Why Obama?

Speaking for me only

Since I rail against Obama's unity schtick all the time and find he and Hillary pretty much the same on the issues, it is fair to ask why I tepidly support him. Why not Hillary, who clearly has experience fighting the GOP.

Here's why. Obama has more political talent than Hillary. The upside for Obama is clearly higher. If he can learn to fight partisan battles, he can be the best politician we have ever seen. Hillary is a better politician than I expected and her strong support among women is not to be discounted. In some ways, Clinton has turned out to be better than I expected and Obama worse than I expected. But that is relative because I consider and considered Obama much the superior political talent.

More . . .

I again want to stress that I view both of these candidates as solid progressives and believe their stands on the issues are basically indistinguishable, with the notable exception of health care, where Clinton is said to have the more progressive view. These are two good decent progressives who are politicians, which requires a different type of person altogether.

On what the candidates want to do, I think there is nothing to choose from between them. On the policies they hope to enact, there is next to nothing to choose from between them.

I disagree with Obama's theory of change but it can be adjusted when realities hit it. Clinton is more cleareyed about what we face.

Not much to choose from. Except this. The Media HATES the Clintons. Obama is a Media Darling. There is a real chance that Obama will recieve the most favorable Media treatment a Democrat has gotten since John F. Kennedy.

And this is why I support Obama. Because it provides a possibility that Obama CAN get some of his agenda done with some adjustments to his political style.

Obama will have a chance to succeed as President. I am not sure Hillary will get that same chance. It is not fair. But it seems true to me.

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    I'm frankly not sure which is the bigger gamble (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:18:04 AM EST
    It strikes me that Obama is playing Bill Bradley to Hillary's Al Gore. I'm still pretty sure Democrats made the right choice in 2000.

    Hillary knows what's coming from the media, and probably knows how to deal with it. Obama? I just don't buy it.

    I'm deeply uncomfortable about both.

    Talent (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by TheRealFrank on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:21:04 AM EST
    I see your point about the media, and it's a good argument to make.

    When you say that Obama is the greater political talent, though, what exactly do you mean by that?

    I can see that Obama is definitely better at giving speeches than Clinton is. However, I don't see him having an edge otherwise: he is not as good in discussing policies, and he is worse in debates, for example.

    I think if Obama (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:27:13 AM EST
    for reasons unexplainable to me, inspires great passion in people.

    He clearly has brought out new voters.

    He is not great at the conventional pol skills, but his other political skills are enormous.

    Here is the best counterargument to Obama - he has not shown ANY ABILITY to inspire passion about ISSUES. Nor has he tried.

    This is the most worrisome. See, when I criticize his lackof partisan fight, this is what I mean.

    Ronald Reagan made people passionate about the issues HE was passionate about.

    Obama makes people passionate about OBAMA.

    that is the argument I would make against my own.


    disagree about the (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:26:36 AM EST
    "clearly he has brought out more voters" statement as I think it is the mess of Geo.Bush that has inspired more voters to come out....

    great passion? (none / 0) (#21)
    by horseloverfat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:36:06 AM EST
    You are missing that he also has high negatives.  He may inspire great passion in some people, but he also raises a lot of hostility among others.

    Hostility? (none / 0) (#48)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:25:43 AM EST
    Which Democrat does not inspire hostility among Republicans?That is not a bad thing. Or, are you talking about hostility from Democrats, if you are you have missed the Hillary hate fest.

    The Hillary hatefest (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by horseloverfat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:11:49 AM EST
    does what all negative campaigning does in a primary - it creates blowback against the haters.

    Obama's right-wing talking points and advocacy of Reaganite tactics also do not sit well with partisan Dems.  Nor does the mushy non-specificity of his campaign rhetoric.


    I think a lesson for the candidates (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:18:27 AM EST
    is the importance of modulating their attacks against each other...and this includes factoring in MSM fanning the flames factor.

    When the attacks against Hillary went too far, voters reacted and she won in NH and then Nevada. When Hillary and Bill went overboard on Obama beginning the week before NH and continuing, the voters gave Obama a resounding victory in S.C.

    Negative campaigning works but it's a weapon that has to be tempered with some discretion.


    Yes. That is one of the biggest problems I have (none / 0) (#129)
    by derridog on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 07:51:21 PM EST
    with Obama.  I'm an art teacher and I sometimes  have my students read Plato's Republic.  The reason Plato didn't want artists in his perfect society, was that artists can enthrall through the senses and  cause  people to  abandon their good judgment and be easily led astray. Hitler, for instance, used art and spectacle to stir people up emotionally with this very result.

    Obama too can stir people up and making them emotionally excited. How does he do this? He uses phrases which don't require much reflection but seem desirable.  Everyone is for "unity". Everyone is for "we can DO it!"  But what IS it?  He doesn't really go into that. When he IS specific, he talks about making nice with the Republicans. Now,  it seems to me, that most of the people on the Left Blogs are upset with people who want to find a middle ground with the Republicans. So if that is true, why would they want to vote for Barack Obama, since this is the only thing he's really specific about?   Because they can't see it. He''s making us fall in love with him with his pretty words and the sense of "hope" he creates with them, which is grounded, I fear, in aesthetics, nothing else.


    wow derridog (none / 0) (#131)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 08:14:56 PM EST
    Never thought of it that way, but makes sense to me now that you put it that way...

    Isn't That Why (none / 0) (#132)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 08:29:30 PM EST
    He demanded that musicians and artists have the highest ethical standards, because if they didn't they could hurt people through their art form.

    Not up on his thoughts about oration which would be a more apt analogy but here is something from wikipedia:

    Though Plato is consistently suspicious of the ability of oratory to teach, in Menexenus he demonstrates a theoretical interest in the project of funeral oratory.[16] He actually describes the scheme of the traditional Athenian funeral oration with the following succinct phrase:[17]
    And the speech required is one which will adequately eulogize the dead and give kindly exhortation to the living, appealing to their children and their brethren to copy the virtues of these heroes, and to their fathers and mothers and any still surviving ancestors offering consolation.

    Sounds empty to me, like Obama's speeches but I don't think we have to worry about him turning into a Hitler. His ethics seem as good as most Democrats.


    Legt blogs (none / 0) (#134)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 08:55:33 PM EST
    have been obsessed with mimicking the techniques and strategies that win.  They have criticized for years now the Republican tactics, but they have also coveted the winning.  So, my question, is winning, electability at any cost?  But the electability factor seems to be based on the following thesis:  
    1.  Obama brings new voters + the young+ republicans.
    2.  The Clinton voters, the base, will vote Democrat at any cost.
    3.  Therefore, the base is obligated to go along at any cost.

    The end result is I think a coalition like the Republican that is now falling apart.  They keep wondering what is a true conservative and they cannot seem to find it cause the pandered to everyone.  Electability therefore cannot be the only goal, you have to deliver and that is not what I am willing to risk.  

    Yes, why is Obama talented? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by MarkL on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:23:15 AM EST
    I think he has some charisma, which is NOT the same thing at all.

    A central talent for a pol (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:30:06 AM EST
    is getting people to vote for you.

    To deny Obama's talent there is simply to blind yourself.


    Of course, if Hillary (none / 0) (#130)
    by derridog on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 07:57:06 PM EST
    wins the next big contests, this won't be true. I guess we'll see.

    Hillary's experience is much more important (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Green26 on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:25:21 AM EST
    to me than Obama's unity talk and personality. While Obama has personal appeal, and may someday be a great candidate or president, I don't feel comfortable with his lack of experience, especially on important international issues, like terror, security and war. I also know that he probably can't realisticly accomplish many of his unity things. Hillary has studied and been around politics and the presidency for many years. She also has Bill to lean on (and I liked most of what he did as the president, except the personal stuff). While I am more of a McCain supporter, and don't agree with a number of her positions, I would not be uncomfortable with Hillary as the president. I would also choose to vote for her over certain repub candidates.

    I feel Obama is the most likely to (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by MarkL on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:28:59 AM EST
    lead us into another reckless war.
    His comments on Pakistan and Afghanistan are disturbing, taken as a whole. He has a great deal too much confidence that US military power can be a positive influence in that region.
    These comments, along with his obvious arrogance and unwillingness to admit mistakes, should give pause to those who want to vote Obama.
    As far as I am concerned, his 2002 speech can easily be seen as pandering to an anti-war base, NOT reflecting his true beliefs. His actions  and statements since then paint him as more a hawk.

    Strategical Thinking? (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by horseloverfat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:26:09 AM EST
    I do not see Obama as a guy who thinks more than one move ahead.  Examples:

    A)  Why keep trying to explain and justify the Reagan and "party of change" comments, thus keeping the story alive?  Why not move on and let the story die?

    B)  Why let the Media keep finding racial entrails to pore over, letting himself get tagged as an "identity" candidate, even more than he is anyway.  Ask him or his surrogates if the Clinton campaign is injecting race, Obama always goes agnostic, will not comment.  This tacitly keeps the story alive, to his ultimate detriment, because a near-term boost in SC will backlash in later states.

    C)  Why let Rezko feed that photo of Rezko with Bill and Hillary to Drudge and Matt Lauer?  If checking out the Clinton's connection to Rezko is legitimized, the he said/she said frees up the press to look into Obama's connections also.

    etc, etc.  You may see a great political thinker in action here, I do not.

    and... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by horseloverfat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:31:08 AM EST
    Why keep accusing the Clintons of lying and "saying anything?"  Is it really strategical to piss off people whose support you may want later.

    great comment! I think Hillary still (none / 0) (#15)
    by MarkL on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:29:36 AM EST
    has the edge, for the reasons you cite.

    Media Darlin? (none / 0) (#138)
    by felizarte on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 06:33:05 AM EST
    At this point, we really don't know if he is the media's darling because they like him and truly believe he is inspiring (which I fail to see how) or if they just want a weaker candidate.

    As far as Ted Kennedy's endorsement, it only reminds me that JFK only defeated Nixon because the late Mayor Richard Daley was really in control of Chicago and there was much talk of election fraud which Nixon declined to protest. (Nixon wrote about this in one of his books and there should be many archived articles on it)  I cannot recall exactly by how many votes but I think it was less than a thousand.  And the Kennedy Trust holdings are mainly in Chicago.  I would not be surprised if the Daley political machine of Chicago had a hand in the endorsement, since Daley supports Obama.



    All good points (none / 0) (#34)
    by robrecht on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:01:27 AM EST
    Imagine Obama with Bill Clinton as his principal advisor--that's a mariage made in heaven.

    yeah, right. (none / 0) (#125)
    by ghost2 on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 07:23:11 PM EST
    Bill has been famously forgiving in the past.  But after twisting Bill's words to make him look like a racist, if it was me, i'd tell the guy to get lost.

    Still reads as a tepid endorsement (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:36:09 AM EST
    to me.  Maybe I just don't see much political talent in Obama in the last couple of weeks.  And I sure don't see him as unifying Dems, much less the country.  He and his camp still act like a third party.  And we know what that has done to us lately.

    It is a tepid endorsement (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:08:44 AM EST
    And doesn't inspire me... (none / 0) (#85)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:50:04 PM EST
    Just sayin'...in the spirit of the Obama campaign...

    Thanks, BTD (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by robrecht on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:48:39 AM EST
    I'm glad we're finally having this direct discussion here. I've planned on voting for Hillary on Feb 5th here in NJ, but I must say that Obama's ability to inspire is mighty tempting.  (My wife is definitely voting for him.)  

    I think it's a shame that Obama is a no brainer as VP since it's an uninspired tactical choice re the base that wastes his true, yet untested, talents for leadership.  Would much rather have Wesley Clark as VP, especialy if McCain is the Republican nominee.

    So, you don't anticipate he will sacrifice (none / 0) (#119)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 03:57:39 PM EST
    himself for the good of the party?

    I have no idea about that ... (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by robrecht on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 06:05:08 PM EST
    ... he'd be stupid not to.  I just wish Hillary didn't have to choose him as her running mate to shore up the Democratic base when Wesley Clark would IMHO be a much better running mate in the GE against McCain.  I think Hillary can demolish McCain in the debates but it would certainly help to have a well respected general on the ticket with so much uncertainty about how to proceed in Iraq.  Given the 'success' of the surge, McCain's surge or so he will claim, we cannot count on anti-war sentiment like we did in 2006.

    Agree. (none / 0) (#123)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 06:46:38 PM EST
    Plus Clark, although associated with the HRC campaign, doesn't appear to need to be in the spotlight all that much.

    imagine huck and obama debating (none / 0) (#136)
    by hellothere on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:04:47 PM EST
    in a dem veep debate. obama is not that strong in debates and frankly ole huck can be quite folksy while putting the knife in.

    Rezko arrest this morning, according to Chi Trib (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:53:30 AM EST
    may just distract a bit from Obama's big day for endorsements.  A talented politician would have played and would be playing this one better -- and we will have to see how Obama handles it as this story gets bigger in coming weeks, with the trial beginning and with Patrick Fitzgerald as prosecutor.

    Patrict Fitzgerald is awesome!!! N/T (none / 0) (#93)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:24:07 PM EST
    Why I'm not ready to support Obama (5.00 / 7) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:53:32 AM EST
    I posted this on another comment thread over the weekend. Keep in mind that neither TalkLeft nor I are endorsing a candidate at this time.

    Neither Obama nor Hillary match my position on issues. No candidate would. (Kucinich came closest.)

    I have praised and criticized both of them. Example: I've criticized Hillary for her statement that she had concerns in principle with retroactivity of the crack-powder sentencing guideline changes and I've praised Obama for his work to protect the wrongfully accused in Illinois.

    That said, what I object to most is the "change" meme. I don't buy it for a second. It's a tired, generic phrase used by every politician who ever tried to get into office or unseat an incumbent.

    I don't want to buy a pig in a poke. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't. I want a President with experience who can get things done in Washington, not just complain about how Washington has to change. It's Congress that enacts and repeals laws and the President needs clout there.

    I don't want someone who will compromise on my issues and claim a bi-partisan win. I don't want one who goes into the White House seeking "a working majority" which is a code word for "working with Republicans."

    I could go on   and on, but for me, it's Clinton or Edwards, and I'd be happy with either one. I'll support Obama if he gets the nomination, but I hope he doesn't get it.  He might be the right candidate in 2016, but he isn't ready now. I think he knows it and that's why as recently as last night in his speech, he's warning people not to expect change overnight and says it will take years. It's almost as if he knows he can't make it happen.

    Speaking for me only (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:06:58 AM EST
    And your voice is appreciated (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:15:09 AM EST
    It also makes for more lively discussion that we don't view the candidates exactly the same.

    And I Agree With Both Of You! (5.00 / 5) (#80)
    by BDB on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:41:12 PM EST

    I do think Obama is an amazing political talent.  But I just don't think he's ready.  He has the talent, but lacks the skills.  Clinton, who has less talent or at least her talents are less obvious, is, at this point, much more skilled.  With Obama's press advantage he should be killing Clinton, but he isn't.  He's the one behind, at least as of now, going into Super Tuesday.

    I've been particularly unimpressed by Obama whenever he's put on the defensive.  That hasn't happened a lot because of the Clinton hatred, but when it has happened, he's been terrible.  He acts as if it's beneath him to be questioned and then follows with a lame, wandering answer.  The issue of his present votes was raised before Iowa and Edwards was still able to dismantle him on it at the most recent debate.  Whether or not you think his present votes matter (they bother me, personally), after all this time Obama should at least be able to state a concise, confident-sounding defense of them.  I'm not even going to get into his "I can't hear you" response on single payer, it's just embarrassing.  

    He's certainly been improving as the campaign has worn on, but I don't see him getting there before the general election.  For all the whining about how nasty the primary has been, the Clinton campaign hasn't run a single negative television ad to my knowledge.  They've dropped a few fliers, taken a few shots at him verbally, and briefly ran a radio ad.  That is nothing.  Yet for a lot of the last two weeks, Obama has appeared distracted and on defense.  The only reason it hasn't killed him is that he had the media hitting the Clintons for him.  The whining defense - they're so mean, they'll say anything to win - is never going to work against McCain and it might not even work against Romney.

    And I'm not even going to get into his rookie mistakes of 1) trashing his party's history, thus weakening the rationale of voting Democratic in November, and 2) his embracing Republican talking points, framing, and mythology.

    I do worry about Clinton as a general election candidate - that the MSM's Clinton hate and misogyny will find a way to bury her.  But they haven't been able to bury her yet and if she gets the nomination, she will have beaten the forces most likely to take her down in the GE.  

    While I do worry that she'll be Gore, damaged after Bradley's attacks and ready to be taken down by the MSM, I'm hopeful that her strong potential base among women and hispanics and the generally good atmosphere for Democrats will be enough that she doesn't meet Gore's fate.  I also believe that since either is a risk in November, I'd rather risk it on Clinton.  I think she is more likely to survive.  But if a democrat goes down in November, I'd rather it be her, who is probably at the height of her political career and her political skills, than Obama, who could still grow and learn and become a better candidate than he currently is. Better to lose your present, than your future.  


    I agree BDB totally!!!!! N/T (none / 0) (#91)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:23:02 PM EST
    When I opened this post. . . (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:21:13 AM EST
    my cursor was positioned just after the word "me" in "Speaking for me only".  I first read it as "Speaking for men only".

    Similar problem: when I looked at (none / 0) (#72)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:51:40 AM EST
    an AP headline last week stating Osama bin Laden wanted to sit down and talk to George W. Bush, I though it sd. Barack Obama and thought, well, why doesn't he just make an appointment?

    Counterpoints (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:19:09 AM EST
    I see Senator Obama as a great speaker when giving prepared speeches, but not necessary a great politician. His debating skills are less than stellar and he can become the lecturing professor at the drop of the hat.

    There are many ways that he could have made his point of his campaign being the way of the future without being so dismissive of the performance of past generations of Democrats. While he speaks of unity, he has unnecessarily persued a divide and conquer campaign IMO. I,personally, do not see how framing the problems now facing the country as being the result of both parties being almost equally at fault is good for the party or for the Progressive movement.

    How much time and how many important programs will be lost before he is willing to fight partisan battles or learns to do so effectively. I question that he could actually do that without being called out by the MSM as being a hypocrite and attacking him viciously due to the fact that his entire campaign is based on the theme of Bipartisanship Forever.

    Then too, I am of the opinion that the media's love affair with Obama will end soon after he wins the nomination.  

    i had a speech teacher who said that (none / 0) (#137)
    by hellothere on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:11:10 PM EST
    she could teach us to recite the alaphabet and make our audience cry. of course i never experienced that but giving a good speech can be taught. having fire inside you to lead and fight for the people can't be taught. common sense can't be taught. mlk had a fire in the belly to lead and he spoke from the gut. fdr had a fire in him to lead his people from the depression and he did. rfk spoke from the heart and lead also.

    obama doesn't really lead. he speaks well, but hey there have been any number of people down through the years who could speak well. remember cuomo? so as has been posted, giving a good speech doesn't make one a leader. and if the same speech is given over and over, it becomes boring.


    Just like Bill (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by po on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:22:37 AM EST
    We're all placing all of our hopes and dreams in Obama. He's the antithesis of W just as Bill was the antithesis to GW / Reagan.  Reagaon, Obama is correct, had that vision thing down.  Didn't matter that if you looked behind that vision you'd see many of the problems we're grappling with today stem from that vision.  It was the vision thing.  

    Obama has the same Reagan-esque qualities.  No doubt, he'd be better than any of the GOPers running and a true break form the Reagan / Clinton / Bush fatigue that I feel.  But, go back and read or watch his South Carolina victory speech and tell me what exactly did he say.  Not much.  Eventually, I fear, his change bubble will burst just like Bill's did by the end of his first year.  I mean seriously, what segment of the GOP should we invite to sit down and find realistic solutions to the nation's problems?  Which and why?  Waterboys and girls are not leaders and the water they've been carrying has been stagnant for quite some time.

    Why Hillary (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:00:07 AM EST
     I want a technocrat pragmatist that I already know.

    1. She knows the White House and how it works.
    2. She learned how the Senate runs.
    3. She works hard.
    4. She likes government, that is very important.
    5. She wants to make government work.
    6. She will make all those lazy ass fat old Dem Senators do something for once (watch her interview with Reno Gazette)
    7. She is a woman...yes a woman.  

    1. The couple of things he did in the neighborhood he flubbed up and blamed the victims (his work in affordable housing).
    2. He is a carefully packaged by Axelrod and backed by a political machine that we don't know.
    3. His positions are to the best right of Hillary. Yes, when it mattered he voted with the system.
    4. He loves power for power sake.
    5. He does not care or understand how government works.
    6. The idealist package will blind the masses while his cohorts continue to rip off our government, while he trains, and looks pretty, two-three years of nothing.
    7. He will delegate and do nothing but happy talk. (watch the Reno Gazette interview for one hour)
    8. Why do the right wingers love him?
    9. Why does the media love him?

    My take, look now that they privatized government the Chicago mob wants a piece of the action, why should the Texas boys get it all.

    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:58:44 PM EST
    what scares me is his take on Social Security needing to change and also gay rights as some of his supporters are not good for that...it is downright insulting to the gay community...i have a child that ia gay and I have to consider that...His record as a senator is poor...someone needs to wake up before this man becomes in charge like bush did with very little experience...so what if he is inspiring or likable...what the heck has he done as a senator?? what does his attendence record show?? why cant he wait to gain experience?? why do his speeches have no details as to what he will do ...it is the same "preacher like" speech every time...

    Nice counterpoint. (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:15:21 AM EST
    What makes either a "solid progressive"? (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by weldon berger on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:21:51 AM EST
    On health care, neither Obama or Clinton espouse an actual progressive position, which would entail supporting some variant of single-payer, either alone or in combination with a havily-regulated and downsized private insurance sector. On defense, both support increasing the size, and therefore the cost, of the military and both sound fairly belligerent notes in their Foreign Affairs magazine essays; again, not an especially progressive stance. On the economy, neither has come out in favor of a living wage, and both appear quite comfortable in the cozy confines of the K Street-corporate machine. Again, not especially progressive.

    I'm old enough to remember Jacob Javitts, George Romney, John Chaffee and, more recently, Lowell Weicker, and I don't see a lot of breathing room between the positions of those moderate Republicans and either Obama or Clinton. I respected those guys, but I never thought of them as progressive. Do we really have to render "progressive" as meaningless as "liberal" has become?

    That's silly. . . (none / 0) (#67)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:33:04 AM EST
    Do we really have to render "progressive" as meaningless as "liberal" has become?

    "Progressive" has always been a meaningless label.  It's used equally by "third way" Democrats, left-of-liberal Democrats, liberals who don't want to call themselves liberals, and so on.

    There is no "progressive" position on health-care, and it's just as valid to refer to the private insurance driven plans of the major Democratic candidates as "progressive" as it is anything else.  If you want to criticize those plans on their merits do so, but avoid meaningless labels.


    Stuff and nonsense (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by weldon berger on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:22:48 PM EST
    How can you call 40-year-old moderate Republican domestic policies and a rehash of Cold War liberal interventionist foreign policies "progressive" other than from an active desire to decertify the word? It has both a specific historical and contemporary political context and a general meaning of moving beyond the status quo. Obama and Clinton don't qualify on either score.

    Yes, it always has been a muddled label (none / 0) (#69)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:39:17 AM EST
    for historians to handle, too.  Remember, the first progressives a century ago, the La Follettes, et al., were Republicans.  And although they backed clean government measures and some workplace laws, they were not good on racial issues and, other than the La Follettes themselves, on women's issues.

    The predominant historical consensus remains, as Hofstadter said, that the first progressives were for maintaining the (white, male) status quo.

    It really wasn't the best label, imo, to pick to try to replace liberal.  (A label I still like, darn it.)


    Over-broad sometimes, but not muddled (none / 0) (#92)
    by weldon berger on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:23:40 PM EST
    Lots of early 20th century progressives were racists, but certainly no more so than society in general was. Most politicians didn't fare well on that score at the time. La Follette was an early and staunch advocate of women's suffrage, an opponent of American imperialism and a proponent of civil liberties, labor unions, strong federal regulation of corporations, and free speech. Those themes are pretty coherent in the various Progressive Party manifestations between then and now. Henry Wallace's 1948 incarnation called for the end of segregation and <gasp!> the implementation of government-funded universal health care.

    So, while there are certainly bases for criticizing the movement from its inception forward, I think it's inaccurate to dismiss it as muddled or racially reactionary, and I'd venture that in general, it has operated to the left of liberal.


    I hate this analysis. . . (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:29:07 AM EST
    while at the same time recognizing its fundamental truth.

    I hate it because it means the nation is driven by the ill-considered opinions of people like David Brooks.  They seem to have developed a crush on Obama that is, I'm pretty sure, not connected to his positions or his political ability.  Their love for him may or may not be borne out by circumstances if he is elected (I hope so) -- but is this what we want to base our governance on?  David Brooks' man crush?

    And the media is fickle.  If Obama is the nominee, I hope that they stick with him through eight years.  I think it will be important to brand Obama explicitly the media candidate so that the media understands that they made him and they mustn't abandon him.

    But I think it's all too likely that, should Obama blow Clinton out on February 5th (a not impossible result in my mind even if unlikely) that come February 25th, and the Rezko trial, the media might be reporting "Gee, it's hard to see what those Democrats ever saw in the guy".

    Also, once you have the media spotlight it might be hard to give it up.  I wonder to what degree an Obama presidency would be concerned with remaining in the good graces of people like David Brooks and Andrew Sullivan?

    The Media Is Fickle (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:37:06 PM EST
    You hope they stick with him for eight years and then put forward that after defeating Clinton the media might be reporting "Gee, it's hard to see what those Democrats ever saw in the guy".

    I think if Obama is the nominee, your second scenario is more likely than the first. Betting the house on the possibility of continued media support is at best a risky bet.

    Some of my concerns about Obama's candidacy mirror yours but go a little further. Encouraging and buying into what could be described as nothing more than "personality politics," is not IMO beneficial to our country. This reminds me too much of the "who would you rather have a beer with" meme of the 2000 elections. Unfortunately, this theme is much too successful.

    Also, it concerns me that Obama's supporters rationalize and justify actions that they normally loudly condemned.  I'm not much on faith based politics. Believing that Obama is campaigning to the right of Clinton but will govern to the left does not seem anything more than faith based.


    My take (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Lena on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:57:47 AM EST
    As a Clinton supporter, I can agree with BTD... except for 3 important things:

     1.these two are not progressives

     2. I definitely want to move towards national healthcare

     3. I have a feeling that the press won't give Obama the pass that BTD thinks they will. HRC has already had everything thrown at her, and thrived despite the odds. The skeletons that would be brought up, and just downright manufactured, against Obama haven't even begun to emerge, and that scares me. Can he take the hotseat? If the S.C. debate is any indicator, the answer is no.

    Bill Clinton began as a media darling too (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by debcoop on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 03:03:07 PM EST
    Think back to 1992, the bus tour, earlier...the media was very favorable to him.  Michael Kelly, Michael Kelly!!!! wrote an admiring piece in the NYtimes aboutthe bus tour.  Joe Klein.  During the election he got good coverage, but it kept getting worse closer to November.   It was the transition and afterward that the press really turned on him.

    Obama will be no different. They will turn on him...Unlike the Clinton's the attacks on him will be real, brutal and sly and the media will play along.

    And I disagree with you, compromising ahead of time is his DNA. Read Krugman's book to see how crucial  the  success of a universal health care is in ushering in a potenial new Democrtic and progressive era.  

    In many other arenas she is more progressive and more partisan than he is.  The inability to understand why what he said about Reagan was bad is telling.  That was framing which helps and keeps helping to build the Republican brand and not ours.

    It said a lot and none of good for the future.

    A must read article (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by ajain on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 03:15:22 PM EST
    Good One (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 03:24:24 PM EST
    Krugman and BTD are, not surprisingly, on the same wavelength.

    Whatever hopes people might have had that Mr. Clinton would usher in a new era of national unity were quickly dashed. Within just a few months the country was wracked by the bitter partisanship Mr. Obama has decried.

    This bitter partisanship wasn't the result of anything the Clintons did. Instead, from Day 1 they faced an all-out assault from conservatives determined to use any means at hand to discredit a Democratic president.



    please put your urls (none / 0) (#121)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 04:47:02 PM EST
    in html format or they skew the site and the entire comment must be deleted. Use the link button at the top of the comment box.

    FWIW, I don't see one admirable thing (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by RalphB on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 07:37:29 PM EST
    about Barack Obama.  I'm from Texas and saw George W Bush close up as governor and when he ran for president.  I've got to tell you, I can't stand Obama because he is so much like Bush.  Charm and smile and not one other thing worthwhile.

    This is a visceral gut reaction for me, and for a few others here, and it won't be overcome by BS.

    Diogenes;  For your information, LBJ was a lot more effective president than JFK at getting things actually accomplished.

    yes i have to admit (none / 0) (#128)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 07:47:18 PM EST
    He reminds me of Bush too in his candidacy....Makes me nervous and I don't like people that are too "slick"....

    i can see where you would (none / 0) (#1)
    by hellothere on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:13:41 AM EST
    think that obama has superior political talent. however i cannot agree. obama won his senate seat not due to political talent but due to the fact that serious contenders imploded.

    now he is running a spin campaign and not a serious one with real debate about issues. he is depending on being a media darling and the vote of a group of folks who never had a contender. that does not make him a superior political campaigner. sure he speaks well but that grows old fast after you hear it over and over.

    He won his State legislator primary (none / 0) (#100)
    by ding7777 on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:51:03 PM EST
    because he challenged (and won) the signatured petitions of all his primary opponents.

    You don't develop political smarts by running virtually uncontested.


    And, of course, winning the Dem primary in Chicago (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:55:31 PM EST
    wins the election.  As you obviously know, but just in case anyone misses that perspective.  So running unopposed in the Dem primary, after getting his mentor Alice Palmer and three others off the ballot, Obama was a shoo-in for his first political office.  And then, of course, he had the incumbent advantage.

    That was a nasty piece of work (none / 0) (#108)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 02:14:12 PM EST
    People can argue about the signatures, but there is such a thing as respect--in local politics, especially with people that have paid their dues.  But I guess it's a new age, the super achiever uber alles.  

    Basicly (none / 0) (#2)
    by Saul on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:16:26 AM EST
    then you are leaning toward Hilary?  Tell me if I am wrong on the following perception.  If Hilary is nominated and the VP is not offered to Obama that will alienate the African Americans who were so strong for Obama.    They will be very angry and just out of spite stay home on election night or vote for the republicans nominee in protest and this could cost the election for the democrats.  Even if Obama had reservations about accepting the VP for personal reasons with the Clintons  he would need to look at as for the sake of the whole party and unity.  Plus the VP is one of the best start off points for the office of the Presidency on the second go round.   On the other hand if Obama is nominated he does not have to offer Hilary the VP (not that she would take it)he  just needs to  nominate another woman period so as not to alienate the voters that were for Hilary running as the first woman president.   Who that woman would be I do not know.  The main goal is to win the election despite  the personal feelings of both Hilary and Obama and therefore both must do what is right for the party in order to win the election.

    What say you?

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:23:28 AM EST
    I just wrote I suppport Obama. I guees because I did not strate my hatred for her that might be interpreted as suporrting her. That seems the standard these days.

    If Hillary is the nominee, Obama is the VP nominee. That is certain.


    I'm not usually a betting man, (none / 0) (#8)
    by MarkL on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:25:51 AM EST
    but your certainty on this point tempts me to reconsider.

    Bank it (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:27:48 AM EST
    I always thought so/

    I hope your right (none / 0) (#20)
    by ogo on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:35:42 AM EST
    do you think he could transfer his "new politics/obama rules" to a Clinton/Obama ticket?

    I can't see Clinton offering Obama (none / 0) (#59)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:13:26 AM EST
    VP nor Obama accepting VP if Hillary offered it.

    There's too much bad blood betwn the two of them. Plus, Obama would be the most marginalized VP in history w/Bill running around remembering every slight, real or imagined, from Obama during the campaign.


    Its about winning (none / 0) (#110)
    by Saul on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 02:24:56 PM EST
    the election not how you were affected personally by your opponent in the campaign.  Sometimes you got to eat crow for the good of the nation. If you want to win the election you got to compromise.  Hilary can not win this election without the black vote.  Yes she could pick another black figure but I almost sure it won't work.  She needs Obama to win if she is the nominee.  Obama does not need Hilary he just needs another woman as his VP running mate.  JFK was not wild about Johnson and even disliked him, but he knew if he wanted to win the election he had to eat some crow and pick him.  

    I'm pretty sure Obama needs to pick (none / 0) (#111)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 02:32:33 PM EST
    a retired female general or admiral, preferably one who has publicly criticized Bush's Iraq war.

    The funny thing is that if you read (none / 0) (#10)
    by Geekesque on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:26:10 AM EST
    Obama's first book and follow his early career, without paying much attention to his current rhetoric and the platitudes in the Audacity of Hope, there is absolutely no doubt that he would be able to play hardball with the Republicans.  The Obama who in 2003 is on video talking about Medicare D and telling Ted Kennedy to "get some spine."

    Nothing he has done as a POL (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:29:07 AM EST
    convinces me of that.

    There is nothing but faith in this from BOTH you and me.


    And there's the rub. (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:43:06 PM EST
    Faith-based anything doesn't work for me and I've had a bellyful of faith-based politics.

    Where's the beef?


    The endorsments (none / 0) (#18)
    by PlayInPeoria on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:31:09 AM EST
    and backing for Sen Obama are coming on strong.

    I'm not ready to move towards Sen Obama yet. I feel like the "Gangs all here" with Sen Obama. There has to be some hand outs.

    Ted Kennedy's endorsement turns me off as a women. And the effect of these endorsement will have an effect on the women's vote.

    At this point.. I beleive that the Dems do not have a very strong chance against McCain should he get the nomination. That goes for both Sen Obama and Sen Clinton. It may not be a populat idea but.... I'm looking at 4 more years of Repub in the White House.

    How depressing!!

    I am where I was mionths ago (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:33:42 AM EST
    Same thinking too.

    If Hillary (none / 0) (#26)
    by PlayInPeoria on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:45:01 AM EST
    pulls aout after SuTu.. SenObama is in big trouble.

    She can pull out... let him lose the election and then run in 4 years. She won't have to worry about Sen Obama at that point. He will be the loser of the last election.


    Uh no (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:50:40 AM EST
    I hope NO (none / 0) (#31)
    by PlayInPeoria on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:58:52 AM EST
    Hillary has enough patience to wait. She has enough power in the Senate to keep her going. And she will continue with a successful career.

    The Dems have to hold this together... and it's not looking good.

    I'll still vote Dem no matter who gets the nom.


    She won't pull out (none / 0) (#83)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:48:31 PM EST
    after Super Tuesday...or any time.  She'll go to the wall...and to the mattresses...win or lose.

    But...you're right, I think, that if Obama is the nominee and loses to the Rs, Hillary will be in the catbird seat and planning from day one following the nomination.


    Re: (none / 0) (#25)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:43:55 AM EST
    More upside and more downside.  That's about the size of it.

    Dem party will benefit more under Obama (none / 0) (#33)
    by Heather on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:01:13 AM EST
    I think Obama is more truthful and consistent as a person and as a politician. He is not a saint but his character brims with integirty. He is more likable and thus as you say a media darling.

    As a result, I think the dem party will benefit in huge dividends under President Obama.

    We are already seeing the increased interest, the higher turnout, the young people voting for perhaps the first time (once a dem always a dem). The Obama campaign is serious about its promise to reach out to red states and independents and we see lots of endorsements from red state superdelegates who know that the Clintons will hurt them down ticket.

    Obama's charisma and likability will broaden the dem party and as a result we may see more purple states. We will undeniably have a 50 state strategy in 2008, 2010, and 2012. The Clintons theory of winning is to get 51% - fight over Ohio or Florida. Obama will fight in Kansas, Arizona, Missouri, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, etc etc

    And finally with a strengthened and more diverse and inclusive dem party we will have a better chance to discuss and tackle the things that divide us like racism, and classism, homophobia and religious intolerance...

    A bigger and stronger multi-cultural dem party will be good for America. Obama will be good for the dem party.

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:06:37 AM EST
    Obama is a pol and has no more integrity than Clinton.

    There is nothing that supports this.


    In fact, Obama/Rezko relationship (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:33:40 AM EST
    infers at least Obama's judgment is poor in some instances.

    yes but (none / 0) (#51)
    by Heather on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:43:22 AM EST
    His campaign is rooted in the notion that telling the truth is important, that consistency in politics is valued, that people want decency in government.

    I agree that he is a pol--they all are--yet I see a man who remains rooted in his message, and his message suggests integrity. Its part and parcel. Maybe its all a lie, but it sure is believable.


    There it is for all to see (5.00 / 4) (#68)
    by Judith on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:34:13 AM EST
    Heather: I see a man who remains rooted in his message, and his message suggests integrity

    that is the difference bewtween Obama supporters and HRC supporters in a nutshell - you are happy with "suggests" and HRC supporters want a concrete record.  You are willing to bet the house, and I have a house I want to keep.

    Thank you very much for solidifying my choice for HRC.


    Every Politician Claims Integrity (5.00 / 3) (#84)
    by BDB on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:48:45 PM EST
    Obama is no more truthful or honest than Clinton.  He has managed to appear to be in large part because the media has let him.  Whether that would continue in a general election where no Clinton is involved is another matter.  But the idea that Hillary Clinton is a liar who will say anything to win and Obama isn't is simply a fairy tale.  It's a nice fairy tale if you're an Obama supporter, but a fairy tale nonetheless.

    Authentic (none / 0) (#55)
    by Heather on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:02:57 AM EST
    was the word that I was looking for.

    You left out sexism. (none / 0) (#90)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:01:38 PM EST
    By default or by design?

    I think the media will turn on Obama (none / 0) (#114)
    by echinopsia on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 03:20:55 PM EST
    Don't know if I am allowed to say this here, but they are - um, unprincipled is far too kind. Corrupt? Bullies? Scum? I can't think of a strong enough word, and calling them whores would be an insult to sex workers.

    They exist in their own little echo chamber. They love their media darlings for a while, but they can and will turn on them in a heartbeat. And they run in packs.

    I would not count on Obama's current media darling status lasting until the election. As soon as nominees are decided, they'll start demonizing Obama just like they demonize the Clintons now. Anything for ratings.

    And frankly, I don't think he'll be able to handle it. If he does get elected, I don't think he has the experience to accomplish anything in the midst of the hatestorm that's going to fall on him.

    And as far as divisiveness goes - I didn't use to have any antipathy for him. Then I "came out" for Hillary in the forum I've been participating in since 1998, and he and his supporters have turned my feelings for him around 180 degrees. Now I can't stand him. One of his fanboys told me the Obama supporters are the coolest people on the planet. Blech.

    I will vote for the nominee (can we just shorten this to IWVFTN?) but I won't give him money and I won't work for him.

    And I think you (generic you) overestimate his inevitability on Hillary's ticket as VP. I seriously do not think even besotted Obama Dems  and/or  independents would vote for four more years of this mess.


    Zero sum games (none / 0) (#35)
    by sterno on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:03:07 AM EST
    Let me preface this with being clear that I'm an Obama supporter.  

    Ultimately my reasons for being an Obama supporter tie directly into the premise of this post.  If you looked at the three candidates, there overall positions on issues are pretty similar.  So it comes down to deciding who's got the best chance of success at making these positions reality.

    What I think is frequently ignored is that the difficulties we face in putting together a truly progressive agenda is not just about party divides.  How many blue dog democrats are there out there who'd vote against serious health care reform?  How many hawk democrats are out there who'd want to keep us in Iraq forever?

    To make headway as President, you have to be able to convince people to work with you.  The only reason Bush could get things done without doing so is he had the 9/11 club to wield and nobody wanted to get in the way of that.  If you look at everything he's tried to do that wasn't somehow tied to 9/11, it's been an utter failure.  Why?  Because he won't get people on his side.

    My sense is that of the three candidates, Obama is the best at being able to convince people to work to common purpose.  To convince people to vote their conscience on one issue, against party lines.  If you look at his record in Illinois, he did this.  He managed to take good legislation and make it happen, not by playing partsian games, but by simply working the players and convincing them that it was the right thing to do.  

    My sense is that Clinton will never be able to get past the zero sum game that we have now.  Republicans will be hard pressed to work with her because she's seen as the bride of the anti-christ by the right.  I don't see her being able to persuade people within her party to move beyond their existing positions.  So my fear is that we'll just see a lot of good legislation stalling to vetoes in the Senate as we do now.  

    I have a number of other issues with Clinton, and I won't get into those now, but I think on a fundamental level, Obama's got a much better chance of actually getting things done.  

    Clintons (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:33:27 PM EST
    history in the senate of working with people to get things done is awesome...She is well noted as a very very effective senator...Obama however, has never even run his own committee appts without a great deal of criticisms about his lack of interest and attendence...big difference...in the last election in New York HRC won in a landslide as the folks up there are impressed with her dedication...Obama doesnt have that reputation at all...

    had to delete (none / 0) (#120)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 04:44:50 PM EST
    one of your comments that reprinted an editorial in full. You can quote a paragraph or two of an article but not reprint it. Thanks.

    Evidence? (none / 0) (#142)
    by sterno on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 09:52:19 AM EST
    Can you site examples?  What committee?  Who said that he showed a lack of interest?  Was the lack of attendance due to his campaigning for President (something Hillary is doing as well)?

    Disagree with this comment (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:05:41 AM EST
    Obama is BEST posiitoned to make change BUT ONLY if he rejects the view you are espousing in your comment.

    hi! (none / 0) (#79)
    by Klio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:37:11 PM EST
    sorry your first comment got disagreed with, but I'm happy to see you here.



    Oh it's all good (none / 0) (#141)
    by sterno on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 09:50:04 AM EST
    I don't mind disagreement.  Preaching the choir gets boring :)

    Here's hoping (none / 0) (#41)
    by Same As It Ever Was on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:14:40 AM EST
    the fact that he grew up in the rough and tumble of Chicago politics means he's got more moxy than it seems.

    unopposed (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by horseloverfat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:22:49 AM EST
    most of his talent seems to have been for petition challenges to keep competition off the ballot.

    He have never run against a credible opponent for anything, has no such experience.


    Nope. Only in Chitown since 1990s (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:23:18 AM EST
    as I recall.

    Clinton is the one who grew up in Illinois, near Chicago.

    And how much rough-and-tumble Chitown politics Obama has met is an interesting question.  He cleared the field of his opponents, on technicalities, to win his first election to state senate -- only 10 years ago -- and won the U.S. Senate in a truly weird race that took out his main opposition early, too.


    But lost in 2000 (none / 0) (#94)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:26:16 PM EST
    to Congressman Rush...a huge misjudgment in local politics but ambition overcame reality...until the votes were counted.

    This campaign may be a similar situation with much more danger for the Democratic Party and for the country as a result of the outcome...win or lose the nomination.


    I think that sadly (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:41:10 PM EST
    Obama's ego might be the driving factor behind all of this and that is scary to me....

    Ego is a driving factor for (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 02:05:30 PM EST
    all pols.  That isn't a handicap in my view...it's a requirement (among many others) for success.

    What I find disturbing is what BTD describes and while it may be possible for him to change (there's that word again!) I think it highly unlikely at this stage and at this level.

    Why?  Arrogance.  And cynicism.  He doesn't believe the crap he is peddling and neither do I.  BTD evidently 'believes' (I hate that word more than any other in this campaign) Obama can sell it if the media stays with him.  But what if they don't?  Faith in the media?  Arrrggghhh.

    I don't 'believe' a goddam thing.  What I think is that Obama does believe in destiny.  His.  Since the destiny of millions of others rides on this election, I don't much like the odds.

    What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas this time.


    good analysis old pol (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 02:21:20 PM EST
    I completely agree..How on earth after the nightmare 8 yrs we have all suffered, can you trust the fate of this nation to an unknown that makes a good speech.....seems like a very foolish thing to do ....and one that I in good concience cannot do.....I need more substance....

    Thanks -- I always forget the name of (none / 0) (#98)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:42:29 PM EST
    the one who beat Obama there, in one of his only really competitive races.  That worried me from the start and worries me even more, every time I see him just not handling well what it takes to beat a Dem . . . considering what's ahead in the general election.

    I don't think we can count on technicalities or a sex-club scandal taking out McCain or Romney.  Or maybe I just don't want to think about a sentence that would have those guys and sex in it.


    Mnemonic...you'll never forget it again! (5.00 / 0) (#101)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:52:21 PM EST
    Obama was in a big RUSH to get where he thinks his destiny is sure to take him.

    Interestingly enough, Rush now supports Obama's bid for the nomination although he owes Bill Clinton bigtime for breaking his rule (up until that time) of never endorsing in primaries.  Could be local politics, racial identity overcoming or even Rush's expressed notion that 'the Lord' has a plan for Obama, explaining the inexplicable luck of his run for the US Senate.


    I carefully read this post twice.but found (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:45:34 AM EST
    nothing re electability except an implication.  Have you concluded Obama is more electable than Clinton? And, if so, isn't this a major factor in your tepid endorsement?

    In my view, if Hillary Clinton was nominated and elected, she would work well with Congress in trying to implement her goals.  Her "likeability" seems to increase as people watch and listen to her during the campaign. Why, even white men are voting for her in the primaries.  

    Electability (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by horseloverfat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:21:22 AM EST
    People claim Obama is more electable because current polling shows him doing better with independents and swing voters.

    I don't buy this, I think the Wurlitzer/slime machine will chew him up and spit him out, based on the campaign he has run so far.


    The Media Darling thing (none / 0) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:09:46 AM EST
    is all about electability.

    BTW, I have to go now and can't comment further now.

    I'll be off line until tomorrow


    Ah ha. Shades of a Friday night (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:14:49 AM EST
    news dump!

    I anticipate the media's affection for Obama may decrease as the Rezko trial proceeds and if Obama is the Dem. nominee.  


    Hillary has experience fighting GOP? (none / 0) (#70)
    by Patriot Daily on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:41:50 AM EST
    Well, yes, i guess technically she does have experience fighting the right-wingers all those years on all those investigations.

    But i think she took that "experience" to a higher plane, saying that she was the only candidate to have fought and won against the right wing slime machine. Guess that depends on how you define winning.

    Hillary may define winning on how many convictions or settlements were obtained or not. I don't think the right wingers saw convictions as a result of any of the investigations as a goal, more some gravy they would love.

    i think the goal of the right wingers was the "perception" that was created after awhile that she and/or bill must have done something wrong to have so many investigations conducted. i think the goal was using the civil process to leak dirt against the clintons, and then they got pay dirt when clinton lied during paula jones proceedings.

    so, hillary may have "experience," but they never shut down the right wingers, they never stopped the right wingers from reaping benefits from the smear campaigns. so, if she is the candidate, and there is a do-over of these issues, that "experience" has not been beneficial, and does not give me hope that she would handle better this time.

    I kind of liked her retort to (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:47:06 AM EST
    Obama's Wlamart jab during the last debate.

    how you define winning (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by echinopsia on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 03:33:41 PM EST
    She's still standing. She's still fighting.

    And she's running for President, and so far she's winning at that too.


    it's how she defined winning (none / 0) (#133)
    by Patriot Daily on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 08:54:37 PM EST
    the issue was not is she winning in politics, or winning in life, or winning this campaign.

    she stated essentially vote for me over obama because she had won against the right-wingers and she feared that in the general the right-wingers would let loose against obama, and he would fail because he did not have the winning experience she had fighting the right wingers. and i'mc calling that bogus.


    to Insinuate that (none / 0) (#74)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:12:21 PM EST
    Hillary was ever found to be guilty of something is wrong...they never found any evidence of any wrong doing in the watergate investigation and believe me the GOP tried their very best...Limbaugh even accused her of murder for God's sake...she has survived it all because she is one tough cookie...and smarter than Bill ever thought of being....right now she is fighting the male chauvinism part of our party and the same thing from the MSM...and it ain't pretty...sexism is far more prevalent than you realize in this culture...I forget the black woman politican that once remarked that the discrimination for her gender far exceeded the discrimination for her color....a strong women is immediately called all sorts of names...Tweety even says that all male supporters of hers have been castrated...it is awful...

    i NEVER insinuated any such thing n/t (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Patriot Daily on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:23:50 PM EST
    Not So Sure (none / 0) (#75)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:21:17 PM EST
    I forget the black woman politican that once remarked that the discrimination for her gender far exceeded the discrimination for her color

    When you think about the power imbalance in America between white and black women. White women are ahead by a mile.


    Understood. However, she said it, so (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:46:12 PM EST
    I, as a white woman, am not going to argue with it.

    I have heard and seen the same thing at work for a remarkable woman I know, the first African American ever to win executive office statewide in this country.  Perhaps, she said, it was because she was more prepared for the racist crap than for the sexist crap.  It really was something.  For example, she started her career -- before Rosa Parks, btw -- as not only the first alderperson of color in my town, a town that would become known as the Selma of the North, but also the first alderwoman.  The aldermen would not speak to her because, they said, they did not know how to address her.  So the mayor called in a city reference librarian to read them pages from etiquette books.

    And there was only one restroom in the city council chambers, unmarked, since there only had been men before.  When she used it, so as to not miss votes on the floor, the men posted a "men only" sign on the door.  That one was not solved, and she kept having to head down hallways quite a distance, waiting in line with other women city hall workers, and missing votes.  And . . . she was pregnant.  We know how many restroom trips that can mean.

    And those are just a couple of the incredible experiences by women, including women of color, in politics.  And according to this woman and others, it is not that different today -- and made worse by sexism not being recognized as racism is.


    is that a Shirely Chisom quote? (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Judith on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:54:04 PM EST
    yes Judith (none / 0) (#89)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:00:20 PM EST
    and thanks, for the life of me, I couldnt remember her name...

    The First (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Judith on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 02:05:05 PM EST
    African American Woman to run for office. She was INCREDIBLE.  Blows my mind that no one mentions her.

    pardon (none / 0) (#106)
    by Judith on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 02:05:56 PM EST
    to run for the office of President.

    Psst, if it helps, I do (none / 0) (#124)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 06:51:23 PM EST
    (I teach American history . . . but not your father's kind of American history. . . .:-)

    Sounds Right (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:41:40 PM EST
    To take her word at face value.

    For me the thing that cuts through it all is to look at who has the power, it keeps it simpler than to get bogged down with questions about who is more oppressed.  

    I learned this during a panel discussion in the early 80's between Angela Carter, Hommi Babba, Coco Fusco and others. The discussion was getting heated and quite bogged down with deciding about which group is the most oppressed.

    Carter kept quiet and finally turned the discussion around by mentioning that during the 60's the women's movement was color blind compared to later when white women started gaining power and broke away from women of color.

    Which is not to say that race trumps gender or vice-versa, but that it is more useful to look at power relations rather than get caught up in local arguments over race, gender, or sexual identity politics. It is easier to work together that way.

    If you are not familiar with Carter's work, I would recommend it. Great fiction writer and eye opening critique/embracement of the Marquise de Sade who wrote about power without any gender bias. Sad that she is no longer with us, she met an early death due to cancer.


    Media Darling (none / 0) (#86)
    by NYMARJ on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:51:24 PM EST
    At breakfast this morning my husband was arguing the  Obama media darling electabilty cause - I was disagreeing.  I really believe the media will only stay with Obama if the Republican opponent is not McCain.  Obama vs McCain - what a pickle of choice for the media.  As much as the media hates Hillary, if her opponent were Mitt - between the two, who whom would they hate more?

    Media bias (none / 0) (#99)
    by cannondaddy on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:45:48 PM EST
    I find all this whining about media bias against Hillary really amusing.  It reminds me of the same whining coming out daily from right wing talk show hosts.  The media is a business.  They make money by putting out the stories that attract viewer/readers so they can sell advertising.  The story of a well established front runner tripping up and having some difficulties securing a nomination is more interesting than someone cruising to the convention.  It always comes across as slanted when it news you don't want to hear.  

    The Obama Politics (none / 0) (#107)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 02:11:12 PM EST
    This is where Obama lost me  , that in order to pander to the Indie/Republican imaginary friend, they basically insulted the core of the Democratic Party.  I think his comment that we will vote for him but his voters will not vote for her, really proves how calculated the pro Reagan persona was.  They know that we in the core, will vote Democrat.  I am sure that is an "electability" trait, but how does that hold up to ethics etc?  Also, you cannot take the base for granted.  I will gladly work now to build a third party, a true left liberal party, not one that hides from it's beliefs.  I will support this time. but I am hungry for good government.

    Basically, what he is saying I will marginalize these people to let you in and give you all the cookies.  That scares me.  I want good people in government.  

    "experience" (none / 0) (#126)
    by diogenes on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 07:27:50 PM EST
    The people who say that Hillary is the better choice because of "experience" probably would have supported LBJ (much more experienced than Hillary) over JFK in 1960.

    JFK had been in the Senate (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:02:52 PM EST
    more than 10 times as long, by then, as Obama has been in the Senate now.

    Well, at least when Obama is there . . . since he missed almost 40% of the votes last year.

    So that means JFK had almost 20 times the Senate experience that Obama has there.


    I had no idea (none / 0) (#139)
    by cannondaddy on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 10:20:33 AM EST
    JFK was in the senate 30 years. That is a lot of experience.

    Why Obama (none / 0) (#140)
    by L0rraine on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 05:04:18 PM EST
    Response to Big Tent Democrat "Obama will have a chance to succeed as President. I am not sure Hillary will get that same chance. It is not fair. But it seems true to me."

    These have been my feelings exactly for several months and when Hillary and camp went negative it strengthened that gut feeling.