Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

I saw this story referenced on the cnn.com political ticker this morning.  I followed the link to the Chicago Tribune.  I'm not sure what to make of it.

The Chicago Tribune story today is based on an upcoming biography about Barack Obama.  The book, by a Chicago Tribune reporter, portrays Senator Obama's 2002 speech against the possible invasion of Iraq to have been based, at least in part, on a desire to influence a big contributor to get support for his candidacy for the Senate. The book claims that Obama is much more of a politician than some of his supporters may wish to believe.  

"One such calculation was his much-heralded 2002 speech in Chicago about the impending Iraq war, according to "Obama: From Promise to Power," a nearly 400-page book by Tribune reporter David Mendell to be released in August."

More below.

"Obama gave the speech not just because of a desire to speak out about the impending invasion, Mendell asserts, but also to curry favor with a potential political patron, Bettylu Saltzman, a stalwart among Chicago's liberal elite, and to also try to win over his future top political adviser, David Axelrod, who was close to Saltzman."

"'Obama, still an unannounced candidate for the U.S. Senate, did not immediately agree [to speak at the rally],' according to an advance copy obtained by the Tribune. 'But he told Saltzman that he would think it over.'"

snip

"'Obama was trying to draw Axelrod onto his Senate campaign team,' the book says. 'It would not be wise to disappoint Saltzman if he wanted her to continue lobbying Axelrod on his behalf. So Obama agreed to speak.'"

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local /chi-070620obama-story,1,4328906.story

The Tribune contacted David Axelrod.  He denies that Obama made the speech to win over political friends and mentors.  You can read the whole story here and the link above:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local /chi-070620obama-story,1,4328906.story

If true, does this matter to you?

I have always though Barack Obama was like most other politicians (no better and no worse on that aspect).  I have not bought any of the "new politics" stuff, so it really does not change my opinion about him.  He may well have had multiple motives, but I believe his position was correct in 2002.  

I wish he had stayed a consistently strong opponent of the war after he was elected to the Senate, but he did not.  His 2006 vote against the Kerry-Feingold bill bothers me a lot more than learning this.

What do you think?

Tags: Barack Obama (all tags)

Comments

123 Comments

Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Well, whether they are true or false, things will come out eventually for him. He's still enjoying MSM's honeymoon, but don't assume it will last forever.

MSM can dump their favourite in a second. Any candidate with not much substance won't last long.

by maoasada 2007-06-21 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Oh, please, can you be realistic here and take your head out of the sniffing of Clinton clouds?  Who cares about this book, the next book, or the future book?  Just like the Clinton books, who cares?  We should not be reading this shit anyway on any of our candidates.  Yes, our candidates, that are on the democratic side.  So, what he has aspirations of higher office?  Who the hell in Washington, DC or a governor of a state does not?  Be real here.

by icebergslim 2007-06-21 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

who said this and where?

"There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq."

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Obama said that in 2002 yes.

Do you disagree with that statement? If so, Edwards and Hillary and 80% of the American people are unpatriotic.

by Populism2008 2007-06-21 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda
Exactly!!  when are Hillary and Obama delivering substance??
I need more than hope and Tony Robbins type motivational speeches.
Interesting that the MSM fuses Hillary with a "future" national healthcare plan - when she doesn't have one. And yet dismisses the only candidate who has produced one.
Yep! that's the corporate MSM.
by annefrank 2007-06-21 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

All it did was remind me that Obama was against the war before it began. The part about his motives is unsubstantiated speculation IMO.  

by jj32 2007-06-21 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda
How strongly was he against it if he initially refused to attend the anti-war rally and then did so, to some degree, to win over donors and staffers? Again, this is telling as to why he never gave the speech again. The truth will come out.
by philgoblue 2007-06-21 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

The story's based on crap -- this donor had already contributed $2000 to him well before the speech.

by Adam B 2007-06-21 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Adam, your link doesn't work for me.  I tried several times.  Can you check please.

by pioneer111 2007-06-21 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda
Before or after the invitation to the anti-war demonstration was accepted by Obama? That's the important date, not the speech itself.
by philgoblue 2007-06-21 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

7/27/99 (for the race against Rush) and 9/10/02, $1000 each time, the latter being six weeks before the Chicago event.

by Adam B 2007-06-21 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda
OK, so the dates of Obama's RSVP to the event and Axelrod's hiring are key here and will tell us if this is bunk or something worth knowing.
by philgoblue 2007-06-21 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Pop quiz. Who said this?

"There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq"

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Obama's 2004 convention speech.  What, he should have used the opportunity to slam John Edwards and that other guy?

by Adam B 2007-06-21 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

I will be interested in the biography to get a fuller picture.  One of the things that bothered me about Obama's autobiography was his use of composite characters.  That become a fictionalized account of history, yet people treat it as if it were accurate.  Most do not understand that technique.  It was used to make things appear in a better light for Obama.

A candidate that campaigns on personal characteristics invites a close examination of those characteristics and the truth of them.  Motivation is always important for presidential candidates, but even more so for a candidate that uses his persona as the main reason for supporting him.

I have found Obama support for various bills in the senate to be inconsistent with some of his rhetoric.  This makes me uneasy.  He often stretches the truth in his speeches as he did at TBA about his positions.  Politicians do this, but if you are campaigning on being ethical and above the fray, you need to make sure you are.

I have this wavering opinion about Obama.  There is a part of me that wants him to be everything his supporters are saying he is.  Then there is a part of me that is uneasy that they are being played.  I think the truth may be somewhere in between, but is it enough for a president?

by pioneer111 2007-06-21 08:32AM | 0 recs
Duh.

I think the truth may be somewhere in between...

Isn't it always?  My handle explains everything...

by rashomon 2007-06-21 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Do you apply the same skepticism to your preferred candidate?  He's the one who's more clearly shifted in his views and emphases.

by Adam B 2007-06-21 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Yes I did apply the same skepticism to Edwards.  I did not support him in 2004. For this round I was waiting for Clark until February when it seemed he wasn't running. I started looking at Obama and Edwards about the same time.  Edwards populist policies were the closest to Clark's that I like.  I now prefer Edwards policies because they are better spelled out.  I was very open to Obama as well and I did have some getting over the AUMF vote work to do.  I read up on all the links that people provided and additional information that I could find on both Obama and Edwards.  That is when I started having my unease in the direction of Obama's shifts, and was much more comfortable in the direction of Edwards shifts.  Edwards shifts seemed to be consistent with his rhetoric.  Obama has been inconsistent.  That doesn't mean I dismiss him, but I have put my support behind Edwards.  

Because elections are unpredictable the idealist in me wants to believe that all our front runners are great in their own way.  I have unease with Obama and Hillary for different reasons.  I find it remarkable that I get more solidly behind Edwards the more I learn.  What disturbs me more about the Obama campaign is how it attracts supporters who do not examine their candidate with critical eyes.  There are a few who post here and I don't even understand what the posts mean.  That is not you Adam.  You seem to support Obama from clear-headed conviction and knowing some people like that makes me still open to his candidacy.  I would like to see him be consistent in what he says and then the legislation that he supports.

Long answer to your question.

by pioneer111 2007-06-21 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Nice post. This is the way to answer those who are uneasy about Edwards' "transformation".

by Populism2008 2007-06-21 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda
Honestly, you should talk Adam after the way you feined objectivity on the DKos frontpage in "On Attribution."
by philgoblue 2007-06-21 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Trouble is noone is analysing Obama.

He's said a number of things that contradict what he's saying now, and things that contradict what his supporters are saying about him.

The keynote speech he made was all about his remarkable multicutural background--Kenyan, Kansas, Hawaii, Indonesia, Chicago etc

It was all about bringing together Patriots:

"There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq."

And what does his campaign turn around and do?
(D-Punjab)

And what does he turn around and say:

"4 1/2 years too late."

It's annoying.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Edwards was if fact about fours years too late in comng out against the Iraq War.

Obama was merely pointing out an inconvenient truth.

by Sam I Am 2007-06-21 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Amounting to an "I told you so".

It will not play too well with the refugees from the Rupublican and the Independent swing vote.
Most of them ARE in fact 4 1/2 years too late.

Edwards and Kerry were clearly looking for an exit from Iraq in 2004.  They were called "Cut and Run."  and "flip floppers" back in 2004. They lost the election because the country still held out for a chimera of Victory.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 11:37AM | 0 recs
Except Obama cited Edwards...

coming out in 2005 as a sign of leadership.

Obama's quip at the debate was factually incorrect.

Perhap you can be factually accurate.  Is that too hard?

by citizen53 2007-06-21 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

You can criticize Edwards but stick to facts.  He opposed the war beginning in October 2003 when he voted against the appropriations the $87B.  He took longer to recognize that he should never have trusted Bush in following the requirements of the AUMF therefore should not have voted for that.  But his opposition began in 2003 in a concrete fashion with a difficult vote.

by pioneer111 2007-06-21 01:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

yeah, i'm not personally impressed by the kucinch strategy.  it would feed resentment that democrats don't support our troops, and it is a naive, at best, approach.  the problem with edwards here is that he hasn't thought this through in a comprehensive and strategic way.

by bored now 2007-06-21 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

meh, Obama was 3 years late in voting against funding for the war.

by philgoblue 2007-06-26 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

During his senate campaign, did Obama promise he wouldn't fund the war?

by annefrank 2007-06-21 12:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

no.  he said he would look at war funding with a sceptical eye, but he also pointed out that boys from illinois were being killed because they didn't have body armor, etc.  even as a candidate, obama was aware that funding bills were filled with things you hated and things you wanted.

by bored now 2007-06-21 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Did he make sure that they would get the body armor?  or just let Bush keep the coffers of Haliburton full?

by pioneer111 2007-06-21 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

yeah, he did.  thanks for asking.  he's a great senator and the people of illinois are proud to have him...

by bored now 2007-06-21 01:57PM | 0 recs
However this shakes out,

it is important to keep in mind how Edwards sold the war and the "war on terror" frame from Feb'02 till Oct'04, and the fact that neither HR Clinton nor JR Edwards read the classified 92 page NIE as they were supposed to, before voting for the war.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-06-21 08:37AM | 0 recs
Why is that relevant

to this diary?

by littafi 2007-06-21 09:27AM | 0 recs
It places the story in the context

of what his main opponents for the nomination did, in helping bring us the war.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-06-21 09:36AM | 0 recs
It seemed like a

gratuitous attack.

The story was about Obama's motiviation.  Your argument seems to be a non sequiter.  It has nothing to do with Obama's motivation for giving his speech.  It appears to misdirect by attacking other candidates.

Did this story change your opinion about Barack Obama?  I can guess that you do not like Clinton or Edwards, but what about Obama?  

by littafi 2007-06-21 10:03AM | 0 recs
The authenticity of the story

will need to be established before one can make judgements. I have not spent the time to explore the matter yet.

t appears to misdirect by attacking other candidates.

First, NOTHING is an "attack" if it is true (and what I posted is true, the linked post draws almost entirely from Edwards' own words).

And, of course, it is relevant as I noted above.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-06-21 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: The authenticity of the story

Well voting for $300 billion in war funding until a few weeks ago does seem to suggest a more flexible view of the war than the rhetoric.

Obama was still articulating a Victory strategy in 2005 at the Chicago CFR.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 11:42AM | 0 recs
Once you invade and occupy a foreign land

things become difficult because you assume moral responsibility for the people that you've turned into your subjects.

That complicates approached one can take. The fact that you can't dictate terms to a President (esp. a jackass like the present one occupying the whitehouse) as to how to chart a path in the middle of a war easily from congress, due to how the constitution separates the powers, makes the matter even more difficult to address.

That's why we should never have gone in, unless there was an imminent threat, which there wasn't in this case.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-06-21 01:18PM | 0 recs
Nothing is an "attack" if it is true...

The most absurd statement of the week.

by citizen53 2007-06-21 12:01PM | 0 recs
How so?
by horizonr 2007-06-21 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: However this shakes out,

Where did "cut and run" come from what did "flip flop " refer to?

Edwards and Kerry were obviously attempting to find an exit from Iraq. The country at the time handed Bush another four years.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 11:38AM | 0 recs
Actually, those that didn't read the NIE

before voting for the IWR and thus helped put troops in harms way, were derelict in their duty. Mark my words, they will come under intense attack for it in the general election.

That and the idea of making Republicans pay for the war in 2008 is one reason I've always said that we should nominate someone that opposed the war to begin with.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-06-21 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

And once in the senate votes to fund it to the tune of $300 billion. I'd say this is interesting. Obama called it dumb. He's only recently stopped talking about A US VICTORY in Iraq.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

That $300 billion could have purchased a lot of hope.

by Peter from WI 2007-06-21 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

I want to know what "cut and Run" and "flip flop" were refering to if not Iraq?

2004 was obviously about Kerry and Edwards attempting to convince the nation to exit Iraq.

It's like dealing with an Orwellian  memory hole.

Selective quotations--Meat the Press and Tweetyball are formats designed to destroy liberals by gluing them  into Rightwing Frames.

Kerry defended his own vote so that he couldn't be accused of inconsistency, yet he was clearly going to exit Iraq if he had won.

Same with Edwards.
The defence of their vote was tactical. Done so that they could not be accused of "flip flopping"
and other childish shit that the media and simple minded voters lap up like mother's milk.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Dueling biographies between Clinton and Obama which conflict with their autobiographies.  But motives are hard to judge. However, who your friends are and if your actions speak louder than your words are still pretty good benchmarks.

by Feral Cat 2007-06-21 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda
This may explain why he gave the speech once, and then kept it in his pocket (until he announced for President 5 years later).
by philgoblue 2007-06-21 08:14AM | 0 recs
I suspect that most at that rally...

in 2002 kept talking about the issue, but it does seem that Obama reverted to silence.

One would think if he was so against the war as to appear at an anti-war rally, he would continue in that effort to speak out.

I guess he got the contribution he was after?

by citizen53 2007-06-21 08:25AM | 0 recs
According to a comment

above, he already had the contribution.  

The book says he wanted her to get Axelrod for him.  She had a relationship with Axelrod and Obama wanted a big-time campaign manager/consultant.  He was relatively unknown then.  If Axelrod joined up, it would help him appear viable in the senate race and could lead to more contributions and support.  It was not just money from her.  He needed to keep her happy, and speaking at the peace rally did just that.  He initially was not going to do so.  That is the gist I get from the Tribune story, which is based on the book.  

Axelrod denies this, although there is no comment from Obama in the story.  

by littafi 2007-06-21 08:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Really -- do you need me to go through all the articles on the 2004 campaign to show how often and consistently he opposed the war?

by Adam B 2007-06-21 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda
Yes, I've asked questions on this dozens of times before of Obama supporters. I tried Lexus-Nexus. I read the Obama-Keyes debate transcripts. And I never found evidence that he stressed a strong anti-war, anti-AUMF position during the run for the Senate. So, yes, do you have the standard stump speech of 2004? Do you have the ads?
by philgoblue 2007-06-21 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

I don't have either, but a look at his 2004 issues page states: "Iraq. Obama was the only Illinois senate candidate to publicly oppose President Bush's plan to pre-emptively attack Iraq. Even after Obama challenged them to take a stand, not a single Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate would adopt a position similar to Obama's. Now that our troops are in Iraq, Obama will work toward ending deception that has shrouded our policies and forging international coalitions to share the burden of rebuilding. Obama will push for a full investigation of the intelligence provided to the Administration regarding the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Iraqi efforts to obtain nuclear materials. He will also fight the cronyism and secret bidding that has resulted in billions of dollars in contracts going to large corporations close to the Administration. Obama will strive to restore truth and transparency to our policy in Iraq. "

See also this timeline.

by Adam B 2007-06-21 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda
yeah, I'm not looking for website paragraphs, but real evidence from stump speeches, ads, or debates that he pushed the anti-aumf issue and pushed for defunding and withdrawal, because, again, I've asked and asked and it appears that Obama just gave the one speech and dropped the matter (except when refering to the speech).
by philgoblue 2007-06-21 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

He didn't call for withdrawal. He was looking for a Military Victory until 2005.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

i've never seen him say that, and would be surprised if it were true...

by bored now 2007-06-21 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Chicago Tribune, 1-23-04:

The five major Democratic candidates running for U.S. Senate are all critical of President Bush's post-invasion Iraq policy, but they differ on whether they would have supported the invasion in Congress if they had the chance.

...Another candidate, state Sen. Barack Obama has tried to make the Iraq situation a major issue in his campaign, saying he was the only Democratic contender to publicly oppose the invasion before it began. Obama also is the only candidate to say he would have fought Bush's $87 billion reconstruction request for Iraq and Afghanistan had he been in Congress.

...In addition to his worries about Iraq, Obama raised serious concerns about Bush's willingness to engage in pre-emptive wars to fight terrorism, saying the doctrine hurts the nation's reputation overseas and "might encourage other nations to take similar [terrorist] action."

...All of the candidates expressed unease over Bush's $87 billion spending plan to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan. But Obama was alone in declaring that he would have voted against it had he had the chance.

by Adam B 2007-06-21 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

I have two problems with this snippet

Obama also is the only candidate to say he would have fought Bush's $87 billion reconstruction request for Iraq and Afghanistan had he been in Congress.

...All of the candidates expressed unease over Bush's $87 billion spending plan to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan. But Obama was alone in declaring that he would have voted against it had he had the chance.

Edwards was in the senate, spoke up against that appropriations bill, and voted against the $87B. This was a risky move since the vote was 88-12.

Here is a link explaining his vote  Senator Edwards on Funding for Iraq

That quote is a claim by Obama, but since being in the senate in 2005 he has voted 4 times to keep funding the war and voted against Kerry Feingold and supported the Gregg amendment.  This for me is the inconsistency with his rhetoric and actions.  I am really pleased that he voted the right way this last time, but he showed no leadership on it.

by pioneer111 2007-06-21 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

It's from 2004 -- he was the only Democratic candidate in the Senate field to state those things.

by Adam B 2007-06-21 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Okay, I missed the point on first reading, but think it a good idea to clarify Edwards position because others may miss the point too.

by pioneer111 2007-06-21 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

I live in IL and he was in no way the only Senate candidate in IL in 2004 to oppose the war. In fact I can only think of one that said she would have voted for the war if Bush would have agreed to send more meony to Illinois.  Nancy Skinner was also running and she was quite vocal about the war.  Far more so than Obama.  With exception of Maria Pappas the rest were just as opposed to the war.

by Licorice 2007-06-21 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

You should post this all over the place.

THe Obama campaigners are selective amnesiacs.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

and promptly voted to fund it to the tune of $300 billion once elected. I guess Lieberman got to him.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

I do have LexisNexis, and I guided my search to include only Sun-Times articles from 1/01/04 to 11/02/04. You may have had trouble because you didn't guide your search, producing too many results to parse through. Also, it should be noted that Lexis doesn't cover the Chicago Tribune, only the Sun-Times, and it is safe to assume that the Sun-Times wasn't reporting on the stump speeches he was giving in Peoria or Rockford or the Quad Cities area or anywhere else downstate. (I've had to use Lexis so much in the last two years that I've almost forgotten how great it is to have access to it).

Between January 1st and November 2nd, there were 54 articles in the Chicago Sun-Times that featured Obama and Iraq. As with any Lexis search, a lot of these were stories that didn't really have a lot to do with the campaign (stories about Kerry using Obama to get out the black vote, for example). However, there are some nice tidbits.

Choice quotes:

"But the CIA, Paul Bremer, Don Rumsfeld, Colin Powell have all indicated that they could not find a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, that weapons of mass destruction are not found in Iraq and so it is absolutely true that we have a network of terrorists, but it takes a huge leap of logic to suddenly suggest that means that we invade Iraq."
Source: "Keyes, Obama spar over war in Iraq; But few flashes of excitement in first Senate debate"

"Now, as liberal as Kerry is, he voted for the war in Iraq; Obama would not have. Moreover, once the troops got to Iraq, Obama would not have supported the $87 billion the president requested for reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, which also supported the troops there. Kerry says he would have supported it if it were accompanied by a tax hike to pay for the $87 billion. Obama's position has been a flat no -- and once again is to the left of Kerry. In opposing the funding for troops, Obama was the only candidate in the Illinois Democratic field (an extremely liberal field) to take the position. Underscoring the extremism of his position: Even Wisconsin's Russ Feingold and Illinois' Dick Durbin, severe critics of the war, voted for this troop assistance."
Source: "Think Kerry is liberal? Get a load of Obama"

"Democratic Senate hopeful Barack Obama lit into millionaire investor M. Blair Hull in a radio debate Monday, accusing the front-runner of falsely claiming he had been outspoken in opposing the war in Iraq.
"The fact of the matter is, Blair, you were silent when those decisions were being made, and you didn't end up being outspoken about it until well after the war had been completed," Obama said. "You were AWOL on this issue.""
Source: Hull was late opposing war in Iraq, Obama says

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-21 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

But he voted for $300 billion in Iraq war spending when he did win the Senate seat.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Yeah, but I included that as a demonstration of the heat he was taking from conservatives over his positions on Iraq, and to show that he was being outspoken about the war. That is what seemed to have been called into question on this thread.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-21 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

He wasn't alone in opposing the war. He just made a speech. Kennedy made a speech Feingold made a speech. They were taking far more heat.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Yeah, and I never said he was alone. Many people were implying that he remained silent or somehow tried to skirt the issue of Iraq in his debates for the Senate, and I was just demonstrating that that wasn't true.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-21 02:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

this is silly.  the whole hub-bub about obama winning the ivi-ipo endorsement [PDF] over dan hynes was the fight over the war.  the press release notes, "Obama has been an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act and promises to be vigilant in protecting American freedom and liberty from government abuse of power."  this was a much-prized and hard-fought endorsement in the illinois senate race, which both the obama and hynes campaign needed...

by bored now 2007-06-21 11:48AM | 0 recs
by NuevoLiberal 2007-06-21 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: links

Thanks for the links, it is appreciated.

One thing I noticed was that between Oct 2004 and Nov 2006 there were no quotes on the Iraq war - two years of silence.

by pioneer111 2007-06-21 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: links

not two years of silence.  two years where it wasn't covered by the media sources you're examining...

by bored now 2007-06-21 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: links

Try this 2005 speech, which is all about Iraq.

by Adam B 2007-06-22 06:08AM | 0 recs
Re: links

NL, I would take back my post above.  I am not clear how comprehensive this site is with their quotes.  They have no Edwards quotes on the war from Oct 2004 to February 2007.  We know Edwards had an op/ed in 2005 and all through 2006 he was campaigning with Democrats and speaking against the war.  So now I think that the list is probably incomplete for Obama as well.

by pioneer111 2007-06-21 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Hard to tell what to make of this until the book comes out, but the notion that Obama is calculating and cautious, even more calculating and cautious than your average pol--this I believe, cause it's true.

by david mizner 2007-06-21 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Of course, he is running for POTUS, they all are calculating and to think otherwise, you are uninformed.

by icebergslim 2007-06-21 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

But this story is about 2002 and he was running for the Senate then.  You may be right, however.  But to think his opposition to the war in 2002 was based on political calculation is a bit depressing to me.  It also is inconsistent with the image he projects, as well as the image his supporters project of him.  

I just don't see him as that calculating.  I think the commenter above who said the truth is somewhere in the middle probably has it right.

Of course, you are entitled to your opinion.  It is hard to judge any candidate's heart.

by littafi 2007-06-21 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

They are politicians, not sitting next to the hand of God.  Politicians are smooth operators.  They hone messages, craft speeches to captivate the masses.  In all of this is policy, sprinkled here and there.  For people to believe, actually believe that politicians do not have higer aspirations are clueless.  Most are some of the most vain folk, you will ever meet.

by icebergslim 2007-06-21 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

WOW!

Barack Obama only gave his anti-war speech once! As opposed to other senators who gave floor speeches in support of the War.

The horror!

Tyring to spin this against Obama makes people look silly given their support for candidates who supported the war.

by dpg220 2007-06-21 08:23AM | 0 recs
Well, the book

questions his motives.

It says he initially was not going to speak at the antiwar rally.  

He has not been a leader of opposition to the war since elected to the Senate.

I'm not sure what to think.

by littafi 2007-06-21 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Well, the book

And the Hillary books does not question her LIFE?  Are we democrats or what?  I am not a Hillary supporter, but have not and will not buy any bullshit book to trivialize her.  Will not do it, no monies to book makers from icey.  None.

by icebergslim 2007-06-21 08:47AM | 0 recs
Actually...

Perhaps what this shows is that he is like the guy who only goes to temple on the high holy days while telling us how pious he is.

by citizen53 2007-06-21 08:28AM | 0 recs
I imagine...

this kind of stuff will just be put in everyone's existing Obama frame.

Supporters:  What's the big deal?
Detractors:  Ah ha!  Proof that Obama's not all that!  I knew it!

by rashomon 2007-06-21 08:48AM | 0 recs
from 2003

July 24, 2003

Jeff Berkowitz: ?Let's go right to the [Iraq] war. You have made a big point of that. You said you were there last fall; you were at the Federal Building and you were speaking out against the War then; and you are saying there are seven other candidates in the [Democratic] primary and a number of them oppose the war in Iraq; oppose taking military action but they weren't speaking out [last fall]. Is that your point?

Barack Obama: I can't tell because they were silent on the issue at the time. And, I think that part of the issue in terms of the War is that this is a difficult, complex question. I am not somebody who is a pacifist, who thinks that we shouldn't exert our military power under any circumstances. I think the threats to our national security are real and genuine. And? I think Saddam Hussein was a genuinely, dangerous despot.

The question, though, is out of the United States Senate and out of the Democratic Party we have to make tough choices the same way the President has to make tough choices, and we have to analyze and evaluate it, and my analysis said that Saddam Hussein was not an imminent threat and that if we acted multilaterally, it would be better for our long term security because we would be able to have a multinational coalition and force that could have contained Saddam Hussein, conducted vigorous inspections and if we ultimately had to overthrow him, we would have built an international coalition that could have moved forward.

Now, some people may disagree with me on this, but what absolutely we can't have out of our U. S. Senator from Illinois is somebody who waffles on the issue and somebody who ducks the issue, and puts their finger out to the wind and waits to find out how the wind is blowing before they make a statement that, well, "We had concerns about the War." Everybody had concerns about the War. The question was -how would you have voted on a specific resolution giving George Bush carte blanche

by Adam B 2007-06-21 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: from 2003

if we acted multilaterally, it would be better for our long term security because we would be able to have a multinational coalition and force that could have contained Saddam Hussein, conducted vigorous inspections and if we ultimately had to overthrow him, we would have built an international coalition that could have moved forward.

Since this was a large part of the AUMF to the Democrats that supported it, to allow for leverage at the UN and to build a multilateral coalition to force Iraq to comply and permit weapons inspections (which they did), then who is to say that Obama, if he had been a Senator and seen the intelligence, would not have voted for the AUMF.

His record as a Senator does not convince me that he would have done differently than Clinton, with whom he has voted in virtual lockstep on this issue.

by citizen53 2007-06-21 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: from 2003

(a) Because he said he wouldn't have, and (b) because the Levin amendment (on the UN and leverage) was separate, and Clinton even opposed that.

by Adam B 2007-06-21 09:19AM | 0 recs
In the end, there is no way...

to really know what he would have done, as he was not there to see the info or cast a vote, as he acknowledged as late as Nov. 2006, before he made it a partisan issue.

I mean, he also said as a candidate that he would vote against the $87 billion, that the time had come to stop being steamrolled by Bush.  Then he voted for funding when it was actually time to vote.

Not that it matters.  As Frontline again showed last night, this was Bush's debacle because it did not have to be the disaster he made it.

The question now is how to end the war.  Among the myriad of other issues, in my view Obama is playing it safe.

by citizen53 2007-06-21 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: In the end, there is no way...

By that standard, there's no way of knowing what Edwards would be doing were he still representing North Carolina in the Senate, is there?

by Adam B 2007-06-21 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: In the end, there is no way...

Kerry and Edwards would have wound the war up by now.  They were characterized as "cut and run" and "flip flop".

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Actually...

expecting others to sacrifice. He is all about moral exertion.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

it says he did not initially know whether he was going to speak at the rally but that he was always agiainst the war.

so what?

he had to make a deicsion whether he would give a speech at a protest rally. He eventually decided he wanted to.

by dpg220 2007-06-21 08:31AM | 0 recs
This kind of stuff...

is pretty easy to shoot down.  It's all about "motivations", which is really hard to prove.  Not to mention plenty of video on appearances from 2003 where he also opposed the war.

If this is the best they've got for a teaser, then there's not much here.  Obama is an ambitious guy!  Who knew?  LOL.

by rashomon 2007-06-21 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

He's been trying to move up from being a state senator at the time.  I know that.  He challenged US Representative Bobby Rush to a primary challenge in attempts to move up in... 2000?  You can't move up if the media doesn't notice you.  Standing out against the majority when the majority is huge is a good way to start.  What's the problem?

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-06-21 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

I'm assuming this is a hit diary since I haven't seen litaffi go into quotes from some of the new Hillary biographys.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-06-21 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

I think he's given far, far too much credit for an impotent and historic speech calling the war "dumb," and too little critical analysis on his failure to lead (or even follow) since.  I also think he's just as calculating as Hillary (just not as skillful).  But I personally believe that he's sincere (if utterly ineffectual) in his (tepid) opposition to the war and that it's one of his very weak and neglected, but genuine, convictions.

But enough of my gushing praise.

by Junior Bug 2007-06-21 08:52AM | 0 recs
Interesting

Of all the candidates,  I feel Edwards is the most calculating of all, even more than Hillary. He co-sponsored the war resolution, and defended it in 2003 and 2004 when it was popular. After he lost an election, and the country started to turn against the war, he decided to turn against the war too.

by jj32 2007-06-21 09:17AM | 0 recs
In 2003...

as a candidate, Obama said he would unequivocably vote against the $87 billion, that it was time to stop being steamrolled by Bush, did he not?

In 2004, Obama said there was not much difference between his position on Iraq and Bush's, did he not?

After taking office in 2005, he voted for funding, did he not?

It's easy to play this game, is it not?

by citizen53 2007-06-21 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: In 2003...

Once the media or Hillary's minions latch onto it it will blow him out the water.

Couple it with his support for continued occupation in Iraq and it becomes clear his entire credibility on the issue rests on 5 year old speech-noise signifying nothing.

Speachification.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting

Edwards voted against the $87B appropriations when it was not popular to do that.  The vote was 88-12.  He was pilloried in the press for it.

by pioneer111 2007-06-21 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting

Now see, I stayed positive.

by Junior Bug 2007-06-21 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting

Wait a moment. He defened his actions on Hardballz and Meat The Press Against a couple of Anchors who are effectively Bush cheerleaders.

THey were looking for a way to have an hour long discussion on the gullibility of Senators and the past avoiding the fact that the US had to get out of Iraq in 2005 when the prospective Kerry admin took over...

No wonder he shut the discussion down by saying he would stick by his vote.

HardballZ

"Let's talk about an exit strategy from Iraq Chirs..."

"No lets talk about your vote...and pretend you invaded Iraq and not Bush."

Meat The Press

"Let's talk about an exit strategy from Iraq Tim..."

"It's your personal fault we are in Iraq Senator..."

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 12:07PM | 0 recs
Predetermined narratives

People here already have their predetermined narratives about the candidates, and nothing could possibly change their minds. This is true for people who dislike Obama, people who dislike Edwards, and people who dislike Clinton. It's true for Obama supporters and Edwards supporters and Clinton supporters.

For example, some people insist on seeing Obama as a phony, substance-less, calculating, convictionless hope-monger. And they fit everything they know into that predetermined narrative, storing away information that validates the larger story and discarding inconvenient information that does not. After all, each politician is a puzzle we have to figure out--and what matters is not each little piece, but the larger picture, right? Same thing with people who see Obama as the great messiah and make unjustified excuses for him and his behavior. It's the difference between reality-based, common sense values and emotionally distorted ideology.    

"Values are faithfully applied to the facts before us, while ideology overrides whatever facts call theory into question."

The Audacity of Hope p.59  

by Korha 2007-06-21 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Predetermined narratives

Actually it's agreat way to test arguments that will be used later on.

It's a crude political form  of the socratic method.

If Obama gets out of the primary alive and win s the nom I'd be cool with it.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 12:22PM | 0 recs
The best post I've seen in a long time

This is exactly true. Honestly I've lost a little faith in human reason after watching this blog the last couple of weeks. People are blinded by love and hatred and partisanship.

by Populism2008 2007-06-21 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: The best post I've seen in a long time

Don't despair.   We need to vet the candidates and the primary is kind of an odd process in competing with people on your team.  I use the analogy of the same team, different squads.  If we believe our candidate is the best then we need to be able to go through all the arguments and have really solid reasons for support by the time primaries are over.

The intense emotions do need a rest every once in a while.  But it is part of the process.

by pioneer111 2007-06-21 01:40PM | 0 recs
Um...

Maybe it would help to read the 2002 speech.  Does this sound like someone who reluctantly came out against the war?

"What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

"What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income - to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics."

- Obama at the 2002 anti-war rally
Full text: http://www.barackobama.com/2002/10/02/re marks_of_illinois_state_sen.php

by psericks 2007-06-21 10:39AM | 0 recs
Not endorsing any assesment but

The text of his speech does not address reluctance, which is what this diary implies. Reluctance pertains to the process of choosing to doing something. What he said after he made his choice does not negate his reluctance getting there.

What you just pointed out would be like saying, "Jeff was reluctant to take a vacation. When he decided to take a vacation, he took 3 weeks off from work. Because he took three weeks off, he couldn't possibly have been reluctant to take a vacation."

by bowiegeek 2007-06-21 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Not endorsing any assesment but

I'm just saying, there's no reluctant triangulation going on here.  Obama is passionate and unequivocal.      When he references Perle and Wolfowitz cynical and "armchair, weekend warriors" and decries an "attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income...", he isn't exactly mincing words.

by psericks 2007-06-21 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Not endorsing any assesment but

I don't disagree that he gave a passionate speech. However, a passionate speech is not the same as a passion to do something. It is entirely possible to be reluctant about doing something and then to turn around and do that thing passionately. So while I understand what you're trying to say, your assertion that there was no reluctance in 2002 is clearly in dispute.

by bowiegeek 2007-06-21 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Which candidate running for President introduced legislation calling for an end to the War and a start to withdrawing troops along a specific deadline?

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-21 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Hillary Clinton, of course. Probably also every other senator running.

by bowiegeek 2007-06-21 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda
Clinton was two and a half weeks after Obama.
by horizonr 2007-06-21 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Feingold introduced legislation first. I would prefer the candidates rallying around one piece of legislation, probably not their own because you will have factions in the senate, but use their persuasive skills to really get something passed.  And stop pretending we can get Repubs on side.

by pioneer111 2007-06-21 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Your point being?

by bowiegeek 2007-06-21 01:50PM | 0 recs
Kerry-Feingold...

provided an opportunity to adopt a position on timelines just six month prior.

Strange how running for President will change a candidate.

Obama took lobbyists' money before running for President, too.

by citizen53 2007-06-21 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

Cut and Run!

That is what the 2004 election was about.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-21 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda
Clinton was two and a half weeks after Obama.
by horizonr 2007-06-21 11:40AM | 0 recs
And I repeat:

your point being?

by bowiegeek 2007-06-21 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

I'm not an Obama supporter, but this doesn't change my opinion in the slightest.  I'm not sure why it would.

Obama is the only one of the major candidates who opposed the war.  I live in the reality-based community, so I can admit that.  And now the argument is supposed to be what?  Okay, he opposed the war, but he wasn't Barbara Lee?  Come on.

I remember very well how the war started and I remember the national mood.  Speaking out against the war at all was a very risky mood.  For a guy like Obama, who clearly had ambitions beyond just his State Senate seat, he was taking a risk regardless of whether it was a no-brainer position in his district.  After all, if the war had turned out great and we had been greeted as liberators, how credible would he have been as a U.S. Senate candidate in 2004 after calling it a dumb war?

One reason we see all too few acts of political courage in this country is that unless it's your guy doing it, nothing is courage, and if it is your guy, then everything counts as courage.  For my part, I'm happy to admit that Obama made a gutsy call and it was the right one - whether or not he shouted it from the rooftops enough to satisfy the back-seat drivers.

by Steve M 2007-06-21 12:28PM | 0 recs
"If true, does this matter to you?"

Well, just a few thoughts:

1. We cannot know if this is true unless Obama admits to it and obviously he wouldn't.

2. He nailed the dangers of invading Iraq in his 2002 speech. Pretty much everything he warned about came true. I give him a lot of credit for such foresight regardless of motivation.

3. Supporting an original anti-Iraq war candidate will send a message to establishment Dems that backing unnecessary wars is politically dangerous and costly. If Obama wins then hopefully future Dems will think twice about authorizing unnecessary wars.

However, if someone like Clinton (or to a lesser extent Edwards) wins, then the message may well be that supporting war is good politics because it shows that you are tough on national security...

So regardless of the motivation, Obama did speak out against the war when it counted, and supporting him now is a way to send a message to the pro-war DC establishment that the people are not happy and that they need to change their pro-war ways.

4. So bottom line: If I knew this was true then yes, I'd think less of Obama, but I'd still support him given the alternatives, given the content of his speech, and given the message that his victory would send.

by End game 2007-06-21 01:05PM | 0 recs
While I disagree

with your point that electing Obama sends a message regarding the 2002 vote, or that electing Edwards somehow validates a tough on national security theme, and on a few other things, I thought your comment was very well articulated.  Thus, I recommended it.  

by littafi 2007-06-21 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama bio cites hidden '02 agenda

I agree with slim,end game & others. Support your candidate through whatever "nonsense" arises. We all know it's only the beginning of a long haul of supposed "revelations" which could and will be about any of them.

The real issue is not his motivation. Truth be told he had to be pushed into the '04 speech he gave that set the world on fire.
Also ended up giving a different speech than was initially written for him.

His prophetic detailed analysis of what we'd face in this war sets him apart. Period.

by g1967 2007-06-21 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: It didn't say he changed his position

It just said he voiced his opinion and got an addition benefit from doing so.

I don't get how this calls his motives into question at all.

----------

"Obama gave the speech not just because of a desire to speak out about the impending invasion, Mendell asserts, but also to curry favor with a potential political patron, Bettylu Saltzman, a stalwart among Chicago's liberal elite, and to also try to win over his future top political adviser, David Axelrod, who was close to Saltzman."

by Bush Bites 2007-06-21 01:38PM | 0 recs
Are they gone?

Another drive-by brought to you by the anti-Obama hit squad...  or was it the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

If you want to live in a world where gold is spun into straw and fact and fiction are separated by no more than the tenuous spin of a slender diary no-one can stop you... but may God have mercy on us all.  I hope somewhere inside of each and every one of you that piled-on to this fairy tale there is a witness that knows the difference between truth and bullshit, but there is certainly no evidence of it here

None of you has any right to complain about the spin and dross the MSM cranks out after that little effort, let me tell you.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-21 01:55PM | 0 recs

Diaries

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