Obama: Cult , Evangelicalism or Political Campaign?

I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one a bit turned off by the messianic fervor Barack Obama is generating. Jake Tapper at ABC News lists a few others.

Katherine Greier at TPM Cafe, an Obama supporter, writes:

"Excuse me, but this sounds more like a cult than a political campaign. The language used here is the language of evangelical Christianity – the Obama volunteers speak of 'coming to Obama' in the same way born-again Christians talk about 'coming to Jesus.'...So I say, we should all get a grip, stop all this unseemly mooning over Barack, see him and the political landscape he is a part of in a cooler, clearer, and more realistic light, and get to work."

Joe Klein at Time Magazine points out the Obama gap between inspiration and substance:


there was something just a wee bit creepy about the mass messianism — "We are the ones we've been waiting for" — of the Super Tuesday speech and the recent turn of the Obama campaign. "This time can be different because this campaign for the presidency of the United States of America is different. It's different not because of me. It's different because of you." That is not just maddeningly vague but also disingenuous: the campaign is entirely about Obama and his ability to inspire. Rather than focusing on any specific issue or cause — other than an amorphous desire for change — the message is becoming dangerously self-referential. The Obama campaign all too often is about how wonderful the Obama campaign is.

Obama is about inspiration. Hillary is about knowledge and competence. That's why she wants debates and he does not. He can't keep up in that arena. His stump speech is always the same and it's getting tiresome. Klein says:

There is an odd, anachronistic formality to Obama's stump speech: it is always the same. It sets his audiences afire, but it does not reach very far beyond them. It is no accident that Obama is nearly invincible in caucus states, where the ability to mobilize a hard core of activists is key — but not so strong in primaries, where more diverse masses of people are involved. He should be very worried that this nomination is likely to be decided in the big working-class primary states of Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Tapper quotes Vanity Fair writer James Wolcott, who voted for Hillary:

"(p)erhaps it's my atheism at work but I found myself increasingly wary of and resistant to the salvational fervor of the Obama campaign, the idealistic zeal divorced from any particular policy or cause and chariot-driven by pure euphoria. I can picture President Hillary in the White House dealing with a recalcitrant Republican faction; I can't picture President Obama in the same role because his summons to history and call to hope seems to transcend legislative maneuvers and horse-trading; his charisma is on a more ethereal plane, and I don't look to politics for transcendence and self-certification."

Barack Obama is a first term Senator running for President. As with all candidates, a speechwriter writes his major addresses. His words aren't gospel and even if they were, gospel is what I expect from Republicans, like Huckabee. This race should be about politics and governance.

I hope the hype stops soon. Maybe if more of us write about it, it will.

Update: There are over 200 comments on this thread, it is now closing. Thanks for your thoughts.

< Politics As Usual: Obama Refusing To Debate Clinton | Obama And Clinton Raise Big Dollars >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Re: (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:27:00 AM EST
    What's interesting is that despite the complaints in the netroots about the religious tone and content of Obama's speeches, "non-religious" voters are one of his best demographics.

    Do you have a link for that? (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by rebecca on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:07:52 AM EST
    I find it very strange but strange things are happening.  I know that one of the first things that made me cautious about him was his lecturing about religion and the Democratic party.  

    The thing that really bothered me (3.00 / 2) (#154)
    by felizarte on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:37:11 PM EST
    in the articles, was at the very end, which is not included in the main post above which says:

    ["When Morgan Freeman comes over to greet Obama, the senator begins bowing down both hands in worship. `This guy was president before I was,' says Obama, referring to Freeman's turn in Deep Impact and, clearly, getting a little ahead of his own bio. Next, a nod to Bruce Almighty: `This guy was God before I was.'"]

    even in jest, to say 'This guy was God before I was . . .' sounds almost blasphemous.  A sincere Christian would not even think that, let alone say it loud.

    Then again, as someone once said, "jokes are always said in earnest."

    This is going to cause his 'movement' to implode.  It will no be long  before someone tags him with the "anti-Christ" label.  


    This is disturbing (none / 0) (#159)
    by hookfan on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:45:55 PM EST
    I've emerged from over 40 years wandering in evangelical land and I'll tell ya if they get ahold of statements like this they'll respond just like they did with "the Last Temptation".
       Consider that 30% or so (from Tony Compolo) of Evangelicals are Democratic, this could be costly politically.

    I thought that it was unfair to insinuate (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by felizarte on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:39:20 PM EST
    that he was a Muslim because he has clearly stated he is a Christian.  But if he is aware of this kind of "cultish" adulation of him by his supporters, and not doing anything to discourage it, I do understand that as a politician, it is probably to his disadvantage to do so.  But I have since come to believe, that he has deliberately used code words associated with Christian evangelicals to neutralize any lingering impressions that he is Muslim, which I also understand coming from a politician.

    But quotes such as the above, which he himself spoke, tend to make me question his respect for his own avowed faith and deliberately misleads people who respect their faith as well as those of others.  He did not have to make a jest of it.


    "Muslim" (none / 0) (#203)
    by hookfan on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:57:22 PM EST
      Apparently, for some, it's not allowed to change one's opinion about one's faith. Not you but those who send fliers out unfairly accusing him of being a manchurian muslim. Whether Obama is a hypocrite, I don't know. I do know his levity like this in the context with his Messianic sounding speech when used by the Republicans will disenfranchise him with evangelicals. And not only the Dobson crowd. Many AAs are Evangelical and this could turn them off.

    uprated (none / 0) (#194)
    by hookfan on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:28:37 PM EST
    to compensate for, in my opinion, unjustified abuse

    I swear on a stack of Darwins (none / 0) (#201)
    by echinopsia on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:49:43 PM EST
    I didn't see your Antichrist comment first.

    The fundies are gonna love this guy.


    Actually I have my doubts (none / 0) (#206)
    by hookfan on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 04:08:32 PM EST
    Tho I think Obama hopes so. Once Repubs smear him openly with alleged "ties" to Nation of Islam, coupled with hypocritical sounding statements like this, and use of messianic type statements focusing on himself as Messiah or just as bad his followers, the antichrist label could very well stick. To many Evangelicals, "anti" means "substitute". If he is viewed as substituting a secular movement or himself there will be the devil to pay.

    We secular types don't take kindly to people (1.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:15:06 AM EST
    who placed their faith in Bush's good faith intentions regarding Iraq.

    Yes, yes (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:28:44 AM EST
    Clearly that subject has EVERYTHING to do with religion.  Snore.

    By the way, I LOVED your Mydd diary (none / 0) (#57)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:31:46 AM EST
    about how Clinton was having no money troubles and had no disadvantage vs Obama.

    Great stuff.


    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:44:07 AM EST
    It seems like both campaigns are going to be just fine money-wise.

    Yep. Loaning your campaign $5 Million bucks (none / 0) (#83)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:46:49 AM EST
    and failing to contest half the states in play is a sign of a campaign with cash to burn.

    Antichrist (none / 0) (#199)
    by echinopsia on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:46:41 PM EST
    Just wondering, has anybody brought this up yet?

    For the record, I'm an atheist. All forms of religion look creepy to me.


    I think that's easy to understand (none / 0) (#189)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:08:04 PM EST
    as from those I know, many of them college students, they are resistant to organized religion.  So they call themselves non-religious.  But they actually are seeking spiritual (if you will) inspiration.

    He is the New Age candidate.


    Another Failure of MSM (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by Alvord on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:35:41 AM EST
    In the lead up to the Iraq war, the MSM largely failed in its duty to be suitably skeptical about the administrations claims regarding Iraq. The fact that there were no WMD, despite press assurances to the contrary, is the most glaring example.

    It appears to me that the media may be on the verge of failing again. The coverage of Obama has been all about his large crowds, endorsements and campaign contributions. There is nary a note of skepticism in the media about his qualifications to be president. Hillary on the other hand has not been treated so kindly (to put it mildly.)

    I think we may look back at this period as another massive press failure.

    Obama's Web site (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:43:52 AM EST
    I'm asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring real change in Washington...I'm asking you to believe in yours.

    Yes - THE ONE is scary (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Josey on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:13:38 AM EST
    Close your eyes real tight, click your heels together - and BELIEVE!

    ah yes, thats real scary (none / 0) (#142)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:13:48 PM EST
    inspire people to take an active role in their government. To participate in making the changes that they want.

    As opposed to what? Sit back passively and let Hillary fix everything?

    Who is being the cultist here?


    Cult like..... (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:47:50 AM EST
    Are some of Hillary's supporters not equally cultish?

    I agree it's troubling, but Obama ain't the only one.  Anybody who is slavishly devoted to any of these piker candidates needs their head examined.

    Except for the Paul cult...they've got their heads on pretty straight in my book:)

    Is there evidence for that? (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by Camorrista on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:04:31 PM EST
    I'm not comfortable tossing arounds words like 'cult' and even less comfortable turning to Joe Klein to support an argument, but a piece in today's Times by Adam Nagourney (hardly a fan of Hillary Clinton) comes to this from another perspective.

    To quote:

    "Is this campaign a series of surges of enthusiasm, often powered by the younger voters who form long lines waiting to hear Mr. Obama speak, that set expectations that are not met at the voting booth?"


    "...once again — as in New Hampshire — the result on Tuesday did not match the fervor that had been signaled by Mr. Obama’s dramatic march of rallies across the nation leading up to the vote..."

    Obama has some real strengths as a politician, but the longer he hides them behind the mask of his "inspirational" persona, the greater his vulnerability with those who want politicians to help them navigate their daily lives rather than inspire them to tears and applause at revivalist-like rallies.

    My cousin Leah, 71, a retired union organizer and a life-long Democrat, asked me to take her to an Obama rally.  She loved the atmosphere, and loved him, but on the way home, she murmured, "I wish he'd said one word about Medicare and Social Security."

    My cousin has grave reservations about Senator Clinton (her public chilliness, Bill, her pants-suits) but I'm pretty my cousin she'll vote her.  It's not for me to argue whether that's a wise vote, but I know there are far more people like Leah who will vote than those adoring youngsters at Obama's arena tent-meetings.  

    We're electing a president, not the head of a tabernacle, or the guru of a self-help movement, and until Obama (and his admirers) wholly embrace that reality, articles like Klein's, and Tapper's, and Nagourney's will keep on coming.



    Except For the Paul Cult.... (none / 0) (#18)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:01:11 AM EST
    kdog, your comment says it all. Nice one.

    Paul? Fiat Money Paul? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:08:19 AM EST
    The man is a lunatic. He may be right about the war and he is right in a general sort of way that the constitution is being abused by Bush, but he is wrong on many levels, including the constitution in more specific ways.

    Molly (none / 0) (#42)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:24:05 AM EST
    I think you missed kdogs point.

    May have (1.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:29:56 AM EST
    I probably have no business posting today anyway, I have too much to do and need to concentrate on the paying customers

    I had a point?....lol (none / 0) (#62)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:35:39 AM EST
    Paul supporters are cult-like in support of his ideas, not the man.  The man is kinda uninspiring, to be blunt.  But some of his ideas are powerful and truly revolutionary in these times.

    The cult-like support for Clinton and Obama seems more personality based, because they don't really have any new exciting ideas.  Keep on occupying foreign lands, keep in debt, keep locking up too many people and criminalizing too many things...those are their "ideas" as far as I can see.


    Intentional Or Not (none / 0) (#73)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:42:12 AM EST
    It was to the point. Seemed like self parody to make a larger point. Less about Paul than the nature of partisanship.

    I gotcha now..... (none / 0) (#80)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:46:03 AM EST
    everybody's in a cult, except for the people who support my candidate, they are obviously intelligent well-informed voters.

    Obama:"See the light, have an epiphany!" (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by JoeCHI on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:56:20 AM EST
    In South Carolina, Obama also said this:

    "At some point in the evening, a light is going to shine down and you will have an epiphany and you'll say, `I have to vote for Barack!'"

    That one really startled me. (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:17:13 AM EST
    Obama is naive, Hillary is an enabler (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Dadler on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:08:29 AM EST
    Take your pick.  We live in such a cynical age, tho, I don't think Martin Luther King could survive as a leader today.  YouTube would kill him by itself.  We have trivia overload, and critical thinking underload.  

    i agree most definitely with your comment (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:30:53 AM EST
    about lack of critical thinking. that is scary.

    Yes, his supporters are insane cultists who (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:12:12 AM EST
    need to be de-programmed by Clinton supporters, who are wise and rational.

    Also, being inspirational isn't a good quality in a candidate.

    Joe Klein told me so.

    pretty much, yeah. (none / 0) (#37)
    by mike in dc on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:20:24 AM EST
    We're all just irrational kool-aid drinkers who can't see the lack of substance behind the thin veneer of faux salvation...or something like that.

    Unlike, you know, Taylor Marsh, who's been nothing but "objective" about the nominating process.

    Oh well, looks like the cult just raised another 8 million bucks for their lord and master.  

    At this rate we'll all be operating Thetans in no time!


    Her Hallmark infomercial was quite rigorous and (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:22:53 AM EST
    intellectually challenging.

    "Gosh, Hillary, I love you.  Do you love yourself as much as I do?"

    "Just how awesome is your plan for dealing with the mortgage crisis?"


    instead of sarcasm about hillary why (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:37:53 AM EST
    don't you answer the real concerns we are expresssing about obama? these are being expresed in the voting booth by the average joe and that is who will decide in novemeber who is the next president.

    Because this is anti-Obama propaganda (none / 0) (#72)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:41:06 AM EST
    being pushed by extreme Clinton partisans.  

    no, it isn't! i have deep concerns about (4.00 / 4) (#90)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:52:34 AM EST
    obama's lack of real positions. i also don't like the attempt to cause a differences among the younger and older generations. i personally have deep concerns about his lack of real experience. and yes, i do sincerely belive this. i am not a clinton partisan though you probably think so. in fact i have been very critical of her and will be again. i never ever see a obama supporter say, you might just have a point there.

    Yes Geekesque (none / 0) (#107)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:07:15 PM EST
    you are starting to chatter. I'm deleting your attacks on me and Taylor. See the comment rules, you are about to get limited to four comments a day for chattering. You are also getting rude and I don't appreciate your tone.

    well, yeah (none / 0) (#61)
    by mike in dc on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:34:40 AM EST
    ...if that wasn't a "cult event", i'm not sure what fits the definition.  completely staged, no hard questions, etc.

    which is it, "he lacks substance" or "there isn't much difference on policy between the two"?

    If you take the two together, doesn't that imply that the other candidate also lacks substance?

    Just because she can memorize her white papers doesn't mean she's more substantive.

    The interesting thing to me in all this is that you'd figure the "cult leader" would be the one winning over the low-information primary voters, but the demographics tend to suggest the opposite, or at least that Obama supporters are no less well-informed in the aggregate than Clinton supporters.


    Obama's cult (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Me414 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:16:35 AM EST
    I received a comment on my blog today from a guy who is American and lives in France. He said on a post that I wrote about Obama's link to Exelon that he watched a bunch of Hillary's speeches and Obama's speeches on YouTube and that when he listens to Obama he feels like he's in church. When he listens to Hillary he gets substance. I've lost a lot of bloggers because of my support for Hillary and my dislike for Obama. I live in Illinois and I've been trying to get the Obama supporters to see that he is not what they think. They don't want to hear anything about his record, they are sticking to him like a right wing, Fox News loving Bush supporter.

    While looking at Raw Story today, there was a headline in teeny-tiny print that said: "Dean warns of "big" fight at convention--Clinton camp: $4M raised since Tuesday. Then in huge red print, right under the Clinton headline, it says "LIVE UPDATE: OBAMA DONATIONS BREAK $7.5M SINCE TUESDAY!"

    It seems all the big blogs like Huffpost, Raw Story and AmericaBlog are all a part of the Obama cult. The only thing that Huffpost writes about Clinton is that she cried and something about a phone call from Chelsie on "The View".

    I'm really concerned about his phenomena. What happened to the progressives?

    In addition, Huffington Post (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:19:15 AM EST
    headlines frequently misrepresent the content of the story.

    i no longer go to huff post. at one time that was (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:33:26 AM EST
    my first stop. i used to watch countdown also, but for now i am gone. i respected keith for leaving television due to the bull about clinton and monica. what happened keith? say it isn't so!

    This is probably old news (none / 0) (#106)
    by ding7777 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:05:06 PM EST
    but TPM is partnered with The Huffington Post.  

    No wonder Josh's "journalism" is in decline


    Oh HuffPo has gotten to be worse than drudge (none / 0) (#180)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:38:25 PM EST
    Ariana's gone a bit over the deep end on this one

    um (none / 0) (#39)
    by Jgarza on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:21:38 AM EST
    you aren't impartial you are a Hillary supporter, why would Obama supporters continue reading a blog if its all favorable to one person.

    As partisan as evolution (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by blogtopus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:54:28 AM EST
    Just because you support one cause over the other doesn't make you partisan -- sometimes it's a sign you're rational.

    Evolution or Intelligent Design: Are these both equally valid? One is based on facts, logic and solid evidence that supports their claims, used to drive important advances in medicine, biology and zoology. One is a just another form of religion, based on rhetoric, supposition, faulty logic and obfuscation of inconvenient facts, created to make people feel good but delivers nothing in the real world.

    Sound familiar?


    That's great (none / 0) (#130)
    by andrewwm on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:56:12 PM EST
    So you'd have to be irrational to support Obama? Apparently there's no room for 'differences of opinion'.

    jgarza, is that comment meant for me? (none / 0) (#93)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:53:27 AM EST
    So young poeple don't (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Jgarza on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:18:33 AM EST
    participate in politics, and get screwed over with college loans, harsher penalties for youth, no insurance safety net, they do participate, and get accused of being a in a cult.

    So basically society is trained to have disdain for young people, no matter what.  Who really needs their head examined.

    Can you point to one (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by standingup on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:09:40 PM EST
    place in the post where the youth is singled out or even mentioned?  Obama does draw a larger number of youth in comparison to Hillary but you are simply projecting here.  

    hmm, instead of writing comments about (none / 0) (#82)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:46:18 AM EST
    how you are a victim here, why not research some of obama's policies and write about that.

    Really? (none / 0) (#110)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:09:33 PM EST
    That seems wrong. It is like asking someone who is called a dirty x to prove that they are not a dirty x.

    Not so much... (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by sterno on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:21:14 AM EST
    Obama is about inspiration. Hillary is about knowledge and competence. That's why she wants debates and he does not. He can't keep up in that arena. His stump speech is always the same and it's getting tiresome.

    First off, Obama has no problem having another debate.  He just doesn't want to do 4 more.  Honestly I don't see the value in doing more than one or two more.  It's pretty well established where they stand on the issues (right next to eachother).

    Second, Obama has tremendous knowledge and competence.  Go look at an interview with him some time and tell me he doesn't know what he's talking about.  As for competence, he's demonstrated competence in the Illinois State Senate and his short time in the national Senate.  Also, I'm sorry but you don't build a successful national campaign without some competence.

    The reason Hillary wants debates is because she's generally done better in them than Obama.  Though in the first one on one debate, it was pretty much a tie with some parts favoring either candidate.  Obama has never particularly liked debates and prefers meeting people one on one and giving speeches.  They both want to play to their strengths.  Duh?

    His stump speeches actually do vary.  He does call on consistent themes, for sure.  Most critically, and in dispute of the "messianic" commentary, is that he's consistently calling on US to do it.  Not him.  He says, vote for me so that WE can do this.  Hillary says, vote for me so that I can do this.  Maybe it's all rhetoric, but Obama fundamentally gets something that hasn't been well understood since Kennedy: the American people like to be challenged.

    We don't want our president to save us or anything like that.  What we want is our president to lead.  To point the way and challenge us to go there.  After 9/11, a common disappointment was that we weren't challenged.  We were told to go shop rather than asked to seriously help fix problems we had.  Hillary isn't out there challenging us to do anything, she's wanting us to put her into office so we can have her steady hand guide the ship of state while we get back to whatever it was we were doing.

    He speaks to a far more engaged and activist kind of public.  That's why he's inspiring.  He's not trying to say he's going to save us, he's saying we have to all save ourselves.  That's not messianic, it's the truth.

    Oh, Please (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by Joike on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:32:51 AM EST
    If you want to voice your support for one candidate over another, rock on, but don't patronize readers with garbage about cults and concerns about "messianic fervor".  I was originally for Edwards, but caucused for Obama, but like Hillary as well.

    Obama inspires some people one way; Hillary inspires others another way.  You prefer Hillary to Obama so his way gets trashed.

    This is sliming by negative association that I expect from a lazy MSM not from an otherwise thoughtful blog.

    I know you're reaching when you quote Joe Klein.  Klein can't even get his reasoning straight.  Obama has done well in caucus states like Minnesota and Iowa because he has brought many new voters to the process not firing up "hard core activists".

    I witnessed the massive outpouring of new voters firsthand in St. Paul where hundreds and hundreds of voters (many college age and many new US citizens) overwhelmed the Junior High where the caucus was held.  Once the official ballots ran out, we ended up writing on choice on a piece of paper and dropping it in a box like we were handing out valentines in 2nd grade.

    Sloppy Joe can't see that Hillary has done better with the traditional Democratic core and Obama has done better with the youth vote.  Even if he can see reality, it is inconvenient to his storyline so it must be ejected.

    All this style over substance blather is pure media speculation.  Congratulations for participating in the Media Group Think.  No one can honestly say which of the two would be the better executive.  We can have opinions, but can't speak with any authority.  Each would have their own management style, but neither style would be guaranteed to succeed or to flop.

    As for the debates, I haven't seen where either one has bested the other.  Both have proven their mettle.  I am disappointed that Clinton seems to have signed on for a Fox News debate.  Fox News is the propaganda arm of the GOP.  The Democratic Party doesn't need to give the enemy ratings and advertising dollars.

    When the dust settles, you have to ask yourself, who do you want selecting the next Supreme Court Justice:  a Republican President of a Democratic President?

    That answer alone should put to rest squabbling over speaking cadence or tears.  Whoever comes out of the nomination process needs all of our support and not hurt feelings because our favorite candidate lost.

    very much disagree (5.00 / 4) (#101)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:59:46 AM EST
    with "All this style over substance blather is pure media speculation." and about the debates. I've listened intently and live- blogged every debate. I've read the transcripts afterwards. I've read his campaign's literature with his position on issues and agenda. Obama is selling inspiration, hope, change and optimism. It's working. But I want more. Hillary has an encyclopedic knowledge of the issues and a plan for every one. She also has the experience to move her agenda through Congress, and not just by compromising. I think she's more of a fighter and that's what I want with the Republicans come November.

    I respectfully disagree (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by Reader on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:30:55 PM EST
    While I am not saying Obama does, how can you say that Clinton has the experience to move her agenda through Congress? Her health plan was a failure, and that was when she was working behind the scenes! When, really, has she ever demonstrated the ability to move her agenda through without compromise?
    Shoot, her husband only got things through by taking the rights issues and putting them in a moderate coat. Anyone recall the whole welfare reform stuff?
    Any Democratic congressional gains in red states are going to be Red Democrats (as opposed to red Democrats, the boogeyman of the right :) ), and are going to be a bit reluctant, IMHO, to do anything that might cost them their likely fragile seats.

    Her FIRST health plan (none / 0) (#205)
    by echinopsia on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 04:00:18 PM EST
    Was a failure largely because the insurance companies spent millions to kill it, and because she was inexperienced as a first lady, and trying to something no first lady had ever done. She bit off more than she could chew. She didn't give up, though she didn't get universal health care.

    Her OTHER health plans have been a success - the one for kids, the one for 9/11 responders, the one for Nat'l Guard Iraq vets.

    Her husband was not a two-term senator from a big powerful state when he became president. He did not have her legislative experience. He also did not have her experience of eight previous years in the WH as a first lady.


    oh gimme a break (none / 0) (#160)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:47:26 PM EST
    Point to one instance in a debate where a specific question was answered by Hillary with a specific answer, but by Obama with some gaseous talk of change.

    You may prefer one set of answers to the other, but he has matched her, issue by issue, detail by detail on any subject raised.

    Link us to the parts of their website which she displays this encylopedic knowledge of the issues, and he has nothing but hot air. Once again - it aint there. He addresses every issue she does, in just as full detail.

    I know you got a nice meme going - your candidate has the image of a knowledgable wonk and you want to run with it, and pretend that her opponent doesnt measure up.

    But I dont see any real cases, in the real world of any disparity on this level. Do you?


    From the Las Vegas debate (none / 0) (#165)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:53:39 PM EST
    BLITZER: All right, Senator, until there's some new technological breakthrough, as you would hope and all of us would hope, where do you send the [nuclear] waste?

    OBAMA: Well, right now, it is on-site in many situations. And that is not the optimal situation, Wolf. But don't keep on assuming that we can't do something.

    I mean, this is about the third time where you said, assuming we can't do it, what's our option?

    BLITZER: Well, until we can...

    OBAMA: But -- but -- but I'm running for president because I think we can do it.


    I reject...


    I reject the notion that we can't meet our energy challenges.

    BLITZER: All right.

    OBAMA: We can, if we've got bold leadership in the White House that is saying we are going to do something about climate change, we are going to develop renewable energy sources. That's what I intend to do as president.

    BLITZER: Let...

    OBAMA: And we shouldn't, you know, be pessimistic about the future of America.

    Good one . . (none / 0) (#187)
    by IndependantThinker on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:03:52 PM EST
    I forgot that response, thank you.

    What was Clinton's response? (none / 0) (#190)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:09:09 PM EST
    I asked for a comparison between detail on one side, lack of detail on the other.

    How does a blanket ad hominem attack... (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by mike in dc on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:36:14 AM EST
    ...on half the Democratic primary electorate help unite the party in November?

    For the most part the attacks on Clinton from Obama supporters are directed at her or her campaign, not her supporters.

    BS, Obama folks seem to be the most (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by RalphB on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:08:42 PM EST
    thin skinned bunch I've ever seen.  Of course, I haven't seem them all.

    directed at her (3.00 / 2) (#114)
    by horseloverfat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:11:23 PM EST
    Exactly - HRC is being subjected to the saame smears we usually see the right wing people directing at her.  And why bother attacking her supporters when you have the MSM to keep noticing how old and out-of-touch and uneducated and whatnot we all are.

    There are many smart Obama supporters (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:56:35 AM EST
    While I try very hard to understand the case for Obama, at some point even with the best supporters it always seems to come down to something faith-based.  There's just something they "get" about how Obama will successfully govern that I don't get.

    I don't have any problem with this, and I don't consider it a "cult" thing, but I do perceive an element of the non-rational.  Some people don't respond well to that.

    Another reason Obama supporters give (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by ding7777 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:34:05 PM EST
    is his willingness to reach out to Republicans.

    But many of these same supporters hate Joe Lieberman for doing exactly that.


    Obama doesn't (none / 0) (#133)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:02:42 PM EST
    actively endorse GOP candidates for political office.  

    Reasons why I support him over Clinton (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by andrewwm on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:08:25 PM EST
    Judgment Issues
    1. The war
    2. Kyl-Lieberman
    3. Choice of foreign policy advisors

    1. Flag Burning/Free Speech issues
    2. Tech policies
    3. Cuba policy
    4. Earmarks

    Side benefits
    1. Probably greater turnout capabilities
    2. Knocks out Mark Penn, Terry McAullife/DLC wing of the party

    • Health care policies
    • A few of his tactics

    Well said (none / 0) (#172)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:18:28 PM EST
    Many of your issues are disputable (I don't see the differences on some of them that you do), but a nice  summary of why you prefer one candidate over the other.

    ad hominem (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by blogtopus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:01:37 PM EST
    Mike, you're right. We shouldn't attack Obama supporters any more than we should attack Fundamentalist Christians. It isn't the people personally, its the dogma that's disturbing.

    The only person responsible for this is Obama. However, since so many supporters (rightfully) feel it is their job to get between Obama and his detractors, it appears that you folks are in direct line to get hit with stuff aimed at him. It isn't personal, it's politics.

    Now that that's out of the way, can somebody from Obama's campaign come up with something THIS detailed about his strengths?

    well... (none / 0) (#108)
    by mike in dc on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:08:18 PM EST
    ...aside from the boilerplate "it's on his website", I think the lawrence lessig video on Obama is very good. Some of the endorsement diaries posted on dKos by major posters were pretty detailed as well.  I think Yglesias had a pretty good argument for why Obama would be better on foreign policy.

    I'm at work, and it's "crunch day", so I don't have the time to dig up all the links for you.

    But if you ask me again tomorrow, i probably can do it for you. :)


    Lawrence Lessig (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:16:49 PM EST
    Video supporting Obama here

    Lessig is not a cultish sort of guy if you ask me. Good video, worth a watch.


    Res ipsa (none / 0) (#170)
    by byteb on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:11:14 PM EST
    Lessig supports Obama. There can be no other explanation other than he is a Cultist.

    Can't help it but (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by djork on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:10:16 PM EST
    I'm caught up in watching the Obama campaign like a movie. I bet when it's over someone in Hollywood will make a satirical comedy transparently based on Obama à la Bob Roberts. I guess i'm just too cynical!

    yup, you are (none / 0) (#214)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 04:51:05 PM EST
    and that is precisely the attitude that Obama is challangeing you to get over.

    This is a democracy - you are an equal co-owner of this country, along with the rest of us. Get up off your lazy a** and stop watching it all as a movie. Get involved, speak up.

    Having the citizenry be passive observers is exactly what the Republicans want, for then they have a clear field.


    I'm very concerned we know so little about Obama (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by jawbone on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:21:40 PM EST
    The MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) for the most part is ecstatic about Obama and his speaking style, his hope and change motif, his newness and momentum. His rock star ability to pull in huge crowds.

    I've heard much less coverage of his legislative history and his current policies and stands. But, the NYTimes did do an article about one of his Senate legislative attempts--to require nuclear power plant operators to inform the public of leaks, based on some leaks of radiated cooling water into the groundwater and contaminating drinking water sources.

    The article said Obama began with a strong language requiring the operators to inform the public, then, to gain Republican support (R's were in charge of the Senate at that time) he lowered the requirements to finally become voluntary compiance to be decided by the NRC and the operators.  

    This seemed to be BushLite--corporate voluntary standards. Great.

    But--is this article fair? Anyone knowledgeable about this issue know more? The NYTimes can be good--but they can also not be so good, so how's this article?


    I'm reposting this because it was on an older thread and only got one reply--which noted, per the article, that while Obama did not get this legislation passed he said he did in a campaign appearance.  

    Now, if Al Gore had made such a mistake all MCM hell would break loose. But, with our MCMers' lack of concern or attention to Obama's actual record, we get little input from them.

    I woke up actually afraid we might end up with huge voters' remorse when the press finally did begin to explicate more on what he's done--or not done.

    Again, anyone know if this NYTimes' article is fair and accurate? IL people? Energy policy folks? I hate being bamboozled by the MCM, but I also don't want to be bamboozled by a candidate....

    What a horribly (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by taylormattd on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:26:53 PM EST
    disappointing post.

    I mean really Jeralyn, I can't believe you would essentially label millions of democrats who support Barack Obama as being some kind of cultists.

    Thanks for lumping me in with people like those who followed David Koresh or Jim Jones.

    Some members of the reality-based community (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by jawbone on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:39:52 PM EST
    have taken leave of their desire for fact-based decision making in favor of feeling the surge of hope and change.

    When asked what the "change" will be, no answer. Or, it will be a good thing. Or, it will be the right thing.

    Not everyone, of course. But most requests for hard data are answered with "read his website." Well, most candidates don't put all info on their websites!

    But Obama lost me with 1) his saying SocSec is in "crisis," which is a ReThug talking point and inaccurate, along with no mention of Medicare, 2) Krugman pointing out how Obama's lack of mandates makes universal healthcare difficult if not impossible to achieve, 3) his blatant copying of the Harry and Louise health insurance/Big Pharma ads to attack Edwards and Hillary's plan, 4) his flyer attacking the "Clintons" for losing the House and Senate, plus various governships during Bill's administration, and 5) his not explaining why he took his brave speech against the Iraq Invasion off his website when he ran for the Senate.


    Oh please (none / 0) (#127)
    by taylormattd on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:42:14 PM EST
    what a ridiculous response.

    Because you can find low-information candidate supporters, all people who support the candidate are "cultists"?

    You think I could find dozens of Hillary supporters who know nothing whatsoever about her policy proposals?

    If I can do that, do I get to label everybody who supports Hillary as "cultists"?


    Not cultists--they just don't reruire the same (none / 0) (#141)
    by jawbone on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:12:40 PM EST
    fact-based reasons for their choice of Obama. They do say that it is the inspirations which is most necessary, that the rest will follow because we the people will have a voice in what Obama does as president.

    Like we (none / 0) (#145)
    by IndependantThinker on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:18:59 PM EST
    had a voice in what Bush has done over the last 7 years? Not very realistic is it?

    Censorship is pretty pathetic (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:37:11 PM EST
    So now you are just going to delete comments you don't like politically?  

    Why not just put up a banner on the main page "Obama supporters unwelcome!"?  Save everyone the trouble.  You can have your echo chamber and everyone else can look for a new site to that might at least try and pretend to be fair.

    I delete comments that violate this sites (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:51:32 PM EST
    comment policy. Rudeness, insults and personal attacks and chatterers are not welcome. Read the comment rules.

    Obama supporters are welcome if they follow the rules.

    This is my site. I decide the level of discourse that's appropriate. If you don't want to write in a way that comports with it, that's your decision.

    It has nothing to do with who you support.


    Some ridiculous charges here (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:10:10 PM EST
    "Obama is about inspiration. Hillary is about knowledge and competence"

    I dont think so. On what basis can you claim that? They are both about knowledge and competence. Obama ADDS inspiration.

    "That's why she wants debates and he does not."

    I find it hard to believe that you don't understand that Hillary wants debates because she wants free media time, and because she is hoping against hope that the relatively less experienced Obama just might make a gaffe - something she is less likely to do.

    "His stump speech is always the same"

    Duh....thats why they call it a stump speech.

    Its always the same because, unlike us political junkies, the actual voters never hear it until the show comes to their town. This is news?

    "His words aren't gospel "

    Thank you. We peasants have such trouble figuring things like that out.

    "I hope the hype stops soon. Maybe if more of us write about it, it will."

    Oh no. "This" - the Obama supporters are cultists meme - that is not going to stop. You are writing the Republican playbook for the fall, by grossly distorting the enthusiasm of your fellow party-members and jumping aboard the latest hook that the MSM wants to use to sell their copy.  Congratulations.

    There is a bit of a contradiction with this logic (3.00 / 2) (#178)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:34:58 PM EST
    They are both about knowledge and competence. Obama ADDS inspiration.


    she is hoping against hope that the relatively less experienced Obama just might make a gaffe - something she is less likely to do.

    Don't knowledge and competence COME with experience? If he is less experienced, then how can he be comparatively her equal in knowledge and competence?

    On a side note, I think Hillary is very inspirational...think about it. A woman, betrayed by her husband, keeps her family and marriage together, becomes the first first lady to hold a public office (not to mention national) and is now the first viable female candidate for the presidency...if thats not inspirational, I don't know what is!


    Ah...love the "1" rating (none / 0) (#209)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 04:17:07 PM EST
    rather than disagree and give me a reason to change my mind...just go on ahead and give me a "1"...must be the youth support /snark

    I just put TJ Proud American in Time Out for (none / 0) (#218)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 06:37:37 PM EST
    abusing the comment rating system. He can come back when he promises to stop rating every comment he disagrees with a "1."

    Peace (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:19:00 PM EST
    It's visceral. Some people have a positive visceral reaction to the Obama speech, others it raises a completely negative reaction. Why and how? Millions of reasons. For us who have a negative reaction it evokes negative images: cults, religion and fanaticism. For those who have a positive reaction it evokes; MLK, etc. Some people want leaders to inspire them. Others want them to just govern well and try to do a good job. We were all so hungry for what we were looking and there plop right in front of us, for the two sides the ideal leader. We are greedy for making that person the leader and we are passionate about it. I for the life of me will not get it and worry about the outcome of such a need for deliverance.

    Obama is NOT MLK (none / 0) (#176)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:29:19 PM EST
    No where close, MLK talk the talk AND walk the walk...that is NOT Obama...MLK is a hero (my hero), Obama is not a hero...

    FYI, I know that is not what you said (none / 0) (#177)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:29:59 PM EST
    That comparison really upsets me though...

    Not MLK (none / 0) (#188)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:05:22 PM EST
    Agreed, I meant the typical analogy, maybe JFK would have been better.

    no no...what YOU said is fine :) (5.00 / 1) (#210)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 04:19:39 PM EST
    MLK, JFK whatever...but Obama and his supporters have really been trying in recent weeks to create a MLK comparison...and frankly I find it very offensive...I mean the ego...the "audacity" to compare his privileged accent to power with the struggles of Dr. King...really offensive

    Agreed (none / 0) (#212)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 04:32:36 PM EST
    Woah (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Claw on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:45:17 PM EST
    This is exactly what repubs want.  Dem against dem so that Mac (who apparently "is back") doesn't have to answer any tough questions.  He is, by the way, another media darling.  The press has been slamming Clinton for years and has, so far, given Obama a free pass but I don't think running a candidate the media likes (Obama) against another candidate the media likes (Mac) is necessarily a bad thing.  The tone of this thread confuses me...it seems to boil down to "god forbid a democratic candidate receive favorable press coverage."  
    For the record, I favor Clinton on most policy issues.  Here's what I'm saying, take out the Clinton endorsements from this entry and you'd think you were reading a right wing blog.  ESPECIALLY considering the headline (or whatever it's called with a blog).

    I disagree (1.00 / 1) (#183)
    by Salt on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:56:59 PM EST
    Some in the party have on blinders and better to discuss it now and get it out there is risk for Nov I believe, most of us do not need or want a messianic leader for many different reasons but it would be foolish to believe that Hillary's demographic groups grounded in traditional organized faiths wont bolt before they vote for a cultish personality it is repulsive not just creepy. And frankly as an Independent many Progressives seem to be foaming, sputtering and spitting nonsense about O being the second coming of JFK which was and is a silly comparison of course. And understand many of us are not enamored with O and are becoming alarmed I would prefer a Dem but not any Dem.  That Os campaign raised 32 million in one month that is just obscene and excessive.

    oh, I give up (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:02:02 PM EST
    Obama is just too popular. Lets certainly not nominate him - go with the safe bet, the one that half of America hates.

    Its like, so unseemly, y'know, maybe actually winning an election. The hubris of it all!


    yeah, the opportunism (none / 0) (#167)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:01:39 PM EST
    of intra-party partisanship.

    Thats the real danger in a long drawn out campaign. People who lack all perspective (and that is a lot of people) will gladly use all the memes from the other side to tear down a candidate in their own party.

    Obama as cult leader has been floating around on the right for a long time. They are freaked - a Democrat who actually inspires people, who actually can motivate Democratic voters!?!?

    But sure enough, the Clinton supporters will gladly glom onto this for their own purposes.


    Harry and Louise? (1.00 / 1) (#173)
    by lilburro on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:19:21 PM EST
    Just sayin'.  Both sides have used right-wing talking points.  

    I understand one of Obama's positives is his potential to help down-ticket Dems get elected in the fall.  Maybe that's true, but I'm not totally convinced.  Isn't it generally true that the GE causes presidential candidates to move more to the center?  
    Obama or Clinton, I'm not convinced that a candidate like Jim Neal (potentially the first openly gay Senator, from NC) isn't going to be thrown under the bus come the fall.  


    The stats don't show him getting (1.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:26:33 PM EST
    younger voters to the polls...he gets them to his rally, but I think the stats are showing them voting in a normal deviation range (-1 to 1)

    another "1" rating... (none / 0) (#211)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 04:20:16 PM EST
    I guess that makes me #1 today :)

    You make the point in your post.. (none / 0) (#184)
    by Salt on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:58:57 PM EST
    Yes! (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by jen on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:51:51 PM EST
    A friend (LSophia) at CCN (Clark Community Network) posted the following last night, and it describes perfectly what has turned me off about Obama since way before I jumped aboard the Hillary train.

    Obama's appeal is rooted more in a religious context than a political one. I studied theology once upon a time - essentially, he's a secular preacher masquerading as a politician. Since I already have my own religious faith in place, that explains why listening to him makes me uncomfortable. The language, gestures, audience responses, all remind me of being in church - and I believe WHOLEHEARTEDLY in the separation of church and state.

    Hillary's appeal is rooted much more strongly in the pragmatic. She reaches people who want to see someone who can just DO THE JOB. Ironically, though, I see her very clearly motivated by a call to serve. I'm not sure what motivates him.

    The problem with Obama's model is that he IS about himself - his ideals, his vision, his strategy, his candidacy.

    The truly great preachers I've heard have always been about something larger and greater than themselves - justice, peace, truth, love for all people - you name it. They are incidental to the message - the message is what matters.

    With Obama, I feel as though it IS a messianic sort of thing, that he, or, at least, his supporters, believe he is the One True Candidate who can bring a new Golden Age to America and all of our problems will just go dancing off into the sunset. It smacks of idolatry. (This is not to say that I think he believes this, but it's difficult to avoid peoples' projections). The anger I get from people who think I should support him is much like the anger I used to get when I was confronted with those whose theology is different (read "more narrow") than my own.

    It's actually a major relief to finally figure out why this "movement" has been making me so uncomfortable.

    Yes agree the Cult that is "O" (none / 0) (#182)
    by Salt on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:40:35 PM EST

    Yo, what have I said? (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by chemoelectric on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:37:16 PM EST
    As I've said, it is very generous to complain that Obama is being "unspecific"; he is, probably without realizing the harm it causes, using verbal methods in which he says practically nothing but pushes people's happy buttons. He's probably doing it to himself. And I think he does it in part because he is immature for his age. (He is a couple of weeks younger than I am.)

    His speechwriters are 26, 26, and 30. The head speechwriter is one of the 26-year-olds. It is their job to make Obama sound mature, and they succeed: they make him sound like a naive 26-year-old.

    All that said, I would much rather have a 46-year-old with the mentality of a very good 20-something than a mature, sixtyish woman whose people are warmongering thugs.

    Well, this isn't a divisive path your on... (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by DA in LA on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:15:14 PM EST
    You write about how horribly Hillary is treated by the press, then when they turn on Obama in a ridiculous fashion, you promote it.  

    You are divisive.

    Are you telling your readers here that you just regurgitate Hillary press releases?

    I Don't Need No Stinkin' Inspiration (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by xjt on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:26:07 PM EST
    The whole idea that I need Obama to inspire me is so ridiculous and condescending and silly. You know who inspires me? My family, my friends, people who write great books or make great music, nature. You find your own inspiration in life. I am not a child that needs to be patted on the head and led to inspiration by the great master Barack Obama. People who whip up the masses and accumulate blind followers have historically been dangerous. We've had one nut in the Oval Office who believes he's been chosen by God, we don't need another.

    Give me a competent, knowledgeable, compassionate, courageous president any day.  

    Hard to Be Heard in Questioning Him (4.55 / 9) (#13)
    by cdalygo on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:54:43 AM EST
    As I posted elsewhere, the very nature of Obama's campaign makes it hard to be heard. [Note: Hard does not make it impossible.]

    His supporters swarm on a blogger or comment that even remotely questions him. Some are genuine, but many (not this site) are highly personal and inflammatory. They will seek to drown out the voice. That's why I'm less impressed with all his fundraising -- its the same easy, point, click, and shut Hillary up.

    I've stated all along that his more rabid supporters would begin to undo him. At the time, I felt sorry for him. But now as I see more of him, I understand why that behavior has continued. He has not taken any steps to "curb their enthusiasm."

    Hillary needs to carry her message out beyond the Net. I spoke with a friend today - who's tech savvy but busy with a young child and job - who is just starting to pay attention in anticipation of upcoming VA election. There are lots of folks like her who are still making up their minds and so are two to three news cycles behind. She needs to reach them.

    As for the vapors over you quoting Klein. For god's sake, Obama has been living on the compliments fed by some of the most reactionary columnists in the country. But I suppose for him that is him reaching out.

    (Of course, I'm over-posting today because I'm home sick. Off to go rest. Have at it folks (and yes that includes the Obama folks. We do need to talk to each other. At least on this site that dialog occurs.)

    Obama is an egoist (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:53:49 AM EST
    I think his action and words make that fairly clear.

    ie. the snub, the "You're ok HRC" line, the tense he now uses about already being elected president, etc...

    So it only follows that he would not curb that which reinforces his view of himself, right?


    Precisely (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:10:23 PM EST
    The country was ripe for the Democratic agenda. He and his backers, the Democratic establishment, diverted from the Democratic agenda, and made it a personality election. This I think dilutes the agenda and adopts the win by any means Rovian style. The coalition that is being built, in this style, is artificial and will collapse like the Republican coalition. What would have been wrong with making the Democratic party values the issue? I think it clutters and divides the energy and resources.

    Absolutely! (none / 0) (#168)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:05:11 PM EST
    We could have had real momentum to get our agenda mandated by the will of the people...we've lost that momentum now...if Obama is the nominee, I fear we'll not have an opportunity to regain it (this is the main reason I am leaning HRC). Obama I don't think is interested in agendas or ideology, I think Obama is interested in Obama...interested in scratching his name into the desk in the oval office...

    So far, Obama has not given me any substance to dispell this fear, in fact, he's only offered proof and reinforcement of this fear through his words, actions and the slow trickle of information about his political career (votes, actions, etc.)...the guy's CV just doesn't add up to show him as a "leader" and that is what we need in a Democratic nominee...I really hope he proves me wrong though...especially if he's the nominee.


    Hahahahahaha (none / 0) (#120)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:24:09 PM EST
    And Hillary is not? You must be kidding. Read the vanity fair article about her.

    You're right, I don;t need to read (none / 0) (#166)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:58:52 PM EST
    a vanity fair article...ANYONE who runs for president is an egoist. But when you talk politics, you're talking relativity...Obama is a HUGE egoist relative to the other candidates (and other politicians).

    My first broad experience of Obama (4.50 / 8) (#23)
    by tigercourse on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:08:10 AM EST
    was the speech where he knocked secularists. Since then, his entire campaign as taken on an evangelical bent. From his pulpit style speeches to his gospel concerts, Obama has played upon religion more then any other Democrat. If he makes it to the GE, McCain will might be the more secular candidate.

    Klein (4.20 / 5) (#21)
    by piezo on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:06:04 AM EST
    Joe Klein has been bashing Hillary non-effin stop and now when the Golden Boy gets a little of his criticism, Klein is really just a dirt-bag, OH I SEE! What a bunch of whiners. I have been saying for months that his speeches appeal to the revival-tent crowd and Holy Cow could it be that the MSM has finally decided to take a closer look at this guy and his puff rhetoric? If so, it's long overdue. Is his crowd going to call racism or use some other excuse when McCain has him for lunch? Hero worship is the last thing I would have expected from Dems this election.

    No, when Klein goes after Obama, he becomes (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:13:46 AM EST
    a credible source for a Talkleft FP post.

    Fair Is Fair Geek (5.00 / 4) (#68)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:39:52 AM EST
    When he bashes Hillary, he becomes a credible source at the Obama sites.

    Credible sources? (4.33 / 6) (#76)
    by blogtopus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:44:17 AM EST
    Obama has the support of nearly every pundit in the country, talk radio windbags, and the Village establishment press. That didn't stop progressives from using the exact same criticisms against Hillary that were dribbling from Rush Limbaugh's lips. Nobody in the Obama Plane of Existence (TM) was complaining about that.

    Now that one of those erstwhile friendly commentators has turned a less-than-fawning critical eye on Obama, it's against the rules to quote them?

    Sorry. No dice. If you are upset at this, wait until the rest of the Press, D.C. crowd turn around and do the same damn thing after Obama wins the nomination. You'll die laughing.


    Limbaugh... (none / 0) (#198)
    by Reader on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:39:29 PM EST
    ...is suggesting that he will start a fundraising campaign for Clinton (half jokingly). He believes the party needs to face her to win. Otherwise, Cons stay home because they despise McCain, and there will be no Clinton Derangment Syndrome in place.

    Probably best to acknowledge (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:37:02 AM EST
    Jeralyn is not BTD on this point though.

    Youth vote (4.20 / 5) (#66)
    by Kathy on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:37:28 AM EST
    Seems to me that Obama's message dovetails beautifully with the millennial generation's ethos: give us lots of praise, tell us we are changing the world, but don't actually make us DO anything.

    With this sort of power, don't you find it odd that Obama is not calling on his millions of fans to rebuild New Orleans or become more active in helping the homeless or to donate some of their time to charities?  He runs on being the great community organizer, but the only thing he's done so far is organize people to come to rallies and to donate online.

    Honestly, I cannot say this enough: challenge them to DO something.  Challenge them to CHANGE something.  This is tantamount to Bush telling folks to get in their cars and buy stuff at the malls after 9-11.  Can you imagine how different things would have been if he had used that power and goodwill to ask AMericans to make sacrifices?

    Really interesting suggestion (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:10:18 PM EST
    He's not once given a "ask not what your country can do for you" speech...he really HASN'T attempted to motivate people beyond giving him money and voting for him...

    The millennial generation comparison I think is spot on...really really insightful.


    of course, it is just the opposite (none / 0) (#152)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:31:19 PM EST
    "but don't actually make us DO anything."

    Obama is the one, if you havent noticed, who is pushing the notion of people being involved in governmnet, of becoming, each in their own way, the agents of the change they want to see happen.

    That is the community organizer in him. He alone cannot do much. As a leader he can inspire and lead people to become involved.

    It is  Hillary, of course, who is the traditional politician. Vote for me - I am so competent, I wil operate the levers of power because I know how to do that. Vote for me, then sit back and watch good things happen.

    "Honestly, I cannot say this enough: challenge them to DO something.  Challenge them to CHANGE something."

    Here is an idea Kathy. If this is really important to you, then why not start at the place where it is most lacking. Criticize the Clinton campaign for not even imagining this whole process - not even imagining the involvement of the people in anything beyond sending money and casting a vote. Obama is at least taking the first steps - motivating and inspiring people to believe in their ability to participate in changing things.


    The Differences (none / 0) (#163)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:52:54 PM EST
    I want good and strong government. I don't want to live it to chance or to charity from people. In the last seven years and before there was an attack against government with this notion that you the individual can do what government should be doing. It feels good to volunteer and to participate. But if the foundation of government is not providing the services and the oversight of the free market nothing will get done. People should and will participate. Community organizing, at least the years and years that I have seen of it, is fine to keep people informed, but it does not do government's work. At the core, I find the Obama message misses the day to day and the time that it will take to get our government up to it's feet. From simple things like Bush getting rid of the scientific libraries at the EPA offices. I call the Obama/volunteerism the Blanche Dubois form of government: " I have always relied on the kindness of strangers" Volunteerism, hope all that is great, but this was the Bush approach to government. We are knee deep in getting regulations and procedures cleaned up.

    You're half right (none / 0) (#171)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:14:14 PM EST
    He IS pushing them to be more involved in government. The "we are the movement" stuff is very much part of his campaign. What you're missing however, it his appeal to them to be the movement THROUGH him...by supporting Obama one is doing the most possible to bring about the ambiguous change (what is this change specifically?)...at least according to Obama...

    The movement all funnels through Obama...he is the car...they just have to give it gas (money and votes).


    well obviously (none / 0) (#174)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 02:22:00 PM EST
    it is a presidential campaing, y'know.

    But your last line is ridiculous. No - they do not just have to give him votes and cash. That is the Hillary approach. He need not resort to this inspiring rhetoric of involvement just to get cash. He is directly asking people to imagine themselves as agents of change.

    No doubt, if he were to give them specific marching orders, the cult criticisms would be even more virulent. The army of zombies going out at the great leaders command. I can even imagine the commenters here who would be jumpint all over that.

    No. He is telling people that they need not be passive, that the government and elections are not just about writing a check and marking a ballot. That is why people are getting so excited - they feel that with this vision, they are being asked to be full citizens, in the traditional sense of that term. Not passive voters.


    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:01:48 PM EST
    I posted earlier (yesterday maybe) that he reminds me of a TV preacher...and I think that holds up.

    He is telling people that they need not be passive, that the government and elections are not just about writing a check and marking a ballot.
    Thats not completely true...he is definately telling them that they can effect change by becoming involved...but he also makes it clear that their ONLY choice (he bases everyone else as "more of the same") is to effect change through him...
    they feel that with this vision, they are being asked to be full citizens, in the traditional sense of that term. Not passive voters.
    what does this mean exactly? Obama suggests that they can't do this without him being at the helm...so what does being a full citizen mean (Because clearly people that don't support Obama, can never realize full citizenship), or so it is alluded too

    No - they do not just have to give him votes and cash. That is the Hillary approach. He need not resort to this inspiring rhetoric of involvement just to get cash.
    Do you really believe that Obama could be doing so well without his inspiring rhetoric? I think thats wrong, that IS Obama's campaign...that IS why people give to him and follow him...think about that...without his platitudes, Obama is just another new senator who thinks he should be president

    He is directly asking people to imagine themselves as agents of change.
    Sure, that is true, but what is HIS vision of change...this is where it become dangerous...everyone thinks they know what Obama means because they project their desires onto him (due to his ambiguity) but when it comes down to issues, Obama is really advocating what he calls "more of the same" but what objectively will be called the Democratic platform...Obama has used "change" to lure people in, and used his rhetoric to divide his supporters from the base...this is disingenuous at best, but I suspect it is a well thought out strategy that seems to be backfiring a bit, the sole good that comes out of it however is the Clinton is taking the wrap for "dividing the party"

    Tano, you say (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by kmblue on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:30:20 PM EST
    that with this vision, Obama's vision, "they are being asked to be full citizens."  What does that mean?

    I am already a full citizen of these United States, and have been since I was born.  Those who don't feel like full citizens may be responsible for that feeling themselves.  

    They don't need a candidate to ask them to be full citizens.  Please explain, if you can, what on earth this means.


    full citizen (none / 0) (#213)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 04:48:26 PM EST
    means fully particpating citizen - engaged in the social and political issues of the day, empowered to speak out publicly. Respected as a legitimate voice, amongst all the others.

    As opposed to being a couch potato who might occasionally tune into politics and view it as little more than another horserace type competition to watch once the football or baseball season is over. Made promises to, ones vote solicited, but then ignored till the next election season.

    Obama is inviting these people to be more than that, to see themselves as having the right to be more than that, to be involved. Seems to me to be the core message that any and every true beleiver in democracy should be pushing.


    What I find disturbing (4.00 / 4) (#6)
    by IndependantThinker on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:44:21 AM EST
    is that they are just figuring it out. Many bloggers have noted this about Obama and his campaign since IOWA.  I don't think these Obama supporters, that are starting to awaken, get that this cultism is all there is.

    Unity? (4.00 / 4) (#59)
    by carolyn13 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:33:08 AM EST
    Obama has never been a contender for my vote. He has come across as too much the preacher for me from the very beginning. We've had 8 years of a faith based presidency and I don't want another. His rhetoric doesn't match his record. Take a look at the blogosphere. Does this feel like unity to you?

    believe because i say so leaves me leery. (3.66 / 6) (#41)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:22:53 AM EST
    i like a good speech as well as anyone else, but then i ask where's the beef. if someone can't answer that question, then i'm out of there. i feal fear for the american people when they go for the personaltiy politican once but then twice leaves me with dread.

    sotjproudamerican, please (none / 0) (#100)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:59:30 AM EST
    define why this comment needs a one rating? thanks

    He's been 1 rating comments all through here (none / 0) (#140)
    by rebecca on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:11:16 PM EST
    today.  Don't know why he stays since he dislikes what is being said so much lol.  

    he clearly is a supporter of obama. (none / 0) (#216)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 06:13:52 PM EST
    oh well!

    who has been rating every comment a 1? (none / 0) (#217)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 06:26:41 PM EST
    I'll ban them.

    Not every comment (none / 0) (#221)
    by rebecca on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 06:48:06 PM EST
    He gives the one he likes a 5 and the ones he doesn't like a 1 there are, well, I reached a count of 50 he's given a 1 to today before I quit lol.  I'm thinking he doesn't understand the rating conventions here.  I think he probably just needs to be told that giving out ones like that is impolite.  His name is tjproudamerican.  I think this is ignorance and not intentionally offensive behavior.

    Can HRC win without destroying opponents? (3.66 / 3) (#71)
    by tjproudamerican on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:40:39 AM EST

    The pattern repeats endlessly, and sickeningly for those who are inspired by The Clinton's: destroy, destroy, destroy.

    Obama clearly has charisma and clearly excites Americans whom Hillary should want. Your answer: knock him down. He is too religious, too cultlike, too this and not enough that.

    Obama's crowds are large, passionate, and include all races and ages. Well so what?

    Somebody's wife has 20 older women friends just as passionate about Hillary but they stay home.

    Somebody else's 23 year old son thinks Obama is mediocre.

    The Gods first make crazy those whom they want to destroy.

    And many of you are crazy with The Clinton Defense Disease ("everyone does whatever we find disgusting in them"; "everyone else is worse than the Clinton's"; "they deserve to be president because they are so smart and well-informed"...)

    Obama's appeal to people who think politics is a dog's game is a good thing. Hillary should want the enthusiasm he brings and so should all of us.

    And remember, whoever gets nominated has to win some Republicans and Independents. Democratic Party membership gets you about 35% guarantee. This isn't Europe.

    i disagree! (none / 0) (#87)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:48:25 AM EST
    you clearly aren't hearing what we are saying! the husband says to the wife, dear, i can't pay all these bills you are running up for the children, the house, and yourself. we need to cut back. she says, you hate me and the children. see what i mean!

    Democrats and Republicans both (none / 0) (#91)
    by cannondaddy on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:52:35 AM EST
    find it inconceivable that they are not in the majority.

    love that line (none / 0) (#95)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:53:50 AM EST
    I say it, "Those that the gods would destroy they first make mad". Where is it from, Shakespeare?

    Longfellow (none / 0) (#103)
    by Kathy on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:59:56 AM EST
    I believe?

    According to Wikiquote (none / 0) (#123)
    by ding7777 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:31:21 PM EST
    Anonymous ancient proverb, wrongly attributed to Euripides.

    The version here is quoted as a "heathen proverb" in Daniel, a Model for Young Men (1854) by William Anderson Scott.

    The origin of the misattribution to Euripides is unknown.

    Several variants are quoted in ancient texts

    Please (3.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Jgarza on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:28:20 AM EST
    find more articles insulting half the democratic party to post on.  

    Ohh there is that Obama bias in the media right?

    Ohh and who better at (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jgarza on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:30:05 AM EST
    insulting democrats Joe Klein!

    Normally yes but this article screamed Ah Hah (3.33 / 3) (#30)
    by Salt on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:16:06 AM EST
    Times Joe Klein captures what I have been feeling about this Obama messianic phenomenon and the behavior of the Progressive blogs and the liitle boy spitting punditry fawning and slobbering over their devotion to the Obama who will supposedly liberate them from the cranky politics as the burning cause of our country and how silly this manufactured sheepeople need really is.

    Joe writes and what rang true to me
    "there was something just a wee bit creepy about the mass messianism".  
    "We are the ones we've been waiting for"

    referencing Senator Obama speech yes that is creepy to many of us...

    The Obama campaign all too often is about how wonderful the Obama campaign is.

    yes always...

    Yes, yes those on the Left are not seeing the danger with a Obama nominee, this creepy fawning slobbering about a personality vs the We the People issues has created an anti Messiah black lash big time and I am picking up maybe anti Party ...we shall see..........but we have a Hillary surge.  I believe the tipping point was the JFK mantel that just seemed so cult like.

    And the division are locking in the country and that makes sense totally, Hillary supporters by they very nature are not followers and would not be comfortable with preaching that have a messianic fervor as they are associated with more traditional church and synagogues teachings.

    This time Joe has nailed it.


    Joe Nails It? (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:26:56 AM EST
    First time in his life. Let me guess... you support HRC. What a coincidence.

    Smearing Obama supporters as cultists (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:28:11 AM EST
    is the latest Clintonian talking point.

    Look for them to continue this.


    Its not a new point (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Virginian on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:55:30 AM EST
    Even Kos has pointed this out...and Wonkette probably started it

    OMG (none / 0) (#144)
    by echinopsia on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:15:14 PM EST
    Is every reasonable observation about Obama and his followers a Clinton-campaign smear?

    You give the Clinton campaign a lot of credit.

    You also lend credence to the notion that you're a member of a cult.

    Just once, try presenting an argument other than "Hillary made you say that!"


    i also noticed on faux of all places (1.00 / 1) (#47)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:27:59 AM EST
    some reality based criticism of obama. who knew?

    Well It's Alright If Obama Sites And Supporters (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:40:20 PM EST
    insult people who are Hillary supporters as low information voters too stupid to know better and not part of the "Creative Class" etc.

    Evidently there is no problem insulting half the Democratic Party when they support someone other than Obama.



    Oh yeah LOL (none / 0) (#191)
    by IndependantThinker on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:09:37 PM EST
    I first heard this on Super Tuesday. Obama supporters are drawn from the "Creative Class". I just laughed at my TV. But I credit the MSM for this puffery. I don't know if Obama's supporters are pushing it.

    Creative Class (none / 0) (#220)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 06:43:34 PM EST
    I first saw mention of the "Creative Class" support of Obama on Open Left on 1/31/07. IIRC Ed Schultz said that the Obama voter is more educated and probably made a more educated decision.

    Quoting Joe Klein (3.00 / 2) (#70)
    by sancho on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:40:27 AM EST
    is not necessarily bashing democrats. Your comment, against your intention, confirms the argument that Obama's appeal rests in part in his ability to equate being a democrat with being an Obama supporter. To question Obama's campaign strategy, or even his appeal, is not in this case to engage in democrat-bashing. To imply that questioning Obama is the same thing as bashings democrats is to reinforce the belief that Obama's personality, or its adualtion, transcends other issues.  

    Obama is the (3.00 / 2) (#16)
    by g8grl on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:56:58 AM EST
    candidate for those who don't need results but are looking for a Muse.

    or may be looking for a guru (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by irene adler on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:43:20 AM EST
    and people who want [or need] to be disciples will find one. or 'The One.' they want to be in and around the light. it's not a religious thing. it's a spiritual thing.

    it's especially disturbing to see in played out in politics because 'discipling' means shutting down reason and operating on belief instead. not like we haven't been there before.


    From my Cynical 23 year old (3.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:05:37 AM EST
    Yesterday I watched Obama's Democratic national convention speech again, and was again baffled as to what was so incredibly inspiring about it. I felt like it followed a cliché structure that I am convinced has been followed in many a high school graduation speech, let alone political speech. Here is the mode I created for a successfully inspiring speech: Summary of Generic Inspiring Speech a.k.a. Obama's Democratic National Convention Speech a.k.a. What it takes these days to wet liberal's collective panties 1) Begin on a personal note. Talk about family roots, a mixed/poor/immigrant/working class family that was somehow able to achieve that good old American dream. End this section with the generic, unproved, self perpetuating assumption that this phenomenon (success from nothing) is only possible in America. 2) Insert: Praise of fore fathers (extension of the "Only in America" idea), quote Declaration of Independence, or Constitution here: "All men are created equal...liberty and the pursuit of happiness" etc. 3) Message about needing good politics and there being hard work ahead (IMPORTANT: make sure this message is bipartisan). 4) Give random specific examples of hardships suffered by "Average Americans" due to poor government.* This proves you have talked to the working Joe.** * Do not forget to mention that it does take some "pulling yourself up from your own boot straps" type hard work to get things done, emphasize personal responsibility (appeals to moderates and swing voters). ** Make sure this part is really "homey" and "feel good" mention Americana things like diners, and car factory workers. 5) Insert support of Presidential Candidate here. 6) Anti-current war/Pro-good war message: basically use same tactic as #4 except with examples relating to soldiers. 7) Encourage the American people to be empathetic of others (this can be a good chance to mention religion, "I am my brother's keeper", but do not forget to mention you are the keeper of sisters too). 8) Now bring it up, you've been holding it back waiting for this, but you can say it, "We are ONE America", this brings back the idea of bipartisanism. Make sure to defend that idealistic notion of "one America" after the fact by decrying cynicism and praising hope and faith (again brings back in the good ole Christians). 9) Finally end speech with sentences that are structured likewise: I believe.....I believe....or try, I have faith....I have faith....or maybe even...I hope....I hope....Any way you cut it makes appropriate, safe, and lovely allusions to the ever praised never criticized, unobjectionable Dr. MLK Jr. Applause ensues.
    I tried to take out the swearing if I missed something my apologies.

    The Interesting Thing About That Speech (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:52:34 PM EST
    was that it was part of the Kerry (Democratic) strategy to refrain from appearing too partisan or bash the Republicans during the convention so that they could appeal to Independents and cross over Republicans.

    We all know how that strategy turned out. Kerry got relatively little bounce from the Democratic convention and the tide of Indie, and Republicans did not materialize. The Republicans ridiculed and bashed Kerry and the Democratic Party at every opportunity at their convention. They got the bounce in the polls and ultimately the reelection of GWB.

    Obama is incorporating the same strategy in his campaign. If nominated, I hope he does not get the same results.


    Well she is no cynic (none / 0) (#207)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 04:15:09 PM EST
    She is a realist and by the way a dedicated community organizer. The speech pattern does not work on everyone. It's a formula. Pop music is great, for it's purpose, but it does not require much from the listener.

    Can somebody with more time than me (3.00 / 2) (#51)
    by blogtopus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:29:46 AM EST
    Maybe, say, a literature or english major who likes this stuff, deconstruct his stump speech?

    Break it down, expose it. If he has only one message, what happens if that message becomes seen as trite and repetitive?

    Keep sending different youtube speeches of his to supporters... they'll all sound the same. Maybe they'll realize how little he actually has to offer.


    Cynical much? (none / 0) (#200)
    by Reader on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:48:00 PM EST
    As you said, it's from a cynical 20 something. Not exactly sure what the criticism is. What's wrong with modeling something after the 'ever praised never criticized, unobjectionable Dr. MLK Jr.'?
    Cynics can say what they like, but it was that speech that launched Obama, and many people DID find it inspiration. Delivery can be everything.

    I find it amusing (3.00 / 2) (#115)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:12:39 PM EST
    <okay, ranting, but I have to get it off my chest.>

    I find it amusing -- okay, irritating -- that Obama supporters have to come HERE and bash posters HERE.  It's as if they have no place else to go for affirmation when they actually have the entirety of the mainstream blogosphere and the mainstream media.

    Honest discussion is one thing.  Bashing the messenger is quite another.  But of course they do it all the time at DailyKos with support of leadership.  Did the non-Obamas finally dry up over there and they have to start their bashing over here?

    Jeralyn can't post an article on her own web site that agrees with many of our own instant reactions to the Obamamania without getting flack?  

    From an article about cults, here's an interesting cult trait that might apply here:

    "The cult tends to be totalitarian in its control of the behavior of its members. Cults are likely to dictate in great detail what members wear, eat, when and where they work, sleep, and bathe-as well as what to believe, think, and say.

    How about acting non-cult-like and just ignoring it all and going back to KOS, or Huffington, or TPM, or Americablog, or MSNBC.  Or better yet, come up with an interesting argument or an article to point to how cult-like Hillary's following is.

    I was once troll-bombed because I mistakenly said on KOS that Obama voted 'present' on Kyl-Lieberman...when actually he didn't show up for the vote at all...(which IMHO is worse, but I just ignored it all and left.)  That is the kind of thing a cult or mob would do.

    To tell you the truth, I live in a state that will soon have a primary and both Obama and Clinton will be here.  I'd love more than anything to attend an Obama rally, but I'm honestly AFRAID to go because of fear I'll meet up with the authoritarian cult-like faction I see on DailyKos.

    No I don't have a point.  I'm just venting.

    DKos does suck (none / 0) (#139)
    by andrewwm on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:10:40 PM EST
    But I submit that's no reason to allow TalkLeft to turn into the same thing, except that it goes on for the other candidate. Reasonable, rationed and well-supported arguments by both sides seems to be the ideal no?

    Dkos front pagers are outstanding and (none / 0) (#149)
    by byteb on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:21:00 PM EST
    even in the midst of all the candidate diaries, there is still a wealth of diaries on other important issues waiting to be read. All it takes is a click or two on the appropriate place on mouse or laptop to either enter a substantive diary and avoid a candidate diary.

    And even though, I'll be flamed for writing this, I'm personally weary of the Dkos Sucks meme.


    and I'm not directing this at you, Andrew (none / 0) (#150)
    by byteb on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:22:01 PM EST
    I was just venting in general.

    No worries (none / 0) (#153)
    by andrewwm on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:36:44 PM EST
    I get where you're coming from. The diaries over at Kos are wearying to read but otherwise I think you're spot on.

    I guess I'm saying is that it would be nice to have a site that allows both sides to have a reasonable discussion without getting all tribal about a particular candidate.


    I agree. (none / 0) (#158)
    by byteb on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:45:35 PM EST
    'Tho I don't know if such a place exists.

    Um Jeralyn (2.00 / 4) (#43)
    by andreww on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:24:07 AM EST
    I am willing to accept that this may be mere coincidence - but Taylor Marsh has a post up mirroring this exact subject.  Are you all in kahoots?

    That's a regular occurrence. (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:25:36 AM EST
    The anti-Obama talking points sprout up at Taylor Marsh, and then magically reappear at this site, The Left Coaster, Mydd, and at Larry Johnson's blog.

    Remarkable coincidences.


    You Are Kidding, Right? (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by cdalygo on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:36:44 AM EST
    That never occurs with the pro-Obama blogs? They don't post the same themes and messages all day long.

    Forget the election for a moment. How is that different from any other issue like the FISA vote or Move-On censure? The blogs are going to discuss what is current news.

    People are actually allowed to question your candidate or the campaign he runs. More to the point, they can dislike him. Just the same as folks hate Hillary.

    Get used to it or you are going to be in a for a miserable GE. If Obama takes the nomination, the Republicans will not shut up because people attempt to shame into silence.


    So it's not an insult then, right? (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:44:42 AM EST
    Note also that there are VERY few anti-Clinton A-List bloggers.  Several major blogs have been anti-Obama for months now.  This one, Taylor Marsh, Left Coaster, Mydd, etc.

    MY DD Is Not An Anti-Obama Blog (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:51:38 PM EST
    In fact, Jerome announced just recently that he intended to vote for Obama.

    I personally pointed you to a post by an A-List Blogger which completely distorted what Hillary said in an interview and had absolutely no basis in fact.

    IIRC you completely avoided the issue in your response.


    I have asked you nicely (none / 0) (#84)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:47:28 AM EST
    Come back tomorrow.

    No, I won't be back. Jeralyn has made it clear (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:49:44 AM EST
    that Obama supporters aren't respected here.

    Just in case you wondered why there are more Ron Paul supporters here than Obama supporters.


    That's your choice (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:52:59 AM EST
    I am sorry to see you go.

    But if you cannot refrain from insulting Jeralyn then you can not comment here.


    That's a lie (none / 0) (#116)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:14:02 PM EST
    Obama supporters are welcome here if they want to discuss issues, strategy, election results and other substantive things. They cannot come here to trash the writers and commenters here or to shill for their candidate.

    You can leave now for the day, as Big Tent says. No more comments from you today.


    Asking for equality that's all (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by andrewwm on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:00:39 PM EST
    Will you promise to do the same for those that support Clinton? I've seen lots and lots of posts here that make ridiculous unsourced statements about Obama and denigrates anyone that supports him.

    Most of them are never even reprimanded or called out. Doesn't make for a very comfortable place to discuss issues and respective merits of the candidates.


    I don't see myDd as anti-Obama. (none / 0) (#86)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:48:22 AM EST
    I see DK as anti-HRC.  BTD tepidly supports Obama and only is criticising him to make Obama a better candidate!  I'd say Jeralyn leans HRC and has frequently stated her choice is between Edwards and HRC, not Obama.  

    Exactly right (none / 0) (#117)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:15:12 PM EST
    Hillary and Edwards were my favored choices. I didn't pick one over the other.

    it has been my experience (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Kathy on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:10:39 PM EST
    that there are both good and bad things about each candidate posted here.  Anything that is "news" makes it onto a thread.  I think that some Obama supporters just aren't used to seeing anything bad said about their guy, so it's a bit jarring.

    I'm not sure what the breakdown is here, but we are not a bombastic bunch, on average, so perhaps the folks who are more rabid (on either side, and believe me, I've seen some rabid Hillary folk--though not as many, granted) prefer to be on blogs where they can rant and rail without being checked by the moderators.

    Which is why a lot of us came here.


    I thought last night here was (none / 0) (#155)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:38:27 PM EST
    pretty rabid, which is unusual.  Rioting in the streets if Obama doesn't get the nod?

    Please leave the site for the day (1.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:30:44 AM EST
    I will delete any further comments you make.

    You think you can come to this site and insult Jeralyn like that? you are sadly mistaken.

    Do not post here again until tomorrow.


    That's an insult. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:40:10 AM EST
    Please.  Calling millions of people 'cultists' is an insult.

    And, please spare me the "I'm a tepid Obama supporter."  Your posts critical of Obama outnumber those critical of Clinton or praising Obama by a factor of 10-1, and that has been the pattern for months.

    Then again, you also thought Obama was toast after Super Tuesday.  Because you're so much more rational than I am.


    You insulted Jeralyn specifically (none / 0) (#81)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:46:05 AM EST
    And you darn well know insulting her is different than insulting me.

    Leave for the day.

    Come back tomorrow and save your bile for me.


    How was that an insult? (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:48:09 AM EST
    It's an insult to note that the same set of talking points tends to appear at the same anti-Obama/pro-Clinton websites on a regular basis?

    That's not what insinuated (none / 0) (#97)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:54:38 AM EST
    You insinuated that Jeralyn wrote this piece AND OTHERS because of some coordinated effort.

    That is an insult and a lie.

    You need to stop it or hold to your decision to not comment here anymore.


    One Of Obama's Own Supporters Wrote (none / 0) (#197)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:34:36 PM EST
    the following:

    Katherine Greier at TPM Cafe, an Obama supporter, writes:

    "Excuse me, but this sounds more like a cult than a political campaign. The language used here is the language of evangelical Christianity - the Obama volunteers speak of 'coming to Obama' in the same way born-again Christians talk about 'coming to Jesus.'.

    Now maybe it is just not people who support Hillary that are or thinking or writing about this subject. Maybe, as illustrated, some people in the MSM, who normally make a habit of bashing Hillary have come to the same conclusion.  Maybe, just maybe, there are voters out there that are coming to the same conclusion without the benefit of reading about it on Talk Left.  


    No, in fact I haven't read Taylor (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:11:08 PM EST
    since last week. I got an e-mail from ABC News about the Tapper article and wrote about it. We all get hundreds of emails from the MSM every day telling us about what's on their sites. We write about those that strike us as noteworthy that day.

    Here's how you can tell. Had I read it at Taylor's site, I would have linked her. That's what bloggers do.


    I believe you. (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by andreww on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:58:35 PM EST
    I didn't mean to begin a fire-storm.  I was simply asking.  As I've indicated many a time, I enjoy your site and the conversation on it.  And I feel I've been consistently respectful and have added to the conversations - albeit with a few slip ups here and there.

    But I've also sensed at times that  there was more critique on Obama than Clinton, and I simply felt it was noteworthy because TL has gone out of it's way not to endorse a candidate.

    That's why I asked the question.  I did not mean any disrespect.


    To a large degree (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by spit on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:19:30 PM EST
    I think a lot of what you see -- and I see it, too -- is simply based in the fact that there are relatively few political blogs right now in which Clinton supporters don't get utterly run over. So they've congregated around the few that they've got, and if there's one thing that seems universal to blogs, IMO, it's the consistent venting of frustrations.

    I respect that Jeralyn has a point of view that she will express, and I think BTD (like Digby, FWIW) has been misidentified as a Clinton supporter often because he's been dedicated to talking about the media points -- and the media really has been slanted as hell in this primary, IMO.

    As for this post, I don't especially like the "cult" thing, but it is a point that has come out in the larger media today. And to a degree, I don't think the Obama campaign is totally free of responsibility for that; they've been campaigning him based on his persona for months, but have never really gotten control over the fan-base rockstar thing that can result; I think that's part of the base of their difficulty in managing expectations, too. I don't think the slant that Klein goes in is entirely fair, but I also do think it's a problem the Obama campaign is going to have to deal with, and that it's being commented on today on blogs is probably mostly just because a few in the media have decided to write on it in the larger press.

    Just my take, for what it's worth.


    Now I've got to read TM (none / 0) (#143)
    by hookfan on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:14:23 PM EST
     and the leftcoaster to see what's got the Obama supporters in such a heat. Perhaps many are sensing the same bothersome thing, since its intensity is there, and post about it. Conspiracy theories are so much easier to post tho. . . Fortunately, they are easier to laugh at for me.

    not conspiracy (none / 0) (#151)
    by andreww on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:25:45 PM EST
    just echo chamber.  But again, I take Jeralyn at her word.

    Stop this Andrew (none / 0) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:31:28 AM EST
    Write something like that again and I will ask you to leave for the rest of the day.

    "The only reason you don't understand (none / 0) (#7)
    by cannondaddy on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:45:24 AM EST
    our music, is that you don't like it'-Rik Mayall.  It's just as baffling to me how people can not be moved.  Jeralyn, have you sat down and watched the entire SC victory speech and not at least recognized it as an effective speech?

    Speeches (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by TheRealFrank on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:52:54 AM EST
    I was impressed by his 2004 DNC speech.

    However, since then I have noticed that his speeches have the same tone, theme and words. And they aren't working for me.

    I thought his victory speeches sounded like someone who had just won WWII, not a primary. I found the tone to be.. grandiose. I cringed every time I heard "new" and "change".

    I know that every candidate has words and themes that they try to hit in their speeches, but it's just too much.

    Also, I'm not looking for someone who inspires. I'm looking for someone who can get the job done, and speeches like that just don't convince me.

    Lastly, I have problems with words like "change", since they can mean anything to anyone. Without more specifics, those words irritate me, they do not inspire me.


    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by hookfan on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:20:56 PM EST
     Neither Hillary nor Obama are Joshua leading us to the Promised land, nor moses crossing the red sea, Nor Jesus come to earth to deliver us from our sins. Fortunately for Hillary she is not presenting herself as messianic or speaking about epiphanies  or "coming to me", or "this is our time"(like Jesus" this is the hour, no?)

    I thought the 04 convention speech was (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:56:05 AM EST
    wonderful; Iowa victory speech a good one; SC speech sounded flat; Super Tues. speech same.  

    For some people (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by horseloverfat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:53:10 AM EST
    Obama's speeches are appealing.  I am not moved or (positively) impressed by them.

    speechwriters write speeches (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:54:03 AM EST
    candidates deliver them. Being President is about a lot more than making good speeches. It's about policy and agenda and the clout and experience to get it pushed through Congress.

    bravo, jeralyn! (none / 0) (#50)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:29:11 AM EST
    And, in Obama's case, the lead writer (none / 0) (#164)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:52:59 PM EST
    is 26 years old.  I wonder what his religious background is.  According to NYT profile, he reads stuff Obama has sd. or written in the past and tries to channel that into a speech.

    clout (none / 0) (#202)
    by tjproudamerican on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:57:02 PM EST
    The Republicans have the easier job: the status quo by definition stays static.

    But what are WE going to do?

    Many of you say that you love Hillary because she WON'T work with Republicans.

    Many of you want to run Obama off for being eloquent and engaging people and getting them thinking that this could be a great country again.

    You contrast his flash and fire with Hillary's Gold-Star Homework. She even used a Binder and title page. Good for her. She DESERVES to be president.

    But, when she wins, how exactly will Hillary accomplish things? The Democratic congress, including all our current candidates for president, has not been very progressive or liberal. There is a need for political will and a 60 member Senate Majority.

    Many people are tired of her. We could argue that people don't love her because the Media lied about her. But what if people really don't find her inspiring?

    I voted for her twice, but really thought she was awful in the debate I saw. She did a great job of saying Obama was a Republican, but I had watched the clips and read the transcripts.

    Hillary will be our Democratic Party's candidate, so I am asking you:

    Hillary is not a great speaker,
    Hillary won't lead us to a sweep,
    Hillary won't work with Republicans,
    Hillary has a History of timid leadership and of receiving and making ferocious personal attacks:

    why should we think she will be successful?


    Agreed, but.. (none / 0) (#204)
    by Reader on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 03:58:24 PM EST
    ..making speeches and CONVINCING people to support your agenda and your side against your opponent IS the difference between success and failure, and I'm really not sure that Clinton is capable of that.
    (Pedantic Mode On)
    Let's look for a second at our own history. John Quincy Adams was a great statesman with a strong agenda for the country and a record of getting things done as a Secretary of State and legislator. But he was, as some have said, 'a chip off the old iceberg,' and was unable to convince 'the common people' that his approach was the best for the country. He lasted one term, replaced by someone who COULD rally the people to support his plans and change the very nature of American democracy: Andrew Jackson (not the nicest guy, but considered one of the best and most popular presidents). This is just one of many examples from our own past.

    You know (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by spit on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:01:06 AM EST
    I can respect that people need inspiration, and want powerful speeches. But I've never found his speeches all that inspiring. Not in '04, not now.

    Maybe it's because I do a lot of writing, and I can see too much of the underlying structure of the speeches -- all writing of that type is inherently manipulative, and I can see the tools that are being used.

    Or maybe it's because I'm just a ridiculously cynical bastard. That's honestly another possibility.


    no cursing here please (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:03:41 AM EST
    we are subject to software censors used at law firms nationally...please read the comment rules. Thanks.

    Oops, apologies (none / 0) (#31)
    by spit on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:16:33 AM EST
    I have been trying to stay conscious of it, but I'm pretty foul mouthed in real life. I will pay more attention.

    If I Was Voting For The Best Orator, (3.00 / 2) (#88)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:48:44 AM EST
    Obama would definitely get my vote even if I don't like some of the rhetoric.

    Only the thing is this is not a contest about who is the best orator.


    Perfectly valid sentiment however, (none / 0) (#9)
    by ajs214 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:49:10 AM EST
    It feels like you are using hyperbole to prove your point. To say Obama stands for nothing and runs on poetry and inspiration is disingenuous. He certainly doesn't come off as a policy wonk like Senator Clinton does, but he does have substance to his campaign.

    To say that he doesn't want to debate Senator Clinton because he isn't good at it is at best a half truth. Her campaign needs all the free media it can muster right now, and debates are a great source of free press. Obama on the other hand is sitting on a seemingly infinite stream of donations and is not inclined to give his opponent free press that she wouldn't be able to afford otherwise. That being said, Senator Clinton is a better debater than Obama. That does not necessarily mean she would be a better leader, it just means she is a better debater.

    He could (none / 0) (#134)
    by IndependantThinker on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 01:06:57 PM EST
    lose the media over this. They want the debates as much as I do. Although I am not sure how much actual revenue they generate, there is the prestige.

    Just Sayin... (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:17:58 AM EST
    Considering where we are coming from, it could be that we have forgotten that a leader's most important quality is to inspire.

    I also find it odd that normally rational people take a politician's campaign promises as a guarantee. Content over inspiration? As far as I can remember most campaign promises are never kept.

    Must be that the cult one belongs to makes all the other campaigns seem like cults, because I do not see Obama people as the only cult members. That is not to say that many are able to keep their heads on straight and realize that no candidate is the messiah.

    Divine Dem, found your blog and report on Exelon! (none / 0) (#122)
    by jawbone on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 12:30:39 PM EST
    How much coverage has this had on progressive/leftish blogs?

    I only found this info here in a comment (by Kathy? can't recall).  I posted it a couple place--and not one response to this actual example of how Obama practices reaching across the aisle and bipartisanship.

    I'm worried!


    This thread is embarrassing (none / 0) (#208)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 04:15:47 PM EST
    Obama is a better speech-giver than Clinton. He suggests that the miasma of the last thirty years can lift. Is that realistic? Probably not, but there's a slim chance which is more than can be said for Clinton.

    How does the saying go? Every person is an atheist except for the God he or she worships. I've seen a lot of worshipping around here. I'm sure that there are enough true believers around the Obama camp too. It's the nature of campaigns.

    Obama campaign (none / 0) (#215)
    by kilda on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 04:54:50 PM EST
    Am I the only one who is reminded of a televangelist every time I hear him give a speech?

    Comments Closing Here (none / 0) (#219)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 06:40:10 PM EST
    We're over 200. Thanks to all for contributing.