Obama as Muhammad Ali?

Lots of folks in the comments last night criticized Hillary Clinton because she didn't congratulate Barack Obama on his win in Wisconsin in her speech. Huffington Post reports she called him after the speech to congratulate him. His press secretary confirms this.

And, while her speech contained some criticism Obama, it was nothing compared to that of her introductory speaker, Machinists Union President Tom Buffenbarger. Via Ken Vogel at Politico:

He also compared Obama with "Janus, the two-faced god" of Roman mythology. He called him "silver tongued" and a "thespian" and "the man in love with the microphone."

"He’s not just a trained thespian, he’s a terrific shadow boxer. You know the type. Outside the ring, he pretends he can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee," he said. "But Barack Obama is no Muhammad Ali. He took a walk every time there was a tough vote in the Illinois state Senate. He took a walk more than 130 times. That’s what a shadow boxer does. All the right moves, all the right combinations, all the right footwork, but he never steps into the ring. He walks away from the fight.”

Vogel reports the union crowd loved it.

< Will Obama Fight For The Democratic Party? | Media: Obama Supporter Can't Name One Legislative Accomplishment >
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    Unless Hillary is ready to denounce NAFTA... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Dadler on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:30:03 AM EST
    ...I don't see this guy as anything more than an enthusiastically deluded cheerleader.  And that saddens me, as someone who supports unions and is a member of one.  Of course, it's true, Obama is certainly no Muhammed Ali, is a product of a different time and place and people.  Ali was a fighter in EVERY sense, literally and metaphorically.  His stand against the Vietnam war, for example, and his actions of personal sacrifice to evidence that opposition, don't exactly strike me as Obama's game, or Hillary's.  And none of Obama's missed votes, in the Illinois statehouse or in DC, can compare in wretchedness  and cowardice and stupidity than Hillary's decision to give Bush ANY authority to go to war in Iraq.  I hate to say it, but that single vote on her part is THE biggest stumbling block she faces with me.  I'll vote for her if she's the nominee, of course, but that vote remains almost unforgivable.

    And yes, I have family in this war (none / 0) (#10)
    by Dadler on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:33:18 AM EST
    Which plays a pretty heavy role in my opinion.  With my brother headed back to Iraq in March, for his third tour, I can't look at it as "objectively" as others.  If that's ever possible in war.

    Just curious, but it looks like some comments are (none / 0) (#43)
    by JayMavk on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:35:23 PM EST
    missing. Is there a reason several comments from Grundlebuster were deleted?

    he was a previously banned poster (none / 0) (#44)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:57:30 PM EST
    who tried to register using a new name. All of his comments have been deleted.

    Ali vs. Frazier = Obama vs. Clinton (1.00 / 0) (#41)
    by Aaron on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:08:46 PM EST
    I liken this political battle between Obama and Clinton to Ali vs. Frazier and the Thrilla in Manila, one of the great fights of all time.  

    14 grueling rounds, and just like Ali, Obama was ahead early.  But Clinton like Frazier came back in the middle rounds with her national strength.

     But Obama is coming back like Ali in the late rounds  asserting his dominance.  And after March 4 Clinton's eyes will be swollen shut just like Frazier and she won't be able to come out for the last round, forced to retire totally exhausted and spent. Obama like Ali will win, but it's going to take everything he's got.

    All we need now is Howard Cosell to give us the play-by-play.

    Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier!

    Down Goes Clinton! Down Goes Clinton! Down Goes Clinton!

    Kind of hard to call this (none / 0) (#1)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:18:05 AM EST
    "contrasting" or "pointing out facts".

    More and more I get the feeling that this is deliberate Clinton strategy to use surrogates to do all the nasty smears and let her just do "contrasts".

    Hm. (none / 0) (#2)
    by hvs on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:25:04 AM EST
    Petty stuff.

    It reflects poorly on Clinton (none / 0) (#5)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:29:10 AM EST
    The guy is just gratutiously name calling. It'd be one thing if he was making a substantive argument about who can better lead. But to have him warming up the crowd for Clinton by making a bunch of silly insults brings low her campaign.

    I'm sure Obama is an adult and can handle criticism, I just think that there is a pattern of her surrogates saying stuff like this at her campaign events. If this is what she really thinks of Obama, she ought to just come out and say it, rather than letting her hatchetpeople come out on stage at her rallies with her silent consent and say ridiculous things.


    But, of course (none / 0) (#7)
    by magisterludi on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:30:20 AM EST
    ST Obama is pure as the driven snow. The naivete of some BHO supporters is alarming, to say the least.

    May I kindly recommend spell check- sheesh! (none / 0) (#29)
    by magisterludi on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:17:50 AM EST
    Really? (none / 0) (#37)
    by LarryE on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:51:00 PM EST
    This from the person who wrote "ST Obama," making two mistakes in one word?

    .I did make a slight grammatical error. (none / 0) (#45)
    by magisterludi on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:39:09 PM EST
      not a spelling error. But still, point taken.

    No one scared of a fight (none / 0) (#3)
    by cannondaddy on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:25:08 AM EST
    would have stepped into the ring with Hillary Clinton.

    know what they call a boxer who loses 10 in a row? (none / 0) (#4)
    by JJE on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:25:45 AM EST

    The people have spoken (none / 0) (#8)
    by Heimyankel on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:30:27 AM EST
    Having lost 10 contests in a row it's become apparent that Hillary is not the peoples choice. It's time her supporters let her know that dividing the party won't reflect well on her while exiting gracefully, with a full throated endorsement will help to repair her badly damaged relationship with the AA community.

    I hope Senator Clinton chooses to unify her party.

    Oh...Stop the whining (none / 0) (#9)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:33:04 AM EST
    You guys are such whiners.  Anyone speaks the truth you start invoking surrogates.  I will not even start with Obama's surrogates.  
    Good for him, someone has to stop walking on eggshells.  

    Frankly (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:57:17 AM EST
    I was an Edwards supporter, and when I realized I had to change, I looked at both Hillary and Obama very closely.  I was leaning towards Obama, but after looking at what they have accomplished, listened to them and followed their campaigns, in good heart I could not support Obama.  I think I have looked at both candidates way closer than most of you.  I looked at what they say and read all the analysis I could find.   So please, don't tell me "if I have looked at his record".  I also looked at his record in community work, something he is proud of, that frankly, seeing what he did with Rezko I find his record deplorable.  

    So basically Rezko is all you have (none / 0) (#23)
    by JJE on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:02:57 AM EST
    good to know.

    NO (none / 0) (#25)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:10:29 AM EST
    Rezko is core, don't diminish my opinion.  Rezko may be trivialized, but for  someone like me who worked in affordable housing have  30 years, his perspective and actions are a reflection of how he will disregard the Progressive/Democratic agenda if it does not serve him.  It goes beyond Rezko and I do not need to justify myself to you.   I do not like the tone of the campaign, not educating people on the issues and making promises that it will be easy when it will not.  I don't like the win at any cost.  I don't like that you his supporters savaged Hillary a long time public servant for you needs with mean spirited Republican based attacks.  I did not like how he manipulated the race card......(this is a partial list)

    Finally, I did not like some old white guys passing the torch without letting the people vote.  I found that offensive.  The torch was not theirs to pass.  


    This is just a substanceless rant (none / 0) (#40)
    by JJE on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:07:55 PM EST
    You certainly don't have to justify yourself, but neither should you expect to persuade anyone with this type of angry generalized fact-free boilerplate.

    Rezko, Axelrod, David Brooks, George Will and (none / 0) (#31)
    by magisterludi on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:28:03 AM EST
    the whole BHO economic team that sends conservative hearts aflutter. The man should have had the guts to run as an independent, not a democrat. I'd have far more respect for him.

    The truth? (none / 0) (#18)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:46:10 AM EST
    You're calling his sophomoric insults the truth? There are ways of phrasing a lack of experience argument without sounding like you're on a middle-school playground.

    Big difference between Obama and Ali (none / 0) (#11)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:34:26 AM EST
    1.  Ali actually stood up for something when he resisted the draft.  
    2.  Ali wrote his own material and had better deliver.  
    3.  Ali was not ashamed of his Arabic name.  

    Obama's ashamed of his name? (none / 0) (#32)
    by robrecht on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:32:44 AM EST
    Where'd you get that?

    Well (none / 0) (#35)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:12:04 PM EST
    Whenever it's mentioned people freak.

    So all you're really saying ... (none / 0) (#38)
    by robrecht on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:53:12 PM EST
    ... is that some of his opponents are racist or anti-Arab???  That's a far cry from Obama being ashamed of his name!  Please explain your comment better or kindly retract it.

    Axlerod has a problem with his name. (none / 0) (#46)
    by magisterludi on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:45:41 PM EST
    What is Axelrod's problem ... (none / 0) (#47)
    by robrecht on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 03:44:14 PM EST
    ... with Obama's name?  And do you think it supports Stellaaa's claim that Obama is ashamed of his name?

    I assume if Obama had a problem with his name (none / 0) (#49)
    by magisterludi on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 05:27:49 PM EST
    he would have legally changed it long ago. Axelrod has a problem only because of the underground "ooh, isn't he a Muslim? " narrative that circulates among the least informed of us. The same kind of folk that put Bush in office lap this bigotry up.  

    Formation of 527 (none / 0) (#12)
    by 1jane on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:36:36 AM EST
    A new 527 group is starting up with only one intention, to smear Obama. The folks involved are Clinton supporters. As another feminist who's experienced the glass ceiling I firmly belive the smear strategy will only hurt Clinton's slimmer and slimmer chances to receive the Democratic nomination. Her campaign strategists, mostly white males, have given her bum advice. The biggest part of her failure to gain traction isn't because she's a woman, it is because her campaign team has failed her. Unfortunately her husband, ex-president Clinton casts a long shadow that has not benefited candidate Clinton. It's going to be a stretch for Clinton to rebound from her 10th loss in a row.

    I don't think it's the glass ceiling (none / 0) (#22)
    by HeadScratcher on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:01:38 AM EST
    Hillary isn't hitting the glass ceiling, she's hitting the Hillary ceiling. A big difference. After all, she is getting beat by an African American, not another rich white male from a pedigree family.

    Right gender, wrong woman - not the other way around.

    Problem is, besides Hillary, how many women have actually run in a presidential primary (who had a better than slim chance)? Elizabeth Dole comes to mind. Anyone else? Geraldine Ferraro was picked as a V.P. primarily because she was a woman - she had little experience, name recognition, or ticket balancing power.


    Worth a read (none / 0) (#27)
    by rhetoricus on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:13:43 AM EST
    ..lest anyone else get caught dumb n the face of  such an answerable question re: Obama's accomplishments:

    That\'s what people thought about Ali (none / 0) (#33)
    by LiberallyDebunked on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:35:28 AM EST
    until Feb 24, 1964. Some even thought it up to May 25, 1965. Perhaps some even thought it after that but we can't all live in the reality based community.

    Janus? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Claw on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:09:31 PM EST
    Really?  That is great.  If an Obama surrogate fires back that Bill Clinton is like unto Bacchus, this is officially the best race ever.  Maybe McCain could be Ares...or maybe Achilles (his heel being the Iraq War).

    Sorry, my BA was in Philosophy and Great Books (mythology).  

    Sing in me, oh Muse
    And through me tell the story
    Of a primary occurring in Texas...

    I wonder if the rest of that speech (none / 0) (#36)
    by brklyngrl on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:21:36 PM EST
    from Buffenbarger
    "Give me a break! I've got news for all the latte-drinking, Prius- driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies crowding in to hear him speak! This guy won't last a round against the Republican attack machine. He's a poet, not a fighter."

    could properly be construed as using right wing talking points?

    Sounds like Zell Miller (none / 0) (#42)
    by Luke D on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:18:19 PM EST
    These kinds of attacks have no business in a Democratic primary. They are definitely Republican talking points, and they do nothing but enforce their premises.

    Taking a walk on tohgh votes (none / 0) (#48)
    by Ben Masel on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 04:04:37 PM EST