Obama is not McCain. In the end, Democrats will vote AGAINST the Republicans, and whether they like Obama personally or not, whether they are sold on his life story or not, whether they think what he's "selling" is any better than the rest, it all doesn't matter. The Supreme Court, and the strength of the party, is at issue here.

General Elections are sharper contrasts than Primaries, so the job of convincing Democrats who supported Hillary or another candidate really isn't what we should be talking about, these are soldiers who will support whomever the nominee is for the most part once they get in the ballot box. Democrats are rational people, and the threats to go after McCain are understandably emotional responses to a very tough election. But what we need to focus on is Independents, and how to convince them.

by washingtoncritic 2008-06-08 12:18PM | 0 recs
on the contrary

At several points in the diary I recommended trying to get on the same side as these voters by drawing the contrast with McCain. So I recognize the importance of doing that.

Here's where you lose me:

these are soldiers who will support whomever the nominee is for the most part once they get in the ballot box.

You should not be willing to settle for that. You should be trying to get all Democrats engaged in helping Obama win this election. You want them talking to their non-Democratic friends about how they weren't originally for Obama, but he's going to be all right if he gets elected. You want them putting an Obama sticker on their cars. You want them to put a HOPE sign in their yards. Maybe they would even donate to Obama's campaign.

A lot of Democrats feel alienated now, and I believe that respectful personal contacts from Obama supporters are one way to address that problem.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: on the contrary

I have no problem reaching out, but really, there's not a whole lot that is going to change someone's mind at this point. Obama has been scrutinized for the last 16 months. You've heard his speeches, and if they don't make your heart flutter, then I don't see what I can do to change that.

All we can do now is draw attention to the sharper contrast with McCain than any disagreement between Clinton/Obama.

I've been doing this for a while now DesMoinesDem, and I believe me, as this process has gone on, the people who don't like Obama are not willing to "jump" on the bandwagon over just a simple speech or phonecall.  It's going to take actions, policy's, etc from the big man himself, as well as the backward policies of the Republicans.

by washingtoncritic 2008-06-08 02:02PM | 0 recs
Is it just me or...

Does anyone else find this diary condescending?  It presupposes the Obama campaign isn't capable of weeding out those who might still harbor anti-Hillary feelings and that the scripts they receive won't be sufficient.  I personally think the winner of the election and his team are probably capable of those things.

It also assumes Hillary will still be relevant in a few months.  She may be.  But I refuse to accept that there'll be a massive number of former Hillary supporters who still hold a grudge against Obama.  I find it even harder to believe there'll be a single Obama supporter out there who will care by then.  Every negative feeling this Obama supporter had for Hillary melted away on Saturday.

No, the best way to handle this is to let things chill for a while.  The only way this continues to be a wedge is if Bill and Hillary aren't honestly behind Obama and snipe from the weeds.  I refuse to even consider that a possibility.  They're bigger than that.

Let's face it, 99.9% of the voting public has never had an argument with someone from the other side, be it on the internet or elsewhere.  They don't care how petty things got here or elsewhere because they weren't personally involved.  What will happen, naturally, over the course of the next few months is that McCain and Obama will sharpen the differences between the only two choice left standing.  People will go out to vote based on what they see and hear from between now and November.  This whole primary battle is a thing of the past, as Senator Clinton said herself.

by SpanishFly 2008-06-08 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Is it just me or...

this posting is especially for people like yourself, SpanishFly, who call Clinton supporters trolls and other names and express a general hostility toward not only them but toward Clinton, so I find it interesting that you find it condescending and unnecessary.

by Juno 2008-06-08 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Is it just me or...

I guess you didn't read my entire post.  Or for that matter, the dozens that proceed it where I sing Senator Clinton's praises.

And no, I call YOU a troll because that's exactly what you are.  Please refrain from stalking me further.

by SpanishFly 2008-06-08 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Is it just me or...

Well, this should help win me over.

Maybe you need to read the diary again???

A lot of Obama supporters are singing Clinton's that she's gone.  Meaningless. YOu were quite nasty about her when she wouldn't shut up and go away, as Obama supporters insisted she do.

Why all the hostility anyway?

Try some unity and hope and change!

by Juno 2008-06-08 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Is it just me or...

"Well, this should help win me over."

Nobody, least of all me, is trying to win you over.  You're a Republican concern troll.

"A lot of Obama supporters are singing Clinton's that she's gone."

Because of the way she stepped down.  I still think she dragged this primary season into the mud unnecessarily.  Water under the bridge to me now.  But you're still soooo concerned.

"Why all the hostility anyway?"


by SpanishFly 2008-06-08 02:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Is it just me or...

It might be condescending, but to me it's a bit like saying "Obama Supporters, you won, but here's what's wrong with you and your candidate, and everything I didn't like about you throughout the primaries, and what you need to do to make people like me comfortable with people like you."

To me, it's a release of steam, although as a passionate Obama supporter, I don't think this post is really written in a spirit of reconciliation. It bothers me that we were bilittled as hopeless dreamers throughout the primary, and we're still be belittled even after Obama is the nominee. I understand that a lot of people are not "sold" on Obama, but really, people are making too much of superficial nonsense. This is about Healthcare. It's about the Supreme Court. It's about the war. A lot of hurtful things were said on both sides throughout this process, and in my opinion nothing we say will really change that. Until we start talking issues, it won't matter.

The only thing which will unify the Democrats it the Republicans. Once Obama starts being attacked by karl rove and others, we will rally to our nominee. Otherwise, four more years of Republican rule.

BTW - I've noticed Jerome has still not acknowledged, let alone congratulated, Obama as the nominee, nor Alegre. I know they have some bruised egos, but frankly, I felt they painted themselves into a corner. Obama was the "likely nominee" for quite some time. It has always been more than likely he would win it, and people just couldn't treat him as the likely nominee, either because they weren't ready for him, didn't like him, or whatever their personal reason. But now that he's the nominee and the fate of the Democrats weigh in the balance of his success, it will be interesting to see just how much the "wise men and women" who put us down for so long, mocked us and our candidate, deal with reality.

by washingtoncritic 2008-06-08 12:39PM | 0 recs
it was written in a spirit of

"stop shooting yourselves in the foot when you talk to people who don't like Obama."

Don't kid yourself. Obama won this primary, but not by much. He has work to do to unite the party, and saying other people's concerns are just "superficial nonsense" won't help.

I know Clinton supporters who will vote for Obama but not volunteer for him, because they are sick of being called racists.

It won't matter in Iowa, because he's going to win this state anyway, but getting more Clinton supporters to feel like they have a connection with the Obama campaign could help him in some other states he needs.

I would have written the same kind of diary addressing Clinton supporters if she had won, because too many of them also responded to Hillary's critics in a counter-productive way during the past year.  

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: it was written in a spirit of

Desmoinesdem - I know a lot of Obama supporters who feel the same way had the tables been turned.  Nobody has a monopoly on reasons to be upset about this primary, we all have our gripes with what was said and done.  Perhaps being "for" one candidate seems to give you a lot of reasons to be "against" another, and you get to see all the worst negatives that one sides supporters seem unable to see.  But rather than swap "What I don't like about your candidate" stories, I think we need to start focusing on John McCain.  Obama is not the issue.  

Your diary is billed as a "general election" diary, when it's really a "primary diary" designed to bring greater validity to all the criticisms of Obama that people have been saying all along.  It's as if to say that you want to have people's suspicions of Obama validated (ie that we somehow think that everyone who disagrees with Obama is racist).

It is absolutely superficial to focus on the minutia of the primary when compared to a woman's right to choose, when compared to Habeus Corpus, when compared to the lives of the men and women in the United States Armed Forces serving and dying, in Iraq. The beauty of the general election is that we can focus far more on issues, since in the Primary Obama and Hillary agreed on so much.

If someone is willing to vote FOR McCain and the war, just because they have nagging questions about Obama, then I would seriously question their sanity.  Luckily, I don't believe most Clinton supporters think like that, or at least, that they will think like that in November.

I've been working for Obama since February of last year, I've made hundreds of calls, and worked my precincts well. I've encountered very little hostility both from Clinton supporters, but also Republicans and others.

Online, however, there's a different discourse, and the anonymity of the Internet breeds a different attitude. People seem comfortable saying things that they would be akward and even cruel in person.

I hope that at least Democrats can come together, not because every doubt about Obama can be addressed, but because we already know what Republican rule is like.

by washingtoncritic 2008-06-08 01:58PM | 0 recs
and I know Democrats

who don't ever read blogs but are disgusted by the way Clinton has been demonized, and her supporters portrayed, this spring.

If Hillary had won the nomination, I would say her supporters have a lot of work to do, just as I think Obama supporters have.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: and I know Democrats

DesMoinesDem - I don't deny that Clinton supporters may feel that way. What I"m saying is, Obama supporters feel very similarly. But rather than devolve any discussion into a handicap of the primary, where we each try to claim that one person has more of a reason to be bitter than another, I say we focus on the Republicans.

This is politics. Clinton lost (narrowly). It's now time to make the party of George W. Bush pay and ensure that the issues that matter to Clinton supporters don't get lost to "McSame."

by washingtoncritic 2008-06-08 02:56PM | 0 recs
reasonable minds can differ

I find the attitude of many Obama supporters condescending.

You are deluding yourself if you think there aren't a great many Democrats out there who are angry because of the way things went in the primaries.

Most of these Democrats will come home and vote for Obama, but wouldn't it be better if Obama supporters reached out to them in a respectful way? Maybe some of them would get involved and help his campaign in some way beyond reluctantly voting for him.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 01:36PM | 0 recs
Re: reasonable minds can differ

"I find the attitude of many Obama supporters condescending."


"You are deluding yourself if you think there aren't a great many Democrats out there who are angry because of the way things went in the primaries."

According to most Clinton supporters, I've been delusional for a year.

"Most of these Democrats will come home and vote for Obama, but wouldn't it be better if Obama supporters reached out to them in a respectful way?"

Many of us have.  I have.  But here, I get told it doesn't count because she's already conceded.  

"Maybe some of them would get involved and help his campaign in some way beyond reluctantly voting for him."

Most Clinton backers, just like Dean supporters, will vote for the Dem.  And nothing in your diary would make that more likely.  And if they don't, the country and the planet will suffer for it.  And really, it's up to Clinton supporters to tell THAT to other Clinton supporters.

by SpanishFly 2008-06-08 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: reasonable minds can differ

Reaching out is an absolute must - but frankly, much of the opposition to Obama was on a certain level irrational.  Obama has been the "likely" nominee since he won 11 states in a row. We've been saying for weeks and months that the probability that Sen. Clinton could win such a large percentage of votes to erase the delegate lead was near impossible.

But not only did people not listen, people went out of their way to come on to blogs and publically state that they could NEVER support Obama, etc, that he had all these tragic flaws, he was a big meanie, a fake, etc... and completely set themselves up for a very big let down.

If we could have spent the time since Ohio/Texas building Sen. Obama up instead of spending the last 2-3 months trying to tear him down, a woman's reproductive health might be a lot more secure than it is now. If we could have spent the millions of dollars raised on fighting the Republicans rather than each other, then the Iraq war might be a little closer to ending.

But instead, we spent millions shadow boxing two candidates that agree on nearly everything, while they bloodied each other up.

It's over now, but can I reason with people who all along have refused to listen to reason? No.

But I have faith that the OVERWHELMING majority of Clinton supporters are very rational, and will vote their self interest on election day.

by washingtoncritic 2008-06-08 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: reasonable minds can differ
much of the opposition to Obama was on a certain level irrational.
What is irrational of being against Obama because of the company he keeps. Rezko, Wright and Ayers.
by usedmeat 2008-06-08 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: reasonable minds can differ

I totally agree. Very little of it was irrational, and making a statement like "much of the opposition to Obama was irrational" is just to make oneself sound superior. VERY VERY few people voted for Hillary because they are racists or irrational. As Desmoinesdem tries heroically to show us in this wonderful diary (best I've read in weeks), there is genuine anger and hurt out there in the half of the party that "didn't get it." I'm one of those people who heard Obama, many many times, and just heard another politician, nothing special. And that's fine. Whatever, I'll vote for him. Anyone with a D after his name and all that. But believe me, the opposition to Obama in the primary had very little to do with irrationality. It had to do with what Desmoinesdem says: Lack of specifics, arrogance and elitism (especially among some of his supporters, see Kos, Daily), and just a basic failure to connect with the rhythms and themes of his speech. That's real. Try going into a Latino neighborhood and asking about Barack Obama sometime. It's as real as it gets.

by ColoradoGuy 2008-06-08 05:38PM | 0 recs
it's amazing to me

when some Obama supporters refuse to allow for a rational person coming to a different conclusion after considering all the candidates.

As a Kerry precinct captain, I never would have claimed or even thought that people who opposed Kerry were mostly irrational.

As an Edwards precinct captain, I encountered some people who just didn't like his style or his ideas for various reasons. I would never say that the opposition to Edwards was mostly irrational.

If this kind of chatter only manifested itself on blogs, it wouldn't be as big a problem. But in real life, there are too many Obama supporters who simply have trouble accepting that a sentient being might not like Obama.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: it's amazing to me

well, you should be amazed, because if you'd carefully read what I wrote, you'd see that I didn't say "anyone who disagrees with me is irrational" or "anyone who comes to a different conclusion than me" is irrational. If politics is the art of marginalizing your opponents, you are truly good at politics.

My point was that it was irrational for SOME people to treat Obama like the plague when he has been the likely nominee for some time. Tuesday was a media event, not a milestone, that milestone had been reached quite some time ago - at the very latest in North Carolina. I'm not talking about style or ideas, I'm talking about mathematics, basic 1+1=2 type stuff.

Issues should trump candidates, and there was no reason to jump all over him for months on end just because you preferred your candidate. It just so happened that his lead was so substantial that only destroying him would end his candidacy, no conventional argument would succeed.

That's when Rev. Wright started making an appearance , and this NONSENSE about "associations." 1) This has been known since March of 2007, if not long beforehand but it only was "made" an issue in April. 2) How much did you learn about Obama by listening to a bad 30 sec clip of his preacher? Nothing. 3) I personally know 10 or 15 people as bad or worse than Rev. Wright in terms of their far-left leanings. And you know what? It's America, so its ok to be friends with people with whom you don't agree. I'm sorry he knows "William Ayers" who BTW was pardoned by guess who? Bill Clinton. And frankly, who cares? So he "knows him." What does that mean?

Heck, Rush Limbaugh says worse stuff every week and his clips aren't played like that. I guess when you're fat, white, and conservative, it's ok.

If you ever run for office, see who twists your relationships for political gain.

BTW - there are many "sentient beings" who don't like Obama. But if you care about issues, then as a "sentient being" you shouldn't dislike Obama more than McCain.

by washingtoncritic 2008-06-08 06:08PM | 0 recs
well, obviously

I dislike McCain more than I dislike Obama, otherwise I wouldn't even bother with a diary like this.

I write little about the presidential campaign. I have been focusing on covering environmental and other issues, as well as state and local races, at Bleeding Heartland.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: it's amazing to me

BTW do you guys really want me to respond to whats irrational about looking down on Obama for the company he keeps?

That is for the most part guilt by association, which is irrational if you try to derive conclusions about what Obama believes from those friendships. I'm friends with a Bush Administration official, so what?

And hey I'll just say it, I agree with some of the stuff Rev. Wright said. Guess anyone who knows me is a really bad person too.

by washingtoncritic 2008-06-08 06:13PM | 0 recs
also thanks for understanding

what I was trying to accomplish with this diary. However it may come across to some people, my goal was to provide helpful advice to Obama volunteers.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: also thanks for understanding

You started off like that, but by the time you got to debunking Obama talking points and talking about supposed anti-gay biases of Obama it was pretty clear you were still fighting for your preferred candidate.

by washingtoncritic 2008-06-08 06:09PM | 0 recs
how many times do I have to explain

that I don't like Clinton or Obama much?

It's like talking to a wall with some of you people. If you had been on this blog a year ago you would know how much I argued with Clinton supporters.

No matter how many times I say I don't like either of them, Obama supporters will always accuse me of being a "Hill-shill" or whatever.

Yes, the McClurkin debacle was one of the events that changed my opinion of Obama for the worse. But it wasn't the first and it wasn't the last.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: reasonable minds can differ

Obama has said that the long primary season has made him a better candidate, and I think that's demonstrably true. His campaign says the primary contests in many states have put in place on-the-ground teams that will make him competitive in states he would not have been if Clinton had suspended her campaign in February. They apparently don't believe that those millions were needlessly spent. I haven't agreed with Markos about much lately, but I do agree with him that vigorous primaries are good for our general election prospects.

by Vico 2008-06-08 04:54PM | 0 recs
there's no doubt in my mind

that the long primary made Obama a better candidate.

Some down-ticket candidates will also benefit from the record gains in Democratic voter registration.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Great post.  Very good ideas.


by Please 2008-06-08 01:18PM | 0 recs
rarely do my diaries

attract trolls.

But your advice is sound nonetheless.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

1. The price of gas has more than doubled since GWB became president

2. GOP politicians said that the Iraq War would be financed with oil revenues from Iraq

3. Four years after Hurricane Katrina --- people are still living in temporary shelters

4. No Child Left Behind has done just that --- abandoned teaching our children for test scores

5. If you think Bush Cheney were in the pockets of the oil industry ---- meet John McCain --- The Lobbyists in DC are starting a whole clothing line with his name on it

Guys ---- we need to hit McCain every day and put him on his heels.  

by kmwray 2008-06-08 01:39PM | 0 recs
yes, I agree on all points

McCain would be like a third term for Bush.

That is why I suggest using points about McCain to get on the same side as voters who had a different preference during the primaries.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama
Thank you for the diary, DMD.
As you have probably already figured out, it is falling on deaf ears.
I think people here are doing a better job at healing the divide than they are at Dkos (and bless you for trying to be a voice of reason over there),  but there are still a lot of issues some people haven't dealt with yet.
We don't have a lot of time to waste on hurt feelings (on both sides), unfortunately.
by skohayes 2008-06-08 03:21PM | 0 recs
I expected some pushback

I think I better put on my full-body armor before I cross-post at Daily Kos, though.

The funny thing is that last year I hardly ever got involved in the Obama-Edwards pissing matches on the blogs. I've done ten times more arguing with Obama supporters since Edwards dropped out.

Thanks for your comment.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: I expected some pushback

What I need to hear--because I know all of the other stuff--is how Obama and his campaign people want my support and value what I care about as an older, white, working class female.

Haven't heard that yet.

Will vote for him but my "wounds" won't be healed by a big list of why I better get with the program.

If anyone cares.

by bently2 2008-06-08 06:07PM | 0 recs
How do you explain William Ayers

Obama's BFF to a disabled American Vietnam or War on Terror vet?

by usedmeat 2008-06-08 04:31PM | 0 recs
Clinton herself made the best case for Obama

In Clinton's concession speech, she did an excellent job of demonstrating how to reach out to her supporters to support Obama. She simply talked about an issue or a value that she supported and campaigned on, and said that the way to achieve that goal would be to elect Obama, because he supports it too.

by s5 2008-06-08 06:02PM | 0 recs
Missing one - &quot;That Church&quot;

This is somewhat separate from the race issue, but there are people out there with major reservations about Obama because of TUCC and Reverend Wright.  This can play out in a few ways. I've been arguing about this with my neighbor, who I convinced to support Obama until she withered away after Wright's comeback tour and called Obama a "terrorist". She was a little drunk the second time but she has real reservations. This is Appalachia and she admits her sister is a full-on racist. So how do you deal with the Wright thing?

1) Acknowledge that Wright is an asshole, but mostly that he's an attention-grabbing egomaniac.  Mention that while Wright says some screwed up things, he's also said and done some great things over the years and it's probably unfair to judge the guy entirely by a few admittedly horrible comments.

2) Get right to the real point and ask the person: Do you really believe Barack Obama believes those things Reverend Wright said? Almost always the answer is no. But if it's, "well, I'm sure he does a little bit," then the follow-up is, "don't you think we would have heard something from somebody else saying they heard Obama echo what Wright said? Even in passing?" This worked the first time on my neighbor. I didn't have a chance to bring it up the second time when she was a bit drunk.

3) Another point of resistance is the judgment one: why did Obama stay there for so long? The answer to this is twofold: First, he attended the church because it was the church that first led him to Christianity and he saw the good work they did in the neighborhood. It was a vehicle to lead him to Christ, not an end in itself. And when going to church most Sundays Obama was able to pray and serve the community just like most churches. The second point to mention is that TUCC is a very big church with several services. Obama attended the family services - not the "Hour of Power" service where those crazy sermons came from.  Mention that in his book he talks about what led him to Trinity and why he stayed there: it wasn't the paranoia and black militancy. It was the church community and the more positive sermons like the Audacity to Hope sermon.

4) Stress that while you don't like some of the things that go on that church, you don't hold it as a reason not to vote for him. I had this exact conversation with my Jewish grandmother this evening. She was disturbed by TUCC. She voted for Clinton. But she knew that TUCC was irrelevant to this election. But she's completely sold on Obama now. "We just need to get rid of those Goddamn Republicans." That's the spirit!

Anyway, this is another issue that will come up among skeptical voters. I've seen little evidence that anybody has rejected Obama outright solely because of the church; anybody who cites the church has other reasons behind it. My neighbor, for example, revealed her racial anxieties about Obama well before Reverend Wright came out.  ("He'll just give everything to the blacks." I convinced her that Obama was more like Bill Cosby and less like Jesse Jackson. She wants to believe me but she's got a lot of prejudice in there.)

So it might make sense to add this one to the list. It WILL come up, among former Clinton Democrats and certainly among Independents and Republicans who don't like McCain. If you think these responses are inadequate, mention ones that are better. We will need to become experts on this.

by elrod 2008-06-08 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Missing one - "That Church"

I didn't include this because I haven't heard any Democrats say they soured on Obama because of TUCC.

It's more that the Reverend Wright stuff reinforced the doubts of people who think Obama is a weak candidate.

I think your suggestions are good, though. There may be some independents or swing voters who hesitate to vote for Obama for that reason.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Missing one - &quot;That Church&quot;

That's my sense too. But there are mildly prejudiced working class white Democrats who might be willing to take a chance on a black candidate, but for whom Rev. Wright only reinforces their prejudices. To an extent, my neighbor (born in West Virginia, now in East Tennessee) is this way.

by elrod 2008-06-08 08:14PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Thank you for putting the effort into this.  But really, I've spent all the energy I want to spend on intransigent Clinton supporters, who I believe are a very small minority of the Clinton supporters.  I'm more interested in expanding the pie and bringing new voters into the fold, and approaching independents and would be progressive third party voters.

by Drummond 2008-06-08 07:33PM | 0 recs
so you admit

that you don't care much about Clinton supporters or other Democrats who have doubts about Obama. You'd rather focus on other, more important types of people.

Good luck with that in November.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: so you admit

I'm just saying, that's better done by others.  I don't have the patience for trying to convince people who would rather give up the right to choice than vote for the guy who beat their beloved candidate.  In fact, I'll leave that to the pragmatic Clinton supporters.  

We've got an incredible moment in history happening here, and massaging bruised egos wounded activists with a big sense of entitlement just isn't going to be my emphasis.  Not when we have an opportunity to draw in working class people who have been voting Republican all of their lives who may partake in a transformative moment in history.

by Drummond 2008-06-08 07:39PM | 0 recs
I am shaking my head

Listen, do you want millions of Clinton supporters to reluctantly vote for Obama, despite feeling like the campaign and its activists don't really care what they think and would rather focus on people who have never been Democrats?

Or do you want to help Clinton supporters feel like Obama supporters respect them as human beings with a different point of view?

Why should any of them try to help Obama in any way (other than voting for him) when you've made clear you think they are just a bunch of whiners with a sense of entitlement?

Many of these people have volunteered for Democrats before and could help Obama. In late March I met a woman who was very active in the Clinton campaign in Council Bluffs (western Iowa, a weak area for Obama). She's going to vote for Obama, but she doesn't feel like getting involved with his campaign. Frankly, I don't blame her.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-08 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: I am shaking my head

Sorry.  I guess some Clinton supporters need time to move on.  Maybe I do too.

by Drummond 2008-06-08 09:42PM | 0 recs
Re: I am shaking my head

Would you like my list of things Hillary and her supporters did that turned me off?

No, I didn't think you would, and honestly I am trying to forget right now, so it would help to recite it.

The point is either Barack Obama is going to be the next president of the USA or John McCain is.

Either we are going to be one party united and strong against McCain or we are going to be something less.

So both sides need to build a bridge and get over it already.

by Sam Wise Gingy 2008-06-09 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Or you could call your diary: How to use the same tactics that elected bush in 04, which is FEAR, only this time, you'll use the fear of getting more wing nuts on the top court. How about this instead: Instead of worrying about what an Obama, or more likely a president McCain will do, how about everyone concerned about this, to just put more effort into getting more and better democrats in to both branches of congress. Because if we have a veto proof majority there, then problem solved! No matter which asshole is in the whitehouse.  

by muggle 2008-06-08 11:05PM | 0 recs
Nothing about universal health care

Cutting NASA funding, or his support for keeping mercenaries such as Blackwater in Iraq and other places.

I'm an independent. At one time I did have loyalty to the Dems because they have supported my ideals somewhat better than the Repubs, but after seeing what has happened with the delegates, not so much any more.

I'm past reproductive age, so don't have a dog in he hunt when it comes to Roe. If the younger women don't think it's important enough to support the candidate that is full-bore for women's rights, then let them deal with the repercussions.

How would you address those? I'm willing to listen to what you have to say. Convince me that Obama WILL work for universal health care, NASA, and for getting rid of the mercenaries. Why shouldn't I vote for the Green candidate, McKinney? She fits my bill better than Obama does.

by splashy 2008-06-09 01:00AM | 0 recs
whatever Obama does on any of these issues

would be better than McCain's approach to them.

I preferred the Edwards and Clinton health care plans to Obama's, but even Obama's health care plan is better than McCain's.

Look through the diaries posted by nyceve for more on this:

By the way, nyceve has not been a big Obama advocate at DKos, and has defended alegre in particular over there.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-09 05:04AM | 0 recs
Well, Eve is a known, intelligent

diarist there but the comments in that diary were such a wonderful opportunity to bash Hillary. It is a never ending source of wonder to me that on tv and blogs and in personal conversations, people are still looking for an opening to dis the Clintons.  On tv, if a question is asked about Sen. Obama, the pundits first get in an unpleasant gratuitous comment about Sen. Clinton. It is common and pervasive.  Like Hillary said, thank the good Lord we have the two terms of Bill Clinton or what shape would we be in now.  Though on foreign policy, first President Bush did a fine job of handling the Soviet dissolution but did not have a grasp of world events that followed.  Still give him his due.

I've always thought a segment of the Democratic power structure was unhappy that the Clintons won - not their type of people - and are oh so happy to be in on the supposed Last Rites.  I admire and am thankful for
Sen. Kennedy but he was and is one of them.  

Eighteen million people disagree, including the states of some of Sen. Obama's big supporters.  They know best I guess.

When you say that Edwards is a phony and Hillary is a monster - is that humor, or is it a code to the Obama people who God forbid have to deal with what they consider low information citizens and that they have to humor us.

In part, this election is about a generational hand off.  Why should this be an easy task just because Sen. Obama is running - it's always a monumental seizure.  I am not a Boomer - I'm the generation ahead, but if more respect had been paid to the women of that generation who had a great deal to do with what is right with this country - maybe the rancor would be less.  Consider alwo this generation is by no means an ordinary demographic.  Why would anyone  think it should be an easy change because Sen. Obama is running.    

by Xanthe 2008-06-09 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk ... about Obama's Veep Pick!

Seems like the wind has gone out of the Obama campaign, now that they've beaten the "wicked witch".  But final delegate votes haven't been cast yet -- Hillary is suspending, not releasing hers - so there's still some small hope.  Until the convention.

NOW the issue becomes: who will Obama put on his ticket to make me pull the lever for him in November?  Because it won't happen for BO + just about anybody in the Democratic Party.  Not Edwards, not Richardson, DEFINITELY not Biden, etc. etc.  It essentially comes down to Hillary Clinton or Al Gore (who isn't available).  Any other combination will generate what they call in Florida an "undervote", that is, all other positions on the ballot are voted for (except the office of President).

by jginnane 2008-06-09 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

this is spot on..and especially for my nephew who is only 21 and may not understand the rest of us.

by benny06 2008-06-09 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Having canvassed in OH and PA for Obama, I can definitely say there are a lot of people who are not buying what Obama is selling - and that is a very dangerous position for a politician to be in.  It's going to require hard work and sincere effort by his campaign to fix this.

That being said, this post is a load of garbage.  I guess this is how bitter Clinton supporters are dealing with their disappointment - by writing rambling cathartic posts dressed up as something productive or informative.

by direwolfc 2008-06-09 09:39AM | 0 recs
I really did laugh out loud

when reading your comment.

Nice to acknowledge that Obama has a problem with non-supporters, then completely dismiss all of my points as a "load of garbage."

If you don't care for my suggestions, you can write your own diary for Obama volunteers.

By the way, I am not a Clinton supporter, and you are very mistaken if you think that Clinton supporters are the only people who've been turned off by some Obama fans.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-09 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: I really did laugh out loud

yeah I tried to make a more constructive reply, but as I was going point by point through your post I realized all your points were either a) some Obama volunteers are ***holes and b) here are the reasons why 'some' people think Obama is inexperienced, unqualified, has run an unfair race-baiting campaign, and doesn't deserve to be president.  

This post isn't about 'how to talk to non-supporters', its really a long rant about why you (or 'some' people) don't support Obama or dislike his volunteers.  And thats fine, it's a free country.  It's just a misleading title.  

yes Obama does have a problem with non-supporters (hence the term), but your post does not actually attempt to address how to solve it - making it impossible to substantively respond to.  

by direwolfc 2008-06-10 12:07PM | 0 recs
Suggestion: Do not impersonate ...

... established members of pro-Hillary forums, for the purpose of posting pro-Obama arguments or "conversion stories".

There's enough of you doing that already. It does NOT promote unity. Also, it violates the Terms of Service agreements of every major ISP of the planet.

by RonK Seattle 2008-06-09 12:01PM | 0 recs
is that happening?

I don't participate in any of the Hillary forums, so I wouldn't know.

Sock puppetry can become a problem at any blog when passions are high.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-09 12:08PM | 0 recs
Extensively. Full-scale netwar.

by RonK Seattle 2008-06-09 12:25PM | 0 recs
Suggestion: Things take time

Remember, Howard Dean's disappointed followers had nearly six months from collapse to convention ... and savvy non-Dean delegates gave them plenty of room to come to deal with it, rather than demanding instant unity.

As for me, if I believed the things about Hillary that most of Obama's shock troops do, I'd never vote for her, for any office, ever, under any circumstances. For similar reasons, I'll oppose Obama for any office, any time, ever ... and McCain will have my vote IF Obama is the nominee.

by RonK Seattle 2008-06-09 12:24PM | 0 recs
Suggestion: Never publish anything ...

... like this.

by RonK Seattle 2008-06-09 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Hi.  Thanks for this diary.  I have a friend who's gone totally awesomely bitter due to the whole "Hillary's-nomination-got-stolen" thing.  Now I have some more ideas how I can answer my friend's bitter comments.

by tive 2008-06-09 02:53PM | 0 recs
thank you for reading

I would have written the same kind of diary directed at Clinton volunteers if she were the nominee, because you know that thousands of Obama fans would be screaming about the nomination being stolen, caucuses and superdelegates not being representative, etc.

Good luck with your friend, but be patient.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-09 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

As one of the target population, my recommendation is don't even try. All you can do is piss me off more. No matter how you approach me, basically you are trying to tell me that you know something I don't. I don't see it that way, obviously.

I've been in the blogosphere for the past couple of years. I was driven out of the orange place. I know what all the arguments are. I'm smart. I pay attention. I'll decide by Election Day who to vote for. In the meantime, stay away from me. You are a lot the reason I feel as I do - don't make things worse by pretending to respect me now.

by denise b 2008-06-09 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Gotta agree with that. There's a lot of stuff Obama himself can do to win my vote (starting with UHC), so my suggestion to his supporters is, ask him to reach out to those of us who are hurting for UHC and gas prices. If he moves left he can get some of these votes.

by votermom 2008-06-10 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

Oops, I meant my comment to be a reply to denise -- I agree that supporters shouldn't even try.

by votermom 2008-06-10 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

This was a truly excellent diary.  I think the thing that sets you apart, DMD, and enables you to offer this high-quality advice is that unlike many political activists, you listen.  It ought to go without saying that you can't advocate for your candidate and overcome objections if you're not even listening to the concerns other people have, but so many people fail to grasp this basic truth.

I've talked to so many voters in the last several months - people who by all rights should be voting D in November - who have concerns with stuff like Rev. Wright, or the "bitter" comments, or what have you.  Now, those are tough points to overcome.  But among Obama supporters on the blogs, the conventional wisdom is that all those things are complete non-issues, that anyone who brings them up is just a hater, and that we should just ignore them because high gas prices and a sluggish economy will guarantee that we win the election.  That is not a productive attitude.

One thing you implied in your diary, but didn't say explicitly, is that there is a right way and a wrong way to bring up the Supreme Court issue.  The way you framed it in your examples is exactly right, in my book.  I think it's effective to say "yep, I understand that concern, but I just can't abide the thought of McCain appointing all those conservative judges."  Unlike the kind of argument I refer to as "uterus blackmail," this makes it about you and the reasons YOU intend to vote for Obama, rather than putting the onus on the listener that they better vote for Obama or else all that blood will be on their hands.

If more Obama supporters were receptive to your advice - or, even better, understood instinctively the right way and the wrong way to advocate for a candidate - I expect I'd be out there myself working for Obama's election, even though I'm no more enthused about him as a candidate than you are.  As it is, I'll certainly vote for Obama, but the kids are going to have to win this one by themselves.  The way they behave just makes it impossible for me to work alongside them.

by Steve M 2008-06-10 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to non-supporters about Obama

 I think laying out what amounts to the basic rules of respectful voter approach is not a bad thing.

by anasky123 2008-06-26 01:34AM | 0 recs


Advertise Blogads