Obama In '08 -- here's why

Barack Obama in '08.

There, I've typed it.

Being one who would rather see Montana Governor Brian Schwetizer or Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold in the White House (neither of which are going to happen in 2008), I have settled on Illinois Senator Barack Obama as my choice.

Here's why:

Barack Obama can achieve at least three things no other Democratic candidate can and can offer more than any other prospective candidate:

One, he can enthuse this country's youth into both believing in the political process once again and in the value of voting. Can you imagine John McCain connecting to young people in America? Neither can I. In fact, there is nobody on the GOP side that can match Obama in this regard. You say Hillary? Quit pulling my leg.

Two, Obama can win the Mountain West and Southwest states against a Republican presidential candidate because a right-wing, evangelical-driven Republican nominee or a GOP fundamentalist newbie (a converted McCain?) is not going to triumph in either of these sections of our country. Only McCain and possibly only in Arizona will have a chance in the Mountain West and Southwest against Obama.

Three, Obama can also achieve a higher degree of perceived or real political reunification of this country than any other candidate, Democratic or Republican. He can forge a winning degree of affiliation between Democrats and Independents as he proved in Illinois--even dragging some Republicans over to his side. This is the long-missing but much vaunted 'blue' national victory coalition.

Four, Obama represents newness but, more importantly, NEW HOPE and such will be an undefeatable combination in 2008. Voters are already fatigued over the venal level of politics and campaigning and will be desirous of backing a contemporary quasi-neophyte over the same old-same old. This will be true regardless of what how such an individual actually plans to govern.

Five, Barack Obama is LIKEABLE! He exudes a level of charisma heretofore unknown in so many of the Democratic presidential candidates. Can you say Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, John Kerry, Jimmy Carter? Obama can also choose someone a la Wes Clark as his running mate and quickly sooth any concerns about his lack of foreign policy experience.

Six, some of the tricksters in the world like Putin and those in China will quickly put Obama to the test if he wins the presidency but name one other candidate, Democratic or Republican, who will be able to remove the poisonous nature of our recent worldwide foreign policy as quickly as Obama. Europe will embrace him, Africa will love him, Aisa will be intrigued.

However, here's my Obama concerns:

Yes, Obama has but a partial term in Congress and time as an Illinois representative on his resume. It is skimpy. But what exactly did George W. Bush have to offer? Being governor in Texas was more of a mantlepiece position than anything else, as the legislature contained the power in that state. Also, becoming infected with U.S. Senator-itis, like too many of the other zombies on Capitol Hill, is not what I want to see Obama acquire. More terms as a U.S. Senator will make him susceptible to this plague.

Also, some will still argue that '9/11 changed everything' and that decades of foreign policy experience will be a necessity for anyone hungering for the presidency. That simply isn't going to sell in 2008. Who will want to remind voters of the 9/11 'skirt' the failed Bush Administration has continually hid behind?

Obama has also been dinged by some for not being bold and definitive enough to date in Congress. There is some truth to such but a counter argument for that is what exactly can a junior Senator from Illinois achieve in a Republican-run Congress? Sure, I would viscerally enjoy some fire-breathing anti-GOP rhetoric from Obama's mouth but such would probably achieve very little and might even upset some of the more senior Dems who would then fear their media time and exposure was being usurped by a rookie.

I also have concern over how much Obama will be connected to corporate interests/the K Street mafia--this is actually my biggest worry. But I think that is an area where the netroots can provide significant influence in abating such a happening..

To me, the significant positives of an Obama candidacy far, far outweigh any possible negatives. But this is not choice solely about electability or holding one's nose to back a winner. Obama stands head and shoulders above all those in the middle and the left in both how the mainstream media and U.S. populace preceives him. He can and will define himself---how many other candidates will have that prospect. There is no one else with a bigger upside. He has a head and heart working in conjunction with each other.

Now is the time.

Tags: Barack Obama (all tags)

Comments

102 Comments

Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

I agree.

The biggest argument for running Obama in 2008 is that he will bring people to the polls who wouldn't vote otherwise: young people (they are crazy about him), minorities, single women (especially Oprah viewers).

Plus his charisma is simply mindblowing. The problem with many past Dems is that they have lacked charisma: Dukakis, Gore, Kerry and so on. Obama is truly a rock star and exactly what we need against a tired repub like McCain.

Obama is are strongest candidate right now, no doubt about that.

by Populism2008 2006-11-27 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

I should add that the "non-voters" is not a tiny group (45%). Obama can make huge inroads here.

by Populism2008 2006-11-27 10:25AM | 0 recs
how much charisma will he have

after the right-wing hate machine spends a year taking him apart?

It will be the same old story--non-voters again finding an excuse not to vote, because they don't like either candidate.

He's too inexperienced and I am looking elsewhere.

by desmoinesdem 2006-11-27 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Two words: Obama Fatigue.

Talk about peaking too early!

by Liberal Avenger 2006-11-28 10:29AM | 0 recs
And the elephant in the room?

It detracts just slightly from the persuasiveness of your argument that you don't address Obama's race.

We have a sidebar of is he mixed race? - but it's mostly, Is a guy who looks like Obama electable as prez in 08?

My hypothesis is, almost certainly not. There will be polling: but the spiral of silence factor would need to be probed carefully.

And it depends to an extent on the GOP candidate: they could pick such a dud that Dollar Bill himself could win from out of Club Fed.

But, against their best candidate, how would Obama shape up, compared with the rest of the Dem field?

Plus - love the argument on his being a freshman senator: his inexperience makes him fit for the job!

Just to say: I have no dog in the fight, so far. So this is not boosting some other guy by knocking Obama.

by skeptic06 2006-11-27 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: And the elephant in the room?

I highly doubt his race would prevent him from becoming President.  There is still racism in our country no doubt about it, but how much of the electorate wouldn't vote for a black man simply due to the color of his skin?  Not many.  How many of these voters were going to vote Democratic? Almost none.  Maybe it will marginally hurt him, but certainly not enough to prevent him from becoming President.  If Harold Ford can take 48% of Tennessee with the corruption problems his family had than I have no doubt Obama can easily carry enough states to be President.  He would win in every state Kerry did and I can't imagine him losing in Ohio.  His shot in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Missouri, Virginia, and Florida would also be very strong.  Not only could he win the Presidency, he could win BIG.

The other obvious agrument against Obama is his inexperience.  I think this diary hit that one right on the head.  If you're a Senator inexperience is probably not a bad thing.  If he picks a strong running mate (I would love to see Wes Clark on the ticket for example) this isn't going to hurt him that much.  Being the governor of Arkansas for example doesn't constitute someone being ready for the White House.  I think Obama said it best when he said nobody is ready to be President before they get the job.

by blueryan 2006-11-27 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: And the elephant in the room?

Maybe a Governor as VP... Vilsack, Easley, Richardson, Henry, Rendell, Doyle?  (These are not in order of preference)... I'd probably favor Richardson or Henry of the bunch for an Obama ticket.    

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-27 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: And the elephant in the room?

Make it Napolitano, and McCain, should he be the nominee, might have to actually campaign in his home state, while any other Republican would probably have to write off Arizona's ten electoral votes; Janet is POPULAR here.

by Alex 2006-11-28 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: And the elephant in the room?

Yeah but a Woman and a Black Man may just be way too many firsts for a lot of people.  I hate to say that... the thought sickens me... but there are a lot of people who might vote for one or the other but not both.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-29 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: And the elephant in the room?

Ford's race raises a fair point.

The exit poll showed 40% of TN whites voted for Ford, which looks like a pretty impressive crossover vote to my untutored eye, all things considered.

What I'd query is how far this is a reliable indication of voters' willingness to crossover-vote for a prez candidate.

My suspicion would be that, if you looked at the numbers, the propensity of white voters to crossover, although it would have increased over time, has (controlled for that) been greater the less important the office.

Thus, the House has been a good deal blacker over the last 40 years than the Senate.

Now, in comparing House and Senate races, gerrymandering of one kind and another is obviously a potent confounding factor. But I wonder whether that accounts for all of the difference. (I'd be suprised if some polisci math whiz hasn't tried to work the numbers.)

Plus, there is only one Prez: head of state, icon of the nation, etc, etc. It's one thing for a state to elect a non-white US Senator as one of 100: it wouldn't exactly be leading to overrepresentation!

Quite another for a majority white nation to choose a non-white person as its prez, the one and only in office for four or eight years together.

(Think how difficult it's been for a white woman to get to the starting gate.)

All I'm saying is that not addressing the race issue in a piece backing Obama is leaving out a big piece of the puzzle, and that it's an issue that he and his supporters will have to address squarely if and when he decides to run.

One factor that might concern some Dems is precisely that: that, if Obama runs, the need to address the race issue will make race the issue of Obama's candidacy.

by skeptic06 2006-11-27 01:30PM | 0 recs
Re: If people have a problem with Mormon

I agree with you 100%.

I like Obama & he has certainly brought excitement to the Democratic Party. He also happens to be the First African-American politician that the Mainstream Media has given a serious look as a potential Democratic nominee.

But with that said, it would be totally naive for anyone who truly understands politics & race in America to Ignore Barack Obama's race.

Obama's race is a major factor & it will be magnified IF he ever gets to be a serious candidate.

Everyone here in MYDD may have no problem voting for Obama as President. But we are Not everybody. We are not even close to everybody.

There's a reason we have only had two Black Governor's in our History. With one winning in the most Democratic state in the union.

Another example is Today's Rasmussen poll just released. It is a Simple yet perfect example. A plurality of Americans surveyed said that they would " absolulely NOT" vote for a Mormon for President. ( referring to Gov. Romney)

Gender, Religion, Race Bias is still alive & well in America. Anyone who thinks otherwise, is either in total denial or is being naive.

Obama is the darling right now because the MSM & people in general feel good about showing off an Accepting & Free America.

But if Obama does take the next step, the scrutinity will begin. And if he does pose a real serious threat to being the nominee, you will start seeing Race Bias coming out in droves.

Unfortunately, many voters want things one step at a time when it comes to discrimination.
You need to slowly break them in. Abrupt change makes them uncomfortable.

It took the closes election in history ( with the exception of 2000) for a Catholic President to win in John Kennedy. It has never happened again in the last 40 years.

It will probably be easier for a Woman to first break-in. ( But not necessarily HRC). Then, a Jewish or Catholic next. Then, comes a Black or Latino to be President.

Again, democratic party acitivist netroots members do not necessary reflect the views of your Joe or Jane.

I don't want another symbolic candidate who has no real chance of winning.

by labanman 2006-11-27 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: If people have a problem with Mormon

I think you're wrong on the race issue.  I remember an old "All in the Family" in which Meathead confronts Archie with the fact that some of his heroes are black, and Archie insists that they're not black, they're "colored"--colored being somehow not really black in Archie's prejudiced mind.  I've forgotten the exact wording here, but in Archie's atavistic mindset, some African Americans are not really "black."  

And this is the way a good many racist voters think.  Al Sharpton, black; Colin Powell, not black.  Cynthia McKinney, black; Condie Rice, not black, etc.  This goes for actors too: Spike Lee, black; Denzel Washington, not black. And some of this has to do with appearance, dress, and accent, but most of this has to do with how outspoken an African American man or woman is about gross injustices heaped upon African Americans throughout American history and today.  If they don't address these "divisive" issues much, they're not thought of as being as different than if they do address them.  

And so if there's a candidate who doesn't stumble over the white racist "trip-wire," then strategy number one for the right-wing is to subtly remind voters of an African American candidate's "blackness"--that is, play into the racist white fantasy of blackness.  So link Harold Ford with sexuality, and suddenly you've tripped up an age-old racist white fantasy about the sexually omniverous African American man, and you've reminded white voters that Harold Ford is irreducibly "other."  Or, and I think this probably was even more effective than the "call me, Harold" commercial, link Ford to a corrupt family, and suddenly voters think of stereotypes about black incompetence in power that go back to Reconstruction, and they look at Ford through their fantasty of "blackness" and don't trust an African American man's ethics.

So right now, Obama doesn't seem to have tripped up racist white fantasies of blackness: he has emphasized universal qualities about his story, he hasn't made affirmative action a centerpiece of his campaigns, and his accent, like Rice's and Powell's has been stripped of regional markers.  He has done with his racial background what Lieberman did with his religious background: he has turned a historical negative into a contemporary positive while yet retaining his cultural identity as a campaign set-piece.  And just as it surprised me to find that the majority of voters in 2000 chose a Jewish V.P. over a "Christian" V.P., I think we might be surprised to see a majority of voters choose Obama over a white candidate.

But you can bet your house that Republicans would remind voters of Obama's "otherness," in a fashion more coded perhaps than the overtly and clumsily racist playboy mansion commercial, but they would appeal to racism nonetheless.  (e.g. bringing up Obama's admission that he did a little "blow" earlier in life).

It'd require a deft politician to get the Archies of America to vote for him.  But Obama is that deft, I think.  And when he ran for the Senate in Illinois, everyone loved him, including, I don't doubt, some who would never have thought they'd ever have voted for an African American man.

by maconblue 2006-11-28 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Does obama have an encyclopaediacal knowledge of world and domestic affairs, a Goresque wonkishness?   I don't know the answer, but the next president is going to have to be both a brilliant politician and a great thinker to have any possibility of beginning to extract the country from the Bush morass and cementing a new progressive consensus for America.  Feingold might have been that person; Hillary and John Edwards seem to fit the bill in some regards and come up short in others.  

by gobacktotexas 2006-11-27 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Obama is probably the smartest candidate in the race right now, although I admit Hillary is quite brillant in her own right.  He'll also match up well to any Republican.  We won't see him lose any debates like Edwards did to Cheney that's for sure.

by blueryan 2006-11-27 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

This whole "Edwards lost to Cheney" thing is such b.s.   I guess I was just watching form a different point of view, reality.

by Robert P 2006-11-27 02:40PM | 0 recs
by MeanBoneII 2006-11-27 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: True, CBS poll of undecideds said Edwards won.

That's a non scientific online poll.  It means NOTHING

by blueryan 2006-11-28 05:49AM | 0 recs
No it was not an online poll - please read link.

Uncommitteds Tab Edwards Winner

Immediately after the debate, CBS News interviewed a nationally representative sample of 178 debate watchers assembled by Knowledge Networks who were "uncommitted voters" - voters who are either undecided about who to vote for or who have a preference but say they could still change their minds.

Forty-one percent of these uncommitted debate watchers said Edwards won the debate tonight. Twenty-eight percent said Cheney won. Thirty-one percent thought it was a tie.


by MeanBoneII 2006-11-28 11:11AM | 0 recs
Re: No it was not an online poll - please read lin

Ok I was wrong in saying it wasn't scientific, my apologies.  However, I would note that it is indeed online as stated in the disclaimer and has an enormous margin of error.  

I think all of the online polls of 2004, if I remember correctly, were grossly favorable towards the Democrats for whatever reason.  None the less, my point was that anyone watching the debate saw Edwards was outmanuevered by Cheney.  Edwards should have beat him as bad as Kerry beat Bush considering the failures of the administrations, but Edwards said NOTHING that he hadn't already been used on the stump a million times.  The result of this was Cheney already had calculated responses for everything Edwards said.

With that said I didn't mean it to be a huge jab at Edwards, he is after all my second choice after Obama, it was simply to contrast his weakness with something I think Obama would be stellar at.  

by blueryan 2006-11-28 02:01PM | 0 recs
I guess it was a scientific poll...

...administered over the Internet :)

I think Edwards' objective in the debate was NOT to do what people like us wanted to see -- destroy Darth Vader. Cheney's negatives were already plenty high, and really attacking him could have driven up Edwards' negatives as well without accomplishing very much.

Instead, I think Edwards was trying to win over the truly undecided voters. The CBS poll (at all but the very outer limits of its margin of error) indicates that he accomplished that. Notice, also, that the poll finds a significantly higher number of people had gained a better opinion of Edwards from the debate than had improved their opinion of Cheney.

by MeanBoneII 2006-11-28 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: No it was not an online poll - please read lin

Well we and Kos did "Freep" a lot of the online polls in 2004... It was quite fun... I even setup a macro to keep clearing my cookies and voting and then went to bed.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-29 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Well Edwards said nothing he hadn't said a million times on the stump.  By any unbiased eye he simply lost.

by blueryan 2006-11-28 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

I think there's "inexperience" and then there's "inexperience".

I don't see Obama as presidential material at this time because I don't see what he has accomplished to date. (When I say accomplished, I mean beyond the kinds of things one can do oneself. IE, it's great to get good grades in school and graduate, as an example. That indicates certain types of skills and abilities. But it does not indicate other types of skills like leadership.) I know you've heard all the arguments - he was virtually unopposed in IL so his election there is not quite the victory it would be had it been a hard faught race, etc., yadda, yadda, yadda. That's all true, and it matters.

I think experience as a Governor is very applicable. I think Wes Clark's experience in the military is very applicable. And there are other types of backgrounds that people could bring to the presidency that would give us a decent idea of their actual ability, leadership, etc.

I don't find charisma in and of itself to be a convincing attribute. After all, look at bush. Apparently a lot of people found him charismatic, but a simple look at his actual experience made clear all along that the man had simply failed over and over. (I'm not saying Obama is a failure.) I think it's great that Obama has written a thoughtful book and has made some good speeches. There's a place and purpose for those things. But what we need now is a candidate that has some kind of substantial, successful experience at something, accompanied by some level of charisma.

In terms of race, back in the day Colin Powell, I think, would have had a real shot at the presidency precisely because of his experience. I don't know if you'd call him charismatic, but he was someone who conveyed trustworthiness as well as competence. And I think that after all these years of rampant incompetence, actual skill in getting things done will go down well with the public.

I love people with ideas and passions and desires to make the world a better place. I trust people who are able to actualize those ideas in the real world.

by aahhgh 2006-11-27 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Yes, but remember... Bush won (even if he may have cheated, he was popular enough to make it close so that they could pull a fast one).  Charisma does carry the day, and the President isn't alone in deciding the fate of the nation even though he gets the blame... The president and his advisors set the tone for the country.  We all know the best candidate seldom wins, it is really the one the voters trust more.  Most of America doesn't give a damn about politics...

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-29 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Obama is our most charismatic option -- possibly our only charismatic option, depending on how exciting one finds John Edwards -- and that means a lot. He has a real chance of becoming the next John Kennedy.

The Democrats can't keep nominating Adlai Stevenson! We have to get real about what people vote for. It's not just about policy; it's about inspiration. Obama inspires people. As for the race factor: No, he probably wouldn't win in win the South, but the Dems won't win the South in 2008 no matter who we put up.  The real issue is: Can he win places like Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Mexico? And I think the answer is emphatically yes.

by syntag 2006-11-27 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Obama is okay, but mostly when I see him talk I just chuckle.  He doesn't inspire confidence in me and he certainly doesn't come off as charismatic.  I think the rural voters where I grew up will see him as a kid and not as a contender.

by Robert P 2006-11-27 02:41PM | 0 recs
Obama Charisma Overload

I'm also skeptical. I don't see the Much-Touted Charisma. I saw one great speech (2004 DNC) and a lot of continuous waffling after that. Is he somehow different to locals in IL than he is in the rest of the country?

I mean, what, really do you see in him? He's not exactly inspiring from what I've seen of him lately, unless you considered Gore in 2000 inspiring. He doesn't exude empathy like Bill Clinton. He doesn't have Gore's masterful command of policy. He caves to the right wing at every opportunity, like Lieberman. He has shown a disturbing tendency to tear down his fellow Democrats in public rather than build them up.

I'm serious. Can you point to some video, or some consistent policymaking, or influence, or something? Anything?

by lightyearsfromhome 2006-11-27 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Charisma Overload

Exactly.  

by justinh 2006-11-27 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Charisma Overload
Not the video you asked for, but if I may, thought you might enjoy these videos of Al (if you haven't seen them before):
  1. Gore on global warming in 2000
  2. Al Gore video by Spike Jonze
  3. MLK-Day speech
by NuevoLiberal 2006-11-28 04:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Charisma Overload

Watch him speak and meet the man... He exudes every bit of empathy Clinton does.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-29 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

I have read his books and listened to his speeches. Just take a look at his "Call to Renewal" speech. The guy is brilliant. And I don't buy the inexperience thing- he served in state government for 8 years and by 2008 will have served as a Senator for 4.

What more has Edwards done? How about Romney, who was governor for 4 years and spent 2 of them running for President. How much more did George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter or JFK have? And they were all elected President.

And remember- experience isn't everything. Cheney and Rumsfeld had lots of experience. So presumably does McCain, and he inexpicably is asking for more troops. You have to look at the person. I think Obama is very promising.

by mhoffa1382 2006-11-27 03:10PM | 0 recs
Obama is unelectable

There, I said it.  I'll give my two cents why.  And if people think that the fourth reason is racist, it isn't meant to be and I'd like to think we can discuss pure politics without being constrained about how we are supposed to think as politically correct:

1.  Barack is too green.  I doubt in a post 9/11 world, a person who is ten minutes removed from being a state senator voting on what the state bird of illinois is ready for the biggest stage on the planet.

2.  Barack's middle name is "Hussein."  I know that should not be problematic, but, this is the United States and we all know that that name is hard for many people to imagine as president (not me, mind you, but this is a political analysis).

3.  He smokes.  The least serious one, but I found it interesting nonetheless.

4.  His father is Kenyan African and he is not a direct descendant of slaves.  Yes, a very bold statement, but I would wager that when he gets more and more known, his natural constituency amongst African-Americans will start to wane because some African-Americans may not believe that he "understands" their plight and that why, with 33 million multigeneration African-American citizens, the first black president should not be of that background.

5.  He suffers from the Hillary-syndrome, trying to be all things to all people.  He tries too hard to not take risks, just like HRC.  He also comes across as arrogant.  OTOH, show me someone who was on Harvard law review who doesn't, lol.

Just some bottom-line, hardnosed thoughts.  I like the man well enough and would support him for veep.  However, I just think it's way to damn early for him to think he should be president.  To me, he has not earned it.  By 1960, JFK has many years in the US House prior to being a US Senator.

Flame away.

by jgarcia 2006-11-27 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is unelectable

I'll call BS on your objection #4.  People in Illinios knew this when he was a state senator, and he worked just fine.  Most African Americans won't care.

Objection #5 is the one that worries me the most.

by Go Vegetarian 2006-11-27 05:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is unelectable

You do have a point.  However, more is always known and exposed about a candidate for president.  I think people's decision-making processes are different for a senate candidate and a candidate for president.

Damn, if Obama would show some leadership, balls, and, (GASP!) a VISION, then he could win.

by jgarcia 2006-11-27 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is unelectable

Read his book... I see plenty of Vision in there.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-29 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is unelectable

These are all poor reseasons to consider someone unelectable.  Not a single one is the least bit accurate.

by blueryan 2006-11-28 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is unelectable

look them up.  if you're too lazy to google, then that sounds like a personal problem.

and, can't you read?  i didn't say any of these would be a problem for US leftists, did I?

but for some uneducated voters (perhaps the majority in an awful lot of states) they sure are problematic.

think outside the box and look at the big picture.  not just some myopic utopia that you'd like the country to be.

by jgarcia 2006-11-28 10:18AM | 0 recs
Yes

Obama is probably smarter than 90% of the people who have run for president.  He would being a new energy to American politics and for once Democrats would have somebody to vote FOR, not just against.

by jkfp2004 2006-11-27 03:33PM | 0 recs
I'm not against Obama.

I think he's one of the 3 possibles that could be running that could win it. (Clark and Edwards are the other two BTW).

What I will be watching for is when this session starts, if he decides to be a showboat, or if he actually gets some good legislation passed.

-C.

by neutron 2006-11-27 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Why?

What has Obama actually stood for?  He refused to help Lamont in the primary.  He refused to support Feingold on censure.  He's been running the DLC playbook from day one--i.e., repeating the sterotype that Dems don't talk enough about faith, that there is too much partisanship in Washington, blah, blah, blah.  What has Obama done other than position himself to run for president?  

by justinh 2006-11-27 03:44PM | 0 recs
Obama doesn't heart the DLC

Obama has not exactly had a long love affair with the DLC.  First of all he opposed the war back when people were being called un-American for opposing it.  Then, after he won the nomination, the DLC posted Obama's name on their list of "up and coming DLCers."  Obama asked them to take his name off the list and stated that he is not a member of the DLC.

by jkfp2004 2006-11-27 05:07PM | 0 recs
since joining the Senate club

Obama has been as DLC as they come, unfortunately. He supported intervening in the Schiavo matter. He was Rahm Emanuel's key helper in taking out true progressive Christine Cegelis in the IL-6 primary (it was Duckworth's ads with Obama that put her over the top). He's constantly telling Democrats to "trim our sails" and making strawman arguments worthy of Bush in his speeches.

If Gore gets in the race, he is so clearly a superior choice. If Gore doesn't, Obama may well be our best option, but that doesn't say much for our Party!

by Jim in Chicago 2006-11-28 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: since joining the Senate club

I can't find a citation for Obama's support of intervention with Schiavo. Any help?

by BingoL 2006-11-28 05:40PM | 0 recs
citation

here's what the Chicago Tribune reported (emphasis mine):

Unlike most members of Congress, however, Obama is uniquely well suited to weigh in on the Schiavo case, given his background in teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago. More to the point, Obama has displayed detailed knowledge about the role of the courts in these so-called right-to-die cases during his teaching career. But on an issue that has consumed the nation's conscience--the sad Florida case of Terri Schiavo--the freshman Democratic senator offered no statements, no media appearances on why he supported federal intervention to grant the brain-damaged woman's parents the right of federal court review to try to re-insert her feeding tube.

This report was cited with approval on a local right-wing blog (Barack must be so proud):

http://redchicago.blogspot.com/2005/03/o bama-on-schiavo.html

by Jim in Chicago 2006-11-28 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: citation

Thanks for the link.

Is the implication that he voted in favor of the intervention? But that was a voice vote, so there's no way of telling? Because otherwise, if he made no statements or media appearances, I'm not sure what his 'support' comprised.

by BingoL 2006-11-29 01:44AM | 0 recs
Re: citation

Any confirmation other than a rightwing blog.  BTW, the quote there was from an Opinions editorial in the Sunday perspective page.  Hardly a real news story.  Confirm his support for us please... something a little more believable than a badly written wingnut blog.

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-29 08:46AM | 0 recs
Interesting Fact

for the crowd that says "Obama does nothing."  I play a fantasy politics game called Fantasy Congress.  In the game, politicians get points based on the number of bills they propose and the progress of those bills.  Barack Obama has approximately 920 points.  That's more than about 80% of Senators and and more than almost any other democrat.

by jkfp2004 2006-11-27 05:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting Fact

Ah, now we have some real information. What was in those bills?

by lightyearsfromhome 2006-11-27 05:18PM | 0 recs
by hoose 2006-11-27 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting Fact

I especially like S. 4069; The Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2006.

by jkfp2004 2006-11-27 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting Fact

To be clear, most of this record is slightly right-of-center. He's playing it safe on most things. His support for E85 shows a distinct failure to grasp the alternative fuels issue.

Quantity is not impressive. Quality is what's needed.

by lightyearsfromhome 2006-11-29 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting Fact

No his support for E85 is because Illinois is a large corn producing state and E85 legislation would bring a lot of money into the state as well as other midwest states.  Last I checked, the FIRST AND PRIMARY reason a senator is elected is to serve the people of his state.  Many here seem to forget that.  E85 is above all good for Illinois... similiar to Montana's governor supporting increased funding in creating gasoline out of coal, since the cost is cheaper once oil is over $50-60 a barrel. A big reason He supports it is because Montana has a lot of coal and it would bring a lot of money to the state.

E85 is a short term plan... alternative fuels are a longer term plan.  He actually supports both.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-29 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting Fact

Thank you!

by lightyearsfromhome 2006-11-28 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Obama can remedy his security cred issue - to the extent one develops - by picking up someone with that kind of background as a VP.  Someone like Clark or Bob Graham (who spent hella time on Homeland Security stuff)

I'm excited about Obama and the potential that he represents.

by fstilicho 2006-11-27 05:25PM | 0 recs
Oooh! Obama-Clark

Sounds like a good ticket to me! : )

But really, Clark does have good street cred when it comes to foreign policy issues...
He would add the national security/foreign policy cred to Obama's charisma and mastery of domestic issues... Okay, so Obama's not perfect... Who is?
He's likely the most progressive "viable candidate" we've got... Why not run with it? ; )

by atdleft 2006-11-27 06:46PM | 0 recs
Who the FUCK cares about charisma?

If that's what we're looking for, we're in trouble, people.

by Ryno 2006-11-27 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Who the FUCK cares about charisma?

"If that's what we're looking for, we're in trouble, people."

Democratic candidates with charisma nominated for President in the past 40 years: Clinton.

Democratic candidates without charisma nominated during the same period: Humphrey, McGovern, Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry.

Draw your own conclusions. Mine is that we can't keep nominating Adlai Stevenson. We need a Kennedy.

by syntag 2006-11-28 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Who the FUCK cares about charisma?

You (and I), basically all intelligent informed voters are a voting minority.  Things like confidence and charisma are important.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-29 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

I think the world of Barack -- and I would certainly take him for president over a Schweitzer any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

My choice before he dropped out was Mark Warner.
Right now, I'm a free agent.
I personally prefer governors -- the track record is strong, and the skill set is similar.

With regards to Obama, his inexperience concerns me.  That said, as a 1st generation Indian-American here is the US, I can relate to Barack -- maybe because he isn't typical in his background.  This has strong appeal for me.

by v2aggie2 2006-11-27 08:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

I agree. I was ready to campaign for Russ Feingold and John Edwards.Now, I will do so for Obama and Edwards. I regret Russ's decision not to run for President, but I have full confidence in him as my Senator and will continue to support him.

I feel very good about Barack Obama. The excuse about him not having experience is weak at best. Rumsfeld , Brownie, Bush, Cheney had wonderful resumes and yet, they have made this nation far less secure than anyone in the history of the country. So, I don't listen to that lame rebuttal. Just say what you really mean and be real about it.Perhalps, the true reason why people don't think Obama is perfect for 2008 is embarrasing so, they throw out some lame , stupid excuse that has no merit when you really look at it.

So, I will join Sen Durbin in urging Obama to run in 2008 and I encourage all to do so as well.

Thank you.

by FreedomOFSpeechFromTheDNC 2006-11-27 11:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

I do believe that experience is overrated in this context.

But my reason for not approving of Obama is that he has done nothing to indicate that he'd be a better president than Clark, Edwards, or 2006-model Gore. And he's done a great deal to indicate that he'd be actively harmful downticket, as Clinton was.

by lightyearsfromhome 2006-11-28 06:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

How do you figure?  He didn't campaign for Lemont I'm sure is one of your arguments... notice that the majority of people who did were not current senators... think maybe Party leadership didn't want to Piss of Lieberman in case they needed him for Senate control... For better or for worse, they were pragmatic and stayed out of the fight.   Perhaps had Lemont's polling been closer, they would have gone HARD after the seat, otherwise they made a strategic decision to go after other seats and put the efforts there. Yes it sucks, but I can understnad why they did.  `

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-29 09:02AM | 0 recs
No, no, a thousand times no!
Wanting Feingold and settling for Obama? WTF? The
only thing they share politically is members of the Dem party. Obama is the Worst sort of professional pol. He has a world of charisma and baby-kissing b/s, and no idealogical soul.
by Libron 2006-11-28 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: No, no, a thousand times no!

Your ignorance of Obama is astounding.  You really have no clue what the hell you are talking about.  It seems if they aren't revolutionary on the far left political scale, they are way too right wing for you.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-29 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Obama will have to define himself before I consider him.  

Right now he is with HRC in the "I have no idea what they stand for" category.

by sterra 2006-11-28 12:33AM | 0 recs
Issues

If you want to know what they stand for, read their books.  Obama actually wrote both of his.

by jkfp2004 2006-11-28 02:48PM | 0 recs
Wonkishness and Vision

I like Obama a great deal, especially because of what he can do to excite young people and disaffected voters.  But I really do wish John Edwards could be the one.  Obama seems like an activist who has become a politican.  Edwards seems like a politician who has become an activist.  (Gore too).  And I'd like to vote for an activist, not a politician in 2008. Listen to Edwards' podcasts and then listen to Obama's, and you'll hear the difference between real vision and real wonkishness.  Nobody speaks with Edwards' breadth of vision right now, not even (post-Convention) Obama.

Of course, most of all, I want to vote for a Democrat who can win.  

by maconblue 2006-11-28 09:19AM | 0 recs
It's the politics, stupid ...
Activist??? Where was this weasel when Feingold proposed impeachment? Or when Lamont needed help? Oh, you're right. He did bestir himself to support Bill Frist and the RR God Squad on Terry Schiavo.
You're obviously a Yellow Dog Dem, and not a Liberal. Remember, Clinton was a free trader. It's the politics, stupid, not the party name!
by Libron 2006-11-28 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: It's the politics, stupid ...

Which weasel? Obama? Gore? Edwards? I'm confused which is the rodent in your message.  Or is this an "Axis Of Weasel"?

I'll tell all I know that I'm a "Yellow Dog Dem."  They'll get a real kick out of that.

by maconblue 2006-11-28 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: It's the politics, stupid ...

On supporting Lamont, go to the 2:50 mark at the following link to see Edwards and Lamont campaigning together:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU6fRP80V Tc

Not that this should be a litmus test for a national campaign, but did Obama come to Connecticut to support Lamont?  What other potential candidate aside from Wesley Clark and John Edwards did?

by maconblue 2006-11-28 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Gore/Obama or Edwards/Obama.  That's the ticket!

by Chango 2006-11-28 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

You can't put Obama in the VP spot it would never work.  He would overshadow whoever the presidential candidate was.  That would be the equivalent of Gore running for President in 92 with Clinton as his running mate, never would have worked.

by blueryan 2006-11-28 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

I disagree... Gore and Obama could work or Hillary and Obama... You just need someone as equally known... anyone else and he would overshadow.

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-29 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Clark08

by kevin22262 2006-11-28 12:21PM | 0 recs
Will Wes Clark announce soon?

Take a gander at this...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061128/ap_o n_el_pr/clark2008_2

by kevin22262 2006-11-28 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Wes Clark announce soon?

Clark ran a weak campaign last time and made rookie mistakes on the stump.  I've heard that he is much more impressive this time around.  The only time I saw him speak was the video of him with Lamont posted here awhile back.  He wasn't amazing, but he wasn't bad.  I'd like to see him enter the race, I just hope it doesn't further divide the anti-Hillary vote.

by blueryan 2006-11-28 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- NOT!

One, he can enthuse this country's youth into both believing in the political process once again and in the value of voting.

Believing in the political process? Nobody with half a brain believes in the political process. Belief in the political process is not going to inflame the political passions of America's youth.  

Two, Obama can win the Mountain West and Southwest states

Which positions on which issues will carry the Mountain West or S.W. states for Obama?

Three, Obama can also achieve a higher degree of perceived or real political reunification of this country

Pure political pablum. Name one substantial voting bloc that cares about political reunification.

Four, Obama represents newness but, more importantly, NEW HOPE and such will be an undefeatable combination in 2008.

Newness? New hope? Is that like "Morning in America"?

Obama's biggest problem is exessively high expectations.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-11-28 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- NOT!
...Obama's biggest problem is exessively high expectations.

<wince> That had to hurt...
by Michael Bersin 2006-11-29 01:19PM | 0 recs
75% of all the women voters!

by dk2 2006-11-28 02:07PM | 0 recs
Sorry folks - it's not going to be Obama in 2008!

by dk2 2006-11-28 02:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry folks - it's not going to be Obama in 20

very insightful dk2...

by blueryan 2006-11-28 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

This looks like a pretty cogent list of strengths and weaknesses for Obama.

I would add to his strategic strengths:  he won't win in the South, but if his campaign gets enough black voters registered he can at least force the GOP nominee to play defense down there.  I don't think we have any other candidates who can do that.  Edwards maybe, but he certainly didn't help Kerry much in that department.

I would also add that he is a genuinely religious man who is not shy about talking about his faith.  I personally bemoan the fact that religion plays any role in politics, but it can be a serious asset.  I'm not suggesting that he could win theocons over, but there is no question that faith of all stripes is a powerful force in American right now.

by LPMandrake 2006-11-28 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Edwards was pulled out of the southern states by Kerry after he accepted the VP nomination. He also largely toned down his 'two americas' ideas because that's what Kerry wanted. The numbers seem to bare out that Edwards help a lot in the rural areas he was sent into in the battleground states.

The VP can assist the top of the ticket, but they can't very well carry the ticket and that seems to be what people expect.

by Quinton 2006-11-28 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

I have often pondered if the VP really has any effect on how people vote.  Judging by Kerry's numbers in the South in 04 I concluded not.  I'm not saying Edwards would have carried the South, but surely he would have atleast lost his home state by less then 14%.

As far as them pulling out of the South I remember it being reported, but don't remember where, that they stayed in North Carolina until the end mostly out of respect for Edwards.  Also do you have any data that supports Edwards helped Kerry in rural areas in the battleground states?  That's interesting and not something I've heard.  If anything I would have thought Kerry got demolished in rural areas which would explain how he lost Iowa while Gore carried it for example, but I've never looked at the breakdown.

by blueryan 2006-11-28 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

It's pretty clear that people don't even really notice who is on the VP nominee let alone base their vote on that person.  I wasn't trying to suggest there was anything more that Edwards could have done to win a Southern state.  I'm not one of those people that thinks Edwards didn't work hard enough because he still had his own presidential aspirations.

I do, however, strongly doubt any Democrat's chances at winning those states.  We shouldn't give up on the South by any means, but right now in terms of presidential politics, it's pretty solidly Republican.  Luckily we don't need to win a single Southern state to win the White House.

by LPMandrake 2006-11-28 08:56PM | 0 recs
We can definitely compete in the South.

But it depends on who we nominate and who they nominate. We can't nominate a non-starter in the South and hope to win, or at least force them to spend time and money there and not have it available elsewhere.

by MeanBoneII 2006-11-28 09:25PM | 0 recs
Obama will run with Hillary

All the Obama uproar is good for Hillary because it keeps eyes and attention off of her and the negative stuff away from her during the last year before the election.

The Clintons control the money and anybody that thinks a black man can get elected President without some kind of hook today in America is off their meds.  What you saw with Harold Ford would be tame.

The hook?  I'll bet it plays out that he is the VP and Hillary is the pres. andidate for the Dems.  This type of Fresh Prince and Fresh Queen in the White House is just the script that Americans would swallow.  

by Keoni 2006-11-28 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will run with Hillary

HRC is a good fund raiser, no arguments there.  But so is Obama.  He has built up a strong national base and, should he run, could raise a ton of money.  There's a lot of Democratic money in Chicago alone and because of his widespread popularity, I think an aggressive online donor approach would be more effective for him than many other candidates.

In the money wars, I don't think HRC is going to blow the competition out of the water.  Obama and Gore could raise enough to be more than competitive.  Edwards may have some trouble, but he was a strong fund raiser in 2003.  He may get crowded out a little bit if Clinton, Obama, and Gore are all running.

by LPMandrake 2006-11-28 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

The longer Obama stays in the Senate, the smaller his chances of getting elected President.

No one is ever really "ready" to be President.

The backing of Oprah can't be underestimated.  She is the most powerful person in the world.  She got Tolstoy back on the best seller list and had Americans reading Anna Karenina voluntarily.  THAT is power.

by Laurin from SC 2006-11-28 07:29PM | 0 recs
Yes, but...

...she uses her power for evil.

by Michael Bersin 2006-11-29 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

In the Mountain West, I am somewhat dubious about Obama's ability to succeed, at least in certain parts.

Take Montana, a state that as an Indian-American, I had the misfortune to live in for 7 years growing.  Diversity is invisible there, and for those few of use who were there, well, let's just say that we weren't always welcome.

Obama?  These people aren't going to vote for him.

by v2aggie2 2006-11-28 08:02PM | 0 recs
Still needs to explain support for Condi Rice

Sen. Durbin made the correct decision NOT to confirm the lying traitor as Secretary of State.  

by pascal1947 2006-11-29 12:23AM | 0 recs
Sign the petition

Sign the petition to draft Obama:

http://www.draftobama.org

by Sean Robertson 2006-11-29 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

I like Obama if only for the fact that he's green enough to be an outsider

I'd like to see a governor rise up and grab it the way Clinton did, but neither of the two running (Vilsack/Richardson) are much of anything.

Also, it would be sorta refreshing to see someone from after the Vietnam generation be president.

by bobestes 2006-11-29 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

No doubt about it Obama is charasmatic.  He is new and exotic.  Most importantly he can connect with a new voter base, Anerican youth, and stimulate interest and convert other bases.  Which other candidates have any where near the amount of potential that Obama does in this respect?

He has very few negatives against his slate and the few he may have are not major.  Just weeks ago he received publicity too good for money to buy.  He can carry himself well on all media outlets and relate well to the American people.

The people need somebody they can relate to and put their trust in.  He looks the most promising in this respect.  

by youngvoice 2006-11-29 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: HILLARY Cannot win without Black Vote

Hillary Clinton will have a VERY TOUGH time winning the nomination WITHOUT a strong African-American vote.

As news leaks keep coming that HRC's team is truly concerned about a potential Obama run, I would definitely be worried if I was a HRC strategist.

Hillary's impressive poll #'s have always included a very significant support from the Black community. In fact, she has much stronger support among Black democrats than any other ethnic group including whites.

If Barack Obama decides to join the fray, this changes the whole democratic party landscape significantly. You can pretty much expect MASSIVE support for Obama from Black voters. That's pretty much 25%-28% of the Democratic party primary electorate right there.

Then, we you throw in the expected strong support that Obama will also get from the Hispanic community which is about 12% of Democratic primary voters. You can pretty expect at least 30%-50% of Hispanic voters will rally around Obama as a fellow minority. The only question of how much will depend on Bill Richardson joining the race. If Richardson does join in, the bottom line is a divided White Electorate will decide our nominee.

And if it is based on just White voters, HRC will be in a very tough position against Edwards, Clark, Bayh. For one thing, she will be the least attractive among the 4 candidates for the Millions of White "Red State" Moderate/Conservative Democratic voters.

From Red states like Iowa, NV,SC, AZ, AR, OH, VA,OK, NC,FL, CO, MS, IN, AL, LA, Wy, MT, GA- Clark, Bayh & Edwards would all be much stronger & more attractive to moderate Democratic voters there than Hillary Clinton.

While Obama's challenge will be to get enough White Votes to take him over the top.

Ironically, it will be Red States who will end up tipping the scale in 2008.

Normally, Black primary voters in Red states are up for grabs & balance out the more moderate/Conservative white voters. But if Obama is in, this changes the whole picture.

As Chuck Todd at Hotline wrote this afternoon,
Hillary looks less and less sure of winning the nomination.

Without a strong Black/Latino base, she pretty much has no real base.

While Edwards & Clark will have a strong base in  the Southern state voters & will split the huge Progressive vote across the country.

While Obama has the minority base combined with a chunk of progressive white voters.

With Mark Warner out, Evan Bayh will have a strong base of Moderate/Centrist democrats spread over the Midwest, Southwest & even parts of the South.

Richardson will have the growing Hispanic base to stand on. ( Although it may not be enough yet for 2008-it may take 2012 or 2016 to really feel the strong Hispanic presence in Democratic primaries)

That leaves Hillary Clinton with a lot to think about. Not even Bill Clinton can convince many Blacks to abandon Obama.

After all, this is not a Jesse Jackson symbolic run. This is the real deal. Its History in the making with a real possible shot of being the nominee.

As predicted by Cook, Rothernberg, Todd- the 2008 Democratic and Republican primary will be a REAL ALL OUT BRAWL! You better have the Persistence, the Will, the base,the Money & the Guts to win this.

This is only the 3rd time in the last 60 + years that No sitting President or Vice President is running. Exciting!

by labanman 2006-11-29 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: HILLARY Cannot win without Black Vote

"While Obama's challenge will be to get enough White Votes to take him over the top."

I don't know if this is true.  Before he became a rock star, his base of support was largely white.  When he challenged Bobby Rush in 2000, it hurt his standing in the black community and he began to rely on other constituencies.  He won over white voters all across Illinois -- even before Jack Ryan ran into trouble.  And downstate Illinois is a pretty rural and conservative area.  Obama will do fine with those white democrats.  He's no Jesse Jackson.

by LPMandrake 2006-11-29 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, but there's a Big Difference

Yes, no doubt Obama received strong support from White voters in his Senate run.

But there are several Very Important & Distinct differences between his run as a Senator & his possible endeavor as a President.

One, the Blue Democratic state of Illinois is not exactly your mirror of american voters across america. We are talking about a very blue state that has All Statewide elected officials being Democrats. A state that has voted for a Democrat for president in the last 5 Presidential cycles. And to add insult, he was up against a very weak " fill-in the spot" opponent in an already powerful Dem state.

Even a tainted Democratic Governor with very high Disapproval ratings won easily.

Illionis is not middle Missouri or Ohio which generally reflects mainstream american voters.

Two, there is a HUGE difference for many voters when choosing a person as a Senator versus  a President. And him being African-American even  makes it more magnified.

Without going into all the obvious, unfortunately Race, Gender, & even Religion is still a BIG issue for a significant enough number of voters. Both among Democrats & Republicans. Although I suspect we as Democrats are much more tolerant than our opponents.

Nonetheless, being a Black man running for Prez may not be an issue for you & me. It may not be an issue for every single member for Mydd. But unfortunately, our views sometimes are more to the left than your typical white voter in many parts of our country.

Third, there's a reason that we have only had Two Black Governors in our country. That alone should be enough for you to gauge that there is still a significant number of americans in BOTH BLUE & RED STATES who are not comfortable voting for Blacks for higher office.

Of course, many of these people WILL NEVER ADMIT that in surveys & polling. In fact, many go out of their way & lie about it & pretend to support the Black candidate publicly but the truth is the opposite.

If you want to throw in Black Senators-feel free. Again,there is a reason that we have less than a handful of Statewide elected Black Senators whether in BLUE or RED states.

Look at Harold Ford. He run under perfect timing. A National Democratic Wave. Run against a Horrible & Weak campaigner in Corker.
Run together with a Very Popular White Democratic Governor on the same ticket & won by a landslide.
He run as Southern Conservative as can be. A good looking guy with a lot of charm & appeal, with all the religion that attracts Southerners.

But he still could not make it. Let's face it. If this was a young White candidate with the looks, charm, & qualities for Ford running on a Democratic Wave with Gov. Brendensen against a weak Corker- this would have been a Democratic victory. That's reality. its even discussed frequently in Black talk radio.

All we see is a big number of Black house members who never make it to the Statewide level.
That's reality.

Lastly, its No Coincidence that BOTH Mrs. Alma Powell ( wife of General Powell) & Mrs. Michelle Obama ( wife of Sen. Obama)have both PUBLICLY & PRIVATELY expressed  FEAR for the SAFETY of their Husband if they did run for President.

In fact, it is well documented that Mrs. Powell was against the General running for President because of her real fear for his safety.

Unfortunately, these women who love & support their husbands are Very Aware of the Real Threat out there. They are fully aware that there are crazy people out there who will take this seriously & cannot accept this reality of having a black President.

P.S. If a survey released last Monday showed that plurality of american voters ( Reps, Dems, Inds) WILL NOT vote for a Mormon for Prez ( Romney), how do you think these people will take a Black President.

We cannot even get past Religion. Again, its no coincidence that we only have had One Catholic President in our History.

Even electing the 1st Woman president will be a big challenge for any woman.

Can you imagine Race ?

by labanman 2006-11-29 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, but there's a Big Difference

I just don't think you're right.  The reason we have so few African Americans winning statewide offices is because so few have been able to run.  There is an inherent institutional ceiling against African Americans in our political system.  Simply put it's extra hard for them to rise to the top.  However, once they're on the top it seems they're more than capable of winning: see Deval Patrick if you don't believe me.

As far as your analysis of the Tennessee Senate race I again think you're wrong.  Ford didn't lose because he was black, he lost because he came from a corrupt family and he supported his brother's idiotic independent run for his old seat.  Additionally did you notice that nobody said they would vote for Ford, but that went to the poll and didn't?  Remember the theory that people would say they would vote for Ford, but than be unwilling to vote for a black man when they got to the poll?  Well completely didn't happen.  In fact Ford outperformed the polls leading into the elections.  If a black man with a corrupt family can take 48% in Tennessee it's foolish to think someone can't win state office because they're black anymore.

Now for the argument that people are unwilling to elect a black man to President, well it's just a theory at this point.  No serious black candidate has ever risen to the top before (although Powell certainly could have ran if he wanted to).  Obama will be the test.  Personally, I think he'll win if he gets the nomination.  Are there racists in this country?  Of course.  Are most of them active voters?  No.  Are the ones that are active voters going to vote Republicans anyway?  Probably.  Honestly how many people do you think would vote for Edwards or Hillary but not Obama?  Not many i'm sure and that small number would be more than made up for by the motivation of minorities and youth around the country.  

by blueryan 2006-11-29 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, but there's a Big Difference

You have stated great points.

However, yes Ford got 48%. In my opinion, excellent numbers for a Democrat in TN. In fact, a Black Democrat in TN.

But again this was not a Normal election cycle. It was a National Democratic Wave. There was a National Anti-Bush, Anti-Iraq anger out there.

And a White Democratic Gov. Brendesen rode that wave to a big landslide. And if you look at the numbers, clearly several hundred thousand people who voted for Brendesen crossed over to Republican Corker when it was time to vote for the Senate seat. How would you explain that?

Furthermore, we are not talking about some Incumbent Republican Senator with high approval ratings. Everyone in TN, Democrat or Republican agreed that Corker was a lousy campaigner & made many mistakes during the campaign.

And Corker is a Mayor, not an incumbent Senator. This was an Open Seat.

Clearly, Ford was the superior candidate in terms of likeability, charm & on the right issues.

Even GOP pundits like Tucker Carlson, Joe Scarborough, Pat Buchanan & Bob Novak had tremendous praise for Ford after the race.

It would naive or in total denial to pretend that Ford's race was a non-factor in TN.

If this was a NORMAL election cycle, Corker's victory would have been much larger.

If you want a future race, let's see how Ford will do against an Incumbent Senator Lamar Alexander in 2008. ( if indeed Ford does decide to do it again)

As for African-American candidates for statewide office, sure there is still institutional bias in many state political establishments. But there have been many Black politicians who have run in statewide primaries before. A number of them ended up being the party nominee but very few have actually won.

Again, out of 50 states, it took ONE STATE, 1 state to put two African-Americans in the Senate in the last 16 years. Barack Obama & Carol Mosley Braun. ( Illionis)

Another. It took the MOST Democratic State in the United States in terms of Margin of victory for Clinton in 96, Gore in 00 & Kerry in 04 to elect the 2nd Black Governor in history.
Out of 50 states.( Massachusetts0 ( With a Democratic Wave as the assurance)

Even a solid Democratic state like New York could not deliver African-American Carl McCall against Republican George Pataki in 2000.

As for your point about a Black running for President today- Yes, I agree with you 100%. No one knows if he can make it.

But honestly, with our nation at war. 2008 is so critical to be testing whether a Black Nominee can actually win the General election. Now is not the time to be testing that.

But if he does run & win the nomination, I will work my ass off for him. But personally,I just don't think he is the strongest candidate for the general election.

He & Hillary have the same dilemma which can actually hurt our Senatorial & House candidates in Red States like VA, MO, CO, AZ, TN, NC, AR, MT, OH in 2008 when we are trying to expand our majority.

If Obama or HRC is our nominee, we will  end up abandoning the big parts of Red States as we get closer & closer to election day. No matter how much we want to do the 50 state strategy, it would be physically & financially unwise for a Obama or an  HRC to go to NC, VA, MO to campaign.

In addition, we will once again have Democratic statewide candidates in places like NC,VA, MO, AR running away from our national candidates because it will hurt them in their state.

This is a MAJOR difference between having a Obama or a Hillary as compared to a EDWARDS, CLARK or BAYH.

Any of the three gentlemen can & will be able to campaign in ALL These PURPLE STATES!

You are NOT going to see a Democratic Senatorial candidate in North Carolina or Virginia running away from the National ticket.

That's the REAL 50 state strategy where an Edwards, a Clark or a Bayh can actually COMPETE & be a BIG PLUS in all these Red & Purple states.

But with Obama or HRC, whether they like it or not, reality will dictate that they focus on states that they can win.

And besides, the local candidates in these Purple & Red states will not want them campaigning for them.

by labanman 2006-11-29 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama In '08 -- here's why

Please come over to DraftObama.org and post this as a blog entry!

by acaben 2006-11-29 05:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is unelectable

Its not... I've seen it in several speeches he has done... I wonder just how often you have seen him speak\ on Tv or otherwise to say you see no vision.

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-30 01:58PM | 0 recs

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