Obama's Itchy Finger

Intentional or not?

Update: I've watched it twice and I think he was just scratching his face. I don't think he meant anything by it. I also don't think he's dumb. Especially when he talks about how the cameras are on them 24/7.

Update: Comments now closed.

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    Intentional. n/t (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by LoisInCo on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:23:34 PM EST

    Intentional--See CBS vid linked at 11:24 (EH) (none / 0) (#83)
    by jawbone on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:13:28 AM EST
    Comment by Nell.

    Check the pause at just the right moment.

    Hey, Cheney set a pretty low bar for political discourse, so if the VP can say it to a senator, why not?


    Oh yeah... (5.00 / 2) (#183)
    by Fredster on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:57:53 AM EST
    Intentional.  On one of these you can see the smirk on his face as people start laughing/applauding.

    Yea there are many videos of this (none / 0) (#162)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:31:05 AM EST
    Maybe Jeralyn will watch the other angles and see more clearly the reason why so many think it is intentional.

    Can anyone link a side view? (none / 0) (#166)
    by CST on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:35:31 AM EST
    I would truly like to see this.  I swear I see a pointer finger, but given that so many people disagree I would like to see some form of proof one way or the other.  To me the CBS video just reinforced this opinion though.

    Do you folks really entertain the notion that (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by Joelarama on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:39:52 AM EST
    Obama would sink this low?  Even if he could, would a person do this given the kind of backlash it would create?

    Sorry, I do not mean to attack anyone personally, but this reminds me of the ridiculous, unfounded, and out-of-bounds accusations from Kos, Aravosis, and others that Hillary's campaign widened Obama's nose and darkened his face invidiously in an online ad.

    It's just inflammatory, and I'm glad Jeralyn updated to say that she saw nothing.


    Yes, he was flipping the bird. (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 03:29:26 AM EST
    It was intentional, and obvious.

    Simple answers to simple questions (5.00 / 1) (#245)
    by lambert on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 09:12:53 AM EST

    Because periodically, when Obama's feeling down, or has been beaten like a gong in a debate, he feels the need to insult and denigrate his opponents.

    I'm sure looking forward to four years of misogyny. Aren't you?


    I think you mistake me (none / 0) (#171)
    by CST on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:41:46 AM EST
    Or maybe just replied to the wrong post

    I do not think he did it, in fact, I think there were two fingers up.


    Sorry. My mistake. (none / 0) (#173)
    by Joelarama on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:44:26 AM EST
    But, I also have the same question for others in the thread.  I'd like to discuss this with them.  

    I see this as similar to attacks on Hillary that have lowered the above-named bloggers (among others) that have really turned me off.


    Did you see what he did after that? (none / 0) (#174)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:45:07 AM EST
    I am not sure you've seen the whole video.

    I watched the linked video in its entirety. (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by Joelarama on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:48:25 AM EST
    I do not see anything, even anything to require the benefit of the doubt.

    The suggestion that he would make such a gesture, on camera, at a debate, is just not rational.  What could he gain?

    Unless he is just another Dick Cheney.  And I do not  see that.


    After the finger (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:55:25 AM EST
    You mean you watched the 12 second clip?  That's not it.  Try this video for much better context:


    Starting at 2:20 it gets really "funny"

    Presidential to you?


    Hilarious (1.00 / 3) (#202)
    by Onetimeonly on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 03:54:44 AM EST
    He was saying when nonsense like what occured last night, you have to brush it off your shoulder(at 2:20). Damn him for using that hipster hip hop music reference, what an N!!! Your pathetic now please ban me for pointing out your racism. wink.
             You guys are as full of hate as any republican, its sad that you claim to be democrats (Maybe Andrew Jackson democrats). There is nothing Obama has done that should warrant the way in which you refer to him. You repeatedly call him "Barry" why dont you just call him "boy" like that crazy rethug did.
            The saddest thing is I dont hate Hillary the way that you hate Obama. He is a liberal, Hillary is not, read her wiki, she is a former republican who switched over their "civil rights" stance.But I will still vote for her, anything is better than McCain. But she is running on how he is "unelectable", how so I would ask? Because he's black, wow I could say the same thing about Hillary because she's a woman. But I wont because thats silly.
          Anyways this site is just as bad as Dailykos, its the we love Hillary site. Cant we just be Democrats and agree to vote for whoever wins the nomination? Or will you vote for McCain as a protest vote? I know where I stand but where do you?

    you are projecting and being belligerent. (none / 0) (#210)
    by kangeroo on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:52:32 AM EST
    obama has stooped to new lows in the democratic party in this campaign--and i've worked for enough politicians and political consultants to know.  obama is no democrat.  please tell him to get out of our party.

    I watched the longer clip. (none / 0) (#185)
    by Joelarama on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:03:15 AM EST
    I do not see any evidence he was flipping Hillary the finger, or anything of that nature.

    I do see many of the reasons I don't support him:  responding to the debate as though preaching to the choir, rather than in a way that will sway those who are not convinced, his vacuous statements not backed up by specific proposals, his dismissal of the struggles of the 90s.

    I don't see him fighting for the things I believe in.  But I don't see the gesture(s) people are suggesting.

    I do not think he should be president, but I do not think he is that kind of man.


    Get off the finger, LOL! (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:08:31 AM EST
    Man oh man, what you will do to avoid answering the question of what you thought of his behavior after that part.  Ever see the "Dirt off your shoulder" video from Jay-z?

    The video is a big part of the true context of his subsequent gestures.

    Look, the bottom line is that this whole spectacle is just one more instance of a disgusting pattern of dissmive, arrogant, and direspectful conduct oozing from Obama.

    Even if he did not literally flip the finger, he has been giving us (Clinton supporters) the finger for quite some time now.


    Look, I agree that the Obama compaign (none / 0) (#191)
    by Joelarama on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:12:39 AM EST
    and his supporters especially have stooped low.

    There is plenty to criticize Obama with.  But a big reason Kos and people like him deserve no time or respect is that they have engaged in this type of attack, an example being his smear about Hillary allegedly darkening Obama's face.

    There's no reason for this among Democrats.


    What attack? (none / 0) (#192)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:13:57 AM EST
    It's people's opinions and reaction to a video.

    High horse parade came through town tonight at TL.


    Goodnight. I see no reason to discuss this (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by Joelarama on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:14:44 AM EST

    Correction: "at a speech." nt (none / 0) (#178)
    by Joelarama on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:49:39 AM EST
    Yes. I would like to see the side versions. (none / 0) (#250)
    by derridog on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 09:34:12 AM EST
    I went to the other sites and you can't view them if you have a MAC.

    No class (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by white n az on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:23:47 PM EST
    scratch off some more votes here (with the middle finger of course)

    This obviously was a big hit for the Obama fans.

    Eh (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by nell on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:24:38 PM EST
    not sure...

    because of snub-gate, likeable enough, and his other less than gracious behaviors towards Clinton, not to mention the motions he makes of a knife twisting earlier in this rally in reference to Clinton hitting him at the debate yesterday (http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=4025010n), I would believe it.

    My Obama fan partner says not, it's just an itch that he has seen him do before....but I am not sure what it means that he has done it before...could just be that he did it more than once...

    Wow... (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by reynwrap582 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 03:45:04 AM EST
    All I see throughout that whole video is someone with a VERY thin skin.  It's unbecoming of him to stand there dwelling on how his OPPONENT in the race for PRESIDENT is not coddling him.  It makes him look small.  If he acts the same way when running against McCain, the electoral map is going to be a deep deep red.

    It makes sense why he's trying to barrel through his political career, though. Maybe if he spent too much time in politics, he'd self-destruct and become 'mentally deranged.'

    It's possible though that he may not treat McCain the same way.  Judging by some of Obama's comments (and the fact that he has to personally approve of his wife's employer?), I have to wonder if it's latent sexism that charges his treatment of Clinton.  He acts incredulous that she even has the gall to run against him.


    LOL, ask him if he always scratches when.... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:30:07 PM EST
    ...he's talking about Hillary.

    Noooo (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by nell on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:26:29 PM EST
    Obama will not get my vote in November, but don't fool yourself about McCain either...remember the "How do we beat the b***h?" question that he laughed at, or his comments about Chelsea's looks and Janet Reno...

    Not exactly a stand-up guy. Certainly vote for McCain if you want, but NOT because something like this would be beneath him.

    McCain didn't pretend he didn't say that (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by MarkL on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:27:55 PM EST
    ---there is the difference. :)

    So which is worse... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Thanin on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:48:25 PM EST
    a democrat that may or may not have flipped off an opponent in the primary, or a republican that wants us to not only stay in Iraq but also go to war with Iran?  Another 4000 American soldiers dead is a high price for pride.

    Except right now (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:52:36 PM EST
    I wouldn't bet a plugged nickel that Obama could or would do anything about any of this. Right now I think he is just like an overgrown high school kid in temperament, and presidency is SERIOUS business. Even if I disagree with Sen McCain on a lot of things I don't have the same bad feeling I have right now about Sen Obama.

    The republicans... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Thanin on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:55:51 PM EST
    already acknowledge they want to go to war with Iran and youre worried about high school antics?

    absolutely (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:04:15 AM EST
    Did you read my comment? This is a little too much insight into this guys emotional make up. Do you understand? You want someone who thinks its ok to pull "high school antics" during a presidential race, against a senator of his own part, deciding how to deal with Iran?

    Give me a break.


    No I wont... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Thanin on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:06:36 AM EST
    give democrats a 'break' when theyre willing to sit around so we can have another bush for the next 8 years.  Do you like having alito and roberts on the bench?

    Stop using scare tactics (5.00 / 1) (#228)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 07:11:13 AM EST
    Talking about Iraq, Supreme Court (btw you forgot to mention Roe V Wade) to justify that anyone is better than a republican really seems to go against Sen Obamas "democrats aren't the only ones with good ideas" campaign anyway. So maybe let's let the republicans show us more of their good ideas that Sen Obama seems to think they have.

    I do like Roberts (none / 0) (#115)
    by TheRefugee on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:35:45 AM EST
    I have no opinion on Alito.  But neither has done anything out of line as of yet.  I'm sure Jeralyn, or other lawyers might disagree, but I don't listen to talking pts as much as I listen to the people.  Roberts was adamant that he wasn't out to re-visit or overturn laws of precedent.  Roberts, despite his personal beliefs concerning religion et al, is also intelligent and by all accounts a firm believer in precedence and the Constitution.  If it came down to a deciding vote on Roe I would fully expect Roberts to break with his conservative compatriots and uphold the law.  I have no proof, just a feeling.

    I'm a pessimist in real life.  On politics, I think I'm more of a pragmatist.  You think that McCain = the death of democracy as we know it.  I think that 220 odd years of America is stronger than one person or even two if you count Bush.  McCain comes from a line of American patriots, not despots.


    You have a lot on faith... (none / 0) (#124)
    by Thanin on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:41:48 AM EST
    for a pessimist.  And whats even more interesting, its faith in republicans.  So just out of curiosity, would you say free speech zones were a step forward in democracy or a step back?

    no you are seeing what you want to see (none / 0) (#142)
    by TheRefugee on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:57:02 AM EST
    Obama wants change no?  As he attacks Hillary, daily, as do his supporters with any and every smear (just as the great 'bird' debate here) is he opting for change?  Or is he (specifically his chorus) engaging in Rovian campaign tactics?

    The change I want is policy over charisma.  The change I want is commoner over the upper class.  The change I want is peace through good works not threats.  The change I want is the Constitution over signing statements.

    That I do not think every Republican is the anti-Christ says nothing about my feelings for progressivism, it simply says that I'm not as quick to brand every single person who disagrees with me as lunatic.  

    A change that is necessary and Obama talks about is the need to work together.  But like you, Obama has trouble supporting fellow democrats if he sees the opening to lump them in with a prefabricated enemy.  Since he has dismissed Hillary so easily how can I expect him to bridge the gap with Republicans in Congress?  If it is so easy for common voters to lump McCain as being McSame how do voters bridge the gap?  If Roberts personal beliefs make him unfit for the bench why did so many Democrats in the Senate see Roberts the same way as I do?

    Want a scary conservative name?  Larry Silberman is not someone I would want sitting on the Supreme Court...luckily not even Bill Frist would have thought Silberman would have been able to get past the confirmation hearings.


    I 100% agree... (none / 0) (#154)
    by Thanin on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:14:54 AM EST
    I'd love to have the idyllic politician and political standards you speak of, and when that miracle candidate comes about, awesome.  But we don't have that this cycle.  What we do have are two democrats who I believe will get us out of Iraq and won't engage Iran, will work towards better social programs and would put more liberal judges on the Supreme Court.  

    On the other side we have someone who's bent over for the republican base (neo-cons), while fooling independents into thinking hes some sort of 'maverick'; someone who openly applauds our war with Iraq and sings about bombing children in Iran.  So yes, I do have something against the other side, but if you want to try and 'bridge the gap' with ideologies that have people like ann coulter and pat bucannon as mouth pieces, then keep being a republican apologist if you wish.  Maybe we can still count your vote as a hanging chad or something.


    yes, I'm worried that someone with less (5.00 / 1) (#249)
    by MarkL on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 09:29:39 AM EST
    maturity than an average teenager shouldnt' be President. Aren't you?

    If you like Bush and Cheney (5.00 / 0) (#233)
    by joanneleon on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 07:37:36 AM EST
    you'll love McCain.

    McCain is a better option for you than Obama?  You've got to be kidding me.  Obama isn't my first choice by far, and I'm really nervous about about how he would fare in the general election, but the idea of McCain as president, and 4-8 more years of Republican rule is not just unnerving, it's terrifying.

    I suggest that you think long and hard about this.  In fact, I beg you to do so.


    McCain is not an idiot (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by TheRefugee on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:58:56 PM EST
    McCain is not insane.  Does he say stuff I don't like?  Sure, so does Obama concerning Iraq, abortion rights, gun control, religion, Israel, Palestinians, his pastor, his grandmother, the people of middle class America, gay rights, health care, racism....but I also know that half the crap I don't like is said to appease a certain demographic.  I don't think Obama would be a nightmare president...I do think he would struggle badly enough that he would be a one-termer.  I don't think McCain would be a nightmare president...I do think that he would end up being just like Bush in terms of lame duckishness (as Obama would) and be a one-termer.  I do not think McCain is going to invade Iran, nor do I think Hillary would without just cause (as per comments made last night).

    We're picking Bush's replacement (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:33:19 AM EST
    And we want to make sure we pick the right person.

    Is your point we should hurry up and nominate Obama because McCain is bad?

    We should hurry up and nominate Hillary.


    I'd love to have HRC... (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Thanin on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:38:03 AM EST
    because I'm Pro-Democrat.  And that is my point.  As bad as you think either of our democratic candidates is, theyre no where near as bad as another 8 years of bush.  So, much like Jeralyn and BTD, I'm voting for whichever gets the democratic nod.

    Oh, Very Nice.. (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by AlladinsLamp on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:28:17 PM EST
    What a classy guy.

    I'm glad I live in a red state.

    Just sayin'.

    No one can prove anything either way (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:28:56 PM EST
    But everyone gets an opinion.

    And if Obama folks think Clinton was intentionally dissing Obama's patriotism, then I'm pretty sure this is an intentional gesture by Obama.

    sort of like... (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by white n az on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:29:29 PM EST
    the proverbial finger he's giving us all when he says he doesn't take money from lobbyists...

    Ooops says USA Today

    What I love about this (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by mg7505 on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:30:39 PM EST
    beyond him digging himself deeper into a hole (of course it'll be brushed aside by the MSM), is how he hates on Hillary for beating him in a debate. Of course it's the Obama Rules: it's GOOD to lose a debate, and it's EVIL to win. Bush won the election while losing the debates, so just think how far McCain will get by actually winning. BTD, I'm willing to follow your lead and vote for Obama if he wins, but how on Earth am I supposed to campaign for him until then?

    He says that Hillary was in her element.... (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:33:32 PM EST
    ...so where is he exactly when he's doing this or making the Annie Oakley remarks. He seems quite comfortable in that element himself. I think its really stunning how his rallies has changed from "yes we can" to "oh no she didn't."

    GMTA (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by white n az on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:35:18 PM EST
    I was thinking...which is worse?

    Ridiculing her with the Annie Oakley comments or just flipping her off...

    I think we need a best of mash-up that really captures the 'politics of hope' at its core.


    I hope (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Iphie on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:53:29 AM EST
    that someone with superior editing skills than my own is working on it at this very moment.

    I consider myself to be a fairly rational person, but I am so very, very angry about this -- it was so dismissive and belittling, and bullying. Maybe that's the aspect of it that reminds me so strongly of the last "unifier" with a thin resume who managed to weasel his way into the White House -- the bullying.



    Ad for The Nation (none / 0) (#121)
    by nellre on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:39:10 AM EST
    I heard an ad for The Nation on Air America this afternoon calling the Annie Oakley thing a Clinton act... when it was an Obama smear.
    However I really would have loved it if she had shown up for the debates in buckskins.

    Intentional I think (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by felizarte on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:31:10 PM EST
    and the audience seem to understand considering the roar of approval which could not be ascribed to anything that he said in that time frame.  How juvenile!

    Flipping off a lady (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by myiq2xu on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:32:28 PM EST
    Now we see where the fanboiz get it from.

    The audience knew... (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:33:32 PM EST
    why the approval just at that point?  

    Sorry but I will enjoy watching him lose.  

    Guys guys guys! (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by blogtopus on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:35:06 PM EST
    I know it feels good to think about how this shows Obama is a juvenile twit, but I use my middle finger to wipe sleep out of my eyes in the morning, scratch my nose, rub my eye, whatever; it's just a habit I picked up from my folks. The middle finger is a useful finger aside from it's usual purpose.

    Confession: I use my middle finger often, especially for the d, k, i, e, m and c keys on my keyboard.

    This is so not something to spend energy thinking about. Do some laps.

    ignoring of course... (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by white n az on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:37:19 PM EST
    that he was talking about Hillary at that moment...

    that he used his little finger a minute earlier...

    that the audience completely didn't see it as anything but deliberate...

    I would guess what you said makes sense.


    He spent a lot of time talking about Hillary (none / 0) (#32)
    by CST on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:41:26 PM EST
    Which I don't think is a good thing.  But the fact is the timing could have been at many points.  Also,  do you never switch fingers to scratch?  Really?  The audience may have seen it that way, but the audience is not inside his head.  Im not saying that I know it was innocent, but that also doesnt prove he's guilty.

    I believe innocent until proven guilty, this isn't proof.


    But there was never any proof (none / 0) (#100)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:27:48 AM EST
    That Bill Clinton was saying something about race.

    Or that Bill was questioning Obama's patriotism.

    And I just have a different view than most people about high roads and two wrongs making a right, and all that.

    Manufacturing outrage is a tactic.

    To me the entire scene is not my thing, the nodding of heads in the background have an edge to them, there's a glassy eyed unthinking quality about his support, the guy is well versed in body language, nothing about him is spontaneous.

    So everyone gets to have their opinion here.


    that's why he did it (none / 0) (#215)
    by kimsaw on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 05:05:07 AM EST
    no one can prove that it was intentional and even  if it was. He knows he can turn it around on the media so that the action will work for him. He can whine again how its the old politics and old media and he can shout from the roof tops for "change". Its the bait and switch thing. He throws out the finger, the audience loves it, especially  college crowd, even that lady in red and another clip shows another bald guy chuckling after the fact. He's work this just right...covertly overt, someone described it... same old same old, my kids figured it out when that caught grandma responding to grandpa's sarcasm about 10 years ago when they were barely teenagers. They called it the "grandma" and still do

    I use all fingers at one time or another.... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:39:53 PM EST
    ...but when I scratch myself with my middle finger I don't usually make a fist with the rest of my fingers, if you know what I mean. But that's just me.

    I know you may not believe this (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by pattonbt on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:58:41 PM EST
    But my dad actually did this.  It always embarassed us (because he loved to go after his nose like this as well with gusto) and we would let him have it every time.

    Of course it was subconscious for him and there was no intent, but it looked awful.

    So we'd remind him and maybe the next time he'd not do it but after that, back to the big f' you.

    Im actually laughing just thinking about it.

    Its like with me, when I drink out of a coffee or tea mug my damned pinkie juts out like an cartoon effete british snob.  I hate it but I do it without thinking.

    As for this, who knows, but methinks its nothing.


    and a proctologist uses theres for (none / 0) (#36)
    by TheRefugee on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:45:39 PM EST
    more..um..mundane reasons...I see your pt and agree...my problem is the crowd reaction..they reacted in approval upon seeing the middle finger go to the side of his face whether the gesture itself was unintentional or not.  Obama thought he was getting cheered for the dramatic pause after mentioning the name Hillary to his adoring, screened and manicured audience.

    Then there's his knowing smile a minute later. (5.00 / 1) (#251)
    by derridog on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 09:44:14 AM EST
    can't see how anyone could look at this and not see what he's doing.  The brush off gesture was totally deliberate. I think the pinky thing was too. It was just a cover for the next gesture, with the middle finger, so no one could call him on it. Who uses their pinky finger when they  have an itch?  Who uses their middle finger for that matter?

    I am to the point where I might vote for McCain and I'm a life long active Dem. I can't tolerate the idea of this man in the White House. He's just like Bush, a thin-skinned  narcissist, filled with anger , projecting his failures onto others and unable to tolerate any kind of criticism.


    um, their's not theres n/t (none / 0) (#37)
    by TheRefugee on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:46:05 PM EST
    Here we go again (5.00 / 7) (#25)
    by magisterludi on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:38:42 PM EST
    It's not just the flip versus snob gesture- it's the whole clip. The only time BO actually says something understandable is when he's bashing Clinton. The man is downright catty.

    His supporters in that crowd should be ashamed, too. Although it would appear he was in his own nasty element there.

    What happened to hope and change??? (5.00 / 0) (#77)
    by abfabdem on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:10:04 AM EST
    It only applies (5.00 / 0) (#81)
    by LoisInCo on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:12:33 AM EST
    AFTER the election.

    They changed! (none / 0) (#148)
    by mexboy on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:04:41 AM EST
    Intentional (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:40:32 PM EST
    Guy could beat her in the debate so he is putting her down in every way he can including flipping her off.

    Should Read (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:46:22 PM EST
    Guy couldn't beat her in the debateso he is putting her down in every way he can including flipping her off.

    The finger wasn't the only gesture he made during that speech either so I would definitely say it was intentional.


    Was at MY (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by waldenpond on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:40:35 PM EST
    MY thinks it's cool.  Here's a revealing response...

    [He mixed a Jay-Z dirt-off-the-shoulder reference with a Rolling Stones scrape-the-sh!t-right-off-your-shoes Sweet Virginia reference immediately afterward. Talk about a two-toned dog whistle!]

    Uh Yep, that's charisma all right.  Makes me disappointed I'm not voting for him.

    Can you explain the Jay-Z reference? (none / 0) (#45)
    by jawbone on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:53:04 PM EST
    Might as well include the Rolling Stones reference while you're at it. (I know the Stones, but no this scrape-the-sh*t thing. Jay-Z--have no idea!)

    Was the shoulder thing flicking off dandruff? Bird poo? The lower thing I couldn't see--was that with the shoe or lower pants leg?


    Jay-Z (none / 0) (#48)
    by CST on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:54:18 PM EST
    Get that dirt off your shoulder

    That was unclear (none / 0) (#52)
    by CST on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:56:32 PM EST
    It was a song by Jay-Z the chorus of which was "Get that dirt off your shoulder" and he makes the same move.

    Found a take and some video from (none / 0) (#72)
    by jawbone on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:08:23 AM EST
    Iglesias has some stuff up about this being a dogwhistle -- to the young, I guess.

    i don't think he was doing it intentionally (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by TheRefugee on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:41:46 PM EST
    but, the crowd reaction was loud and instantaneous so I do not think they missed it nor brushed it off as a scratch...they took it for a "look mommy there is a birdy up in the sky"...and gave it their hearty approval.  That is the troubling part.

    I am speechless (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:44:48 PM EST
    Seriously everyone, I don't even know what to say. I obviously prefer Sen Clinton, and have thought Sen Obama was a little inexperienced and lacking in real life understanding. But this. WTF.

    How can we back and try to elect someone who is engaging in juvenile behavior, regardless of who its aimed at. How have we come so far backing someone like this as a viable nominee without anyone noticing? What happens if he is the President and things aren't going well.

    What does it say about his judgement if he does in the PUBLIC?

    I need to drink lots and go to sleep.

    I am a super die-hard HRC supporter (5.00 / 5) (#39)
    by txpolitico67 on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:46:46 PM EST
    and with this video we are looking under rocks.  This type of "gotchaness" means that now HRC supporters are entering Obamabot territory.

    Surely there are better topics to discuss.  This is turn-off, for sure.

    I was thinking the same (5.00 / 4) (#58)
    by Josmt on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:59:35 PM EST
    I think this is how the obamabots behave and I don't think we should low ourselves to their level.

    It's a more difficult decision than that (none / 0) (#61)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:03:34 AM EST
    History is filled with people who took the high road and lost.

    high horses are fun (none / 0) (#186)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:03:39 AM EST
    they allow people to absolve themselves from many hard questions about the true nature of the world and our fellow man.

    You call them "Obamabots" (none / 0) (#190)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:11:39 AM EST
    but yet feel qualified to give etiquette lectures to the rest of TalkLeft.



    Well that's not subtle (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by facta non verba on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:57:45 PM EST
    Very sad. I have no words.

    The Dick Cheney School of Communication (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Chimster on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:03:39 AM EST
    Where have I seen this type thing before? Oh yeah, Dick Cheney (G.F.Y.) It's intentional. Why? If you watch the rest of the tape, he rags on Hillary with even more sight gags. Dusting her off his shoulder, and then strangely dusting her off his leg. See the whole clip to understand why this doesn't look like a coincidence.

    CBS video is very clear, and has the best angle (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by ghost2 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:09:37 AM EST
    CBS Video

    Look at about 0:32 second mark.  It's unmistakable.  

    Watch the two women at the back row on the left of the screen, look at the woman in red mouthing "oh" and gasping and laughing, and then explain it to her neighbor.  

    On the 3:10 mark on the video on Corrente where he says:

    That is also precisely why I am running for president to change that kinds of politics.

    Yeah, right.  

    I agree -- clearly intentional ... (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by cymro on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:37:32 AM EST
    ... when viewed in context, and the audience clearly gets it.

    But I hope Hillary does not respond in any way, because she needs to stay above this, not be negative, and speak only about the issues. Maybe the hard core Obama fans who turn out for these rallies enjoy this stuff, but I believe that the undecided voters still want to hear real substance. If she's asked about this, she should dismiss it in 10 seconds or less as a waste of everyone's time, and then go right back to focusing on policy issues.


    the debate itself raised many issues (none / 0) (#140)
    by ghost2 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:56:23 AM EST
    So she doesn't need to go there. Media may raise this by itself.  

    Ditto Ghost2 and (none / 0) (#252)
    by hellskitchen on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 09:48:23 AM EST
    her performance on Colbert last night was as effective an answer as any, without any nastiness.

    To Mark L> (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:11:53 AM EST
    Your multiple comments supporting John McCain have been deleted.

    Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by ghost2 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:46:10 AM EST
    I link to CBS video above, and from the angle and the crowd reaction right on the spot, it's fairly clear that this was not accidental, especially that he followed it by a bunch of other gestures.  I think that was the theme.  

    Yes, tick off Hillary, but leave room for deniablity.  Pretty audacious!


    Please watch CBS video (none / 0) (#165)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:35:20 AM EST
    it's intentional (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by wrkn129 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:15:07 AM EST
    here are two different videos of it. one has a black audience behind him. the other has a white audience behind him. he does the same thing at the exact same time during the speech.

    why do i care? because it shows his character. someone who has so little respect for his opponent probably has just as little respect for me.

    just my take on it.

    OMG! Same gesture, same wording-- (5.00 / 0) (#95)
    by jawbone on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:22:05 AM EST
    Clearly different crowds.

    Check out the whoooooo from the black crowd.

    Busted, Barry!


    It's the same event ... (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by Inky on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:34:46 AM EST
    shot at different angles. It thought the videos were from two different events as well until I looked at them again. You'll notice that the same white guy in a blue shirt is sitting by the "W" in "Yes We Can" in both videos.

    With that said, I'm pretty sure that the gesture was deliberate, simply based on the audience's reaction to the gesture and his other demeaning gestures and digs at Hillary in the same speech.

    Whatever. This whole election is too depressing for words.


    yep, i stand corrected (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by wrkn129 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:59:07 AM EST
    after watching it over several times and listening to the crowd reaction, it does appear to be the same event. sorry 'bout that. i can admit i "mis-posted" :)

    One Speech One Audience (none / 0) (#96)
    by CoralGables on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:22:51 AM EST
    It's the same audience (not one white and one black) and it's only one speech. Why do people spend their time looking for things that aren't there

    Probably true... (none / 0) (#102)
    by white n az on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:29:25 AM EST
    as discussed before, they do practice elaborate staging for media purposes...I would presume that all candidates do that.

    Same gesture (none / 0) (#138)
    by nellre on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:55:59 AM EST
    We actually might be better off with McCain!
    No, not rocks, I hate rocks...humph grumph humph

    But please? A person who would do this is not a good person!


    Oh damn (none / 0) (#146)
    by nellre on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:59:56 AM EST
    Same speech. I got got.

    ok, twice in one day isn't a (none / 0) (#172)
    by TheRefugee on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:43:40 AM EST
    mistake or meaningless gesture.  I stand corrected.  And that one with the blue blue background is more blatant, that isn't a swipe at his ear that is closer to his mouth, at the same time in the speech...some orchestration....stop picking on the little inconsequential non-policy things....but does he talk policy the next day?  Nope, he talks about how he is gettin dissed again and casually flips the bird as he mentions his opponent, not once but twice.B

    Barry, change we can believe in.   Change like GWB, flipping the bird.  Wonder when he is going to have his Cheney moment and tell Hillary to FO.  Wonder when he is going to have his other Bush moment and say, "that Hillary is a bitsh" when he thinks the camera is off?


    if those two videos are of the same (none / 0) (#177)
    by TheRefugee on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:49:06 AM EST
    speech I'm trying too hard to be convinced and need to go to bed.  I was positive that the backgrounds were different but his speech and timing are exactly the same so I'm backing off the two speech claim immediately.

    Much Ado About Nothing (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by CoralGables on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:17:37 AM EST
    Anyone that reads anything other than an itch into this has their own issues they should work on. This is something that shouldn't have been mentioned by anyone and sad that it appears all over the internet.

    It shows how far we have tumbled as we continue to eat our own.

    I'd read all the posts on this issue, but am fairly certain I'd lose a great deal of respect for some whose posts I have greatly enjoyed in the past.

    His own crowd seems to think he did it (none / 0) (#167)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:36:10 AM EST
    We've had an immature president for almost 8 years (5.00 / 3) (#101)
    by Prabhata on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:29:13 AM EST
    Do we want another one? No Thanks.  

    Clearly intentional (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by nellre on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:30:44 AM EST
    I am surprised anybody would think otherwise.
    This is a very smart guy. He's not going to do that by accident. He is extremely self aware, in control  of himself, his mannerisms, his posture. His fans caught it right away!

    In Europe folks use the middle finger for pointing etc.
    In America, almost all of us are very careful about that.

    He makes slick Willy (like Bill BTW) look positively sticky!

    This isn't slick, it's slimy!

    Similar to a Past Incident (5.00 / 4) (#108)
    by daryl herbert on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:32:14 AM EST
    Do you all remember Sen. Obama's mischievous remarks about Sen. Clinton suffering from PMS:
    I understand that Senator Clinton, periodically when she's feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal
    His delivery seems a bit similar (the pausing and the smirking), but maybe he just always talks like that.

    They're both at the same level of maturity, and based on the same hide-in-plain-sight mentality that one would expect from a 13-year-old girl putting down one of the less cool kids.

    So yeah, I think he did it on purpose.

    No excuse for BO (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Prabhata on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:33:00 AM EST
    Scratch yourself with the middle finger, and see if that's what most of us do.  No, we don't.  We use all fingers and if we do use one, it's probably the index, not the middle finger.

    I think... (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by white n az on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:54:34 AM EST
    that you need to say this 2 or 3 more times so we get your point.

    Obama ain't gonna help you get health insurance either.


    Amazing coincidence (5.00 / 5) (#112)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:34:37 AM EST
    that just as he's talking about Hillary, he scratches himself with his MIDDLE FINGER.

    Yeah, just a total coincidence.


    He definitely lost more Clinton voters with this. (5.00 / 0) (#126)
    by Iphie on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:44:43 AM EST
    I know at least two of them -- they could not believe that video. They went from being Hillary supporters, but not unhappy with the prospect of Obama, to not only supporting Hillary, but developing quite a bit of antipathy for Obama, to tonight when one of them said something about Obama that would get me banned were I to repeat it here.

    It is clear that Obama has no idea of the enormous ill-will that is brewing out there amongst real, life-long Democrats who have been donating and voting Democratically long before this election cycle began. The alienation of Democrats from their own party is not going to be easy to repair and it seems that Obama is either oblivious to this, or is so blinded by his own hype that he doesn't see it, or worst of all, he just doesn't care. At this point, I'm having a very difficult time giving him the benefit of the doubt on just about anything.

    there is a theory (5.00 / 0) (#133)
    by white n az on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:51:33 AM EST
    that the dismantling of the Democratic party is not accidental but is the intent if that is what is necessary to get rid of all things Clinton.

    For the life of me, I can't figure out how this leads to a victory in November and that the destruction of Clinton is likely to be suicidal.

    But the topic is Obama literally flipping off Hillary, rather than figuratively flipping her off, which is what he has been doing all along.


    It's not just the flipping off (5.00 / 1) (#257)
    by waldenpond on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 10:16:14 AM EST
    It is the wiping the dirt off his shoulders and the sh!t off his shoes.  You can go to MY and get the references.

    Only in a certain land is it appropriate to call a Democratic candidate dirt and sh!t.

    This is just getting more disgusting everyday.


    Whether intentional or not, (none / 0) (#254)
    by hellskitchen on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 10:04:55 AM EST
    clearly the party is headed for destruction.  There is no kiss and make up after what has gone on this year.

    The question is what happens in the future.  I think we are at an historic time where a third party could get traction.  The problem with most third party attempts is that the focus of the party is limited - taxes or environment or abortion, etc.  And the supporters of such a party are limited.

    With the destruction of the Democratic Party as we know it and prior to a third party, what will we have?  The Republicans - the party for the rich.  The Democrats, assuming Dean, Reid, and Pelosi are the inheritors, the party for the wannabe rich?

    That leaves the rest of us - hardworking Americans of a diversity of backgrounds, races, interests - a truly rich ground for the establishment of a new party.

    Aside - in the past week or so, there have been blog posts about the possibility of Gore and Carter endorsing Obama.  If the suggestion that the destruction of the party is deliberate is true, where does Gore stand in this?  


    Uhhh (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by kayla on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:49:56 AM EST
    Who cares?  The whole video shows how much of a jerk he is, not just the finger part (which I read as intentional, but who knows for sure?) and this isn't the first bit of proof we've seen.  

    The only thing that irritates me about this video is that this is the 21st debate and his 1st round of tough questions and he's actually whining about it.  Whining.  About it.  Crazy.

    This is just a way to distract from the fact that he lost, even in the more substantive half.  He spends most of his time complaining about how much he wants to talk about the issues, and then when he gets the chance he's not successful.  I don't know what to think of him anymore.  I'm still waiting for evidence of his "brilliance".

    Well, compared to W. he at least looks (none / 0) (#248)
    by MarkL on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 09:27:18 AM EST
    above average.
    Although, like Bush, incoherent, stumbling statements from him are taken as oracular by his supporters.

    Well now (5.00 / 4) (#145)
    by facta non verba on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:59:53 AM EST
    it doesn't matter because it is all over the place, ABC News, Th Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun. The ABC News video has the best shot. He scratches twice. First with the pinky and then just as he mentions Senator Clinton he turns slightly and there comes the gesture. The women in the back row definitely caught it.

    My first reaction was incredulous. My second was anger. Now I just want to cry. I pity him. I really do. I have long thought him duplicitous. I can now add pitiful.

    Lord how did we ever arrive at this juncture?

    KO is gonna blow a gasket (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Chimster on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:09:28 AM EST
    Keith Olbermann is going to have to address this on his "Does Clinton Have No Shame" special commentray tomorrow. This story should send him off the deep end and force him to bust a blood vessel.

    Oh Crap (5.00 / 0) (#153)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:14:46 AM EST
    This is now Clinton's fault.

    If you slow the tape down... (none / 0) (#160)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:28:00 AM EST
    you can actually see Hillary off to the side throwing a spit ball that ends up hitting his face, prompting him to scratch it.

    She will do anything.


    Thus it will (none / 0) (#226)
    by kenoshaMarge on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 06:58:52 AM EST
    then be time for another of KO's "Special Tantrums" about how despicable Senator Clinton is. Or sumpin like that.

    If you play it backwards (none / 0) (#230)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 07:14:39 AM EST
    He says that Paul is dead...Oh and he salutes Sen Clinton.

    I thought appropriate (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by facta non verba on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:07:38 AM EST
    to talk about the history of the middle finger. It is a English gesture dating back to the Hundred Years War between England and France, which was really a series of wars from about 1350 through 1470. The English invented a devastating weapon, the longbow, that could pierce and kill French knights at a distance. To shoot a long bow requires pulling back with the middle finger. The French thus would sever the middle finger of English captives. At the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the English taunted the French by raising their middle finger with derision.

    Yes! (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by kayla on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:13:22 AM EST
    "He wants his supporters to hate her"

    I've been thinking this for quite a while now, but I just can't understand why he would want this.  He mocks her every chance he gets whenever he stumbles and she exploits his weakness.  Does he really expect her not to do that?  Why does he have to be such a juvenile sore loser?  

    It's starting to seem like that's the main goal of his campaign.  Ridicule Hillary Clinton into submission.

    He hates Hillary's guts - thats why! (5.00 / 1) (#256)
    by OxyCon on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 10:13:33 AM EST
    Barack and Michelle Obama went to a "Church" where they openly despise Bill and Hillary Clinton.
    There is so much evidence of Barack and Michelle openly hating on the Clintons. He played that rap song about "b*tches" after the Iowa caucuses; Michelle said "if you can't run your own house, you shouldn't be in the White House; the SOTU snub; the countless photos of Obama giving Hillary dirty looks; the way he actively wants his fan base to despise the Clintons with all of his derisive comments towards them.
    And he definitely DID use a "street" version of the middle finger on Hillary. Throughout his "speech" yesterday, he used hand gestures at what he thought were the proper moments. First there was the knife turning, then the middle finger, then brushing his shoulders (another "street" gesture), then there was the brushing his shoes. He knew what he was doing and so did the crowd.
    He's a low class thug.

    He started slowy and cautiously but (none / 0) (#253)
    by hellskitchen on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 09:54:13 AM EST
    it's certainly at a fever pitch now.

    I remember when he said "You're likable enough, Hillary."  It was just subtle enough that people wondered whether he was just inept and clueless - or was it deliberate.  Many people, myself included, were just not sure.  And we gave him the benefit of the doubt.

    It seems to me that ever since their "get out of the race" campaign against her has failed, the gauntlet is down and it's all out war.


    The whole sequence of events (5.00 / 2) (#157)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:22:34 AM EST
    I've never seen a presidential candidate look so classless, quite frankly.  The whole performance just seemed very unpresidential. It wasn't a single gesture or flip of the bird, but rather the entire cumulative effect that was jarring and unlikeable (enough)

    if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by mexboy on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:31:01 AM EST
    it's a DUCK.
     In this case the bird.

    It is obviously intentional.
    Do you believe these pols don't get coached on body language and speech etc?

    give me a break!

    I will believe my eyes and instinct.

    2 cameras, same event (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by cdo on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:47:32 AM EST
    For those of you wondering if the 2 videos are from different locations, I can say they are NOT. They are from the same event, even though the audience looks totally different in the two sources.

    1-look at the sign in the background, in one vid you can see the lettering from one end of the banner, in the other you see the other end of the banner, in neither do you see the center section. The audience members look totally different because they are different people at opposite ends of the seating area.

    2- the audio of the audience sounds different because the cbs video uses the podium mic as its source. the other video is getting sound from the camera's built in mic.

    3-his small gestures match up to his voice in both videos exactly the same.

    he says
    "and i have to say senator clinton.."
     (he does a little shoulder shrug)

    "looked in her element..."
    (circle motion with hands)

    "she's uh.."
    (finger scratch)

    these videos were shot at the same time. different angles and mics account for them looking and sounding different.

    I guess this makes it official (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by pattonbt on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:55:40 AM EST
    the hate has jumped the shark.  Seriously, this is where we are heading?  This is the new issue?  Come on people.

    I know some need to manufacture umbrage and outrage to keep their spirits up but this is down right silly.

    Feel free to run with it, though.  Im sure you wont look silly or anything.

    Oh, and if you look just closely enough at 3:18 in the clip for just a nano second I think he flashes the secret Harvard Elitist Illuminati male member sign and then right at the end just behind his back he gives the black panther fist sign (of course after slipping on his black gloove and free mumia t-shirt) to his homies.


    We were set on this trajectory (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:06:49 AM EST
    By folks who are better at this than us and who have decided that every gesture from Clinton must be questioned.

    We are truly novices at manufacturing outrage.  We're getting better.  We now understand that without manufacturing outrage, you are simply not using every tool and tactic at your disposal.

    Listen.  We want to measure up.

    Perhaps one day we can be as good at manufacturing outrage as these people:


    We can only aspire to such greatness.


    Look (none / 0) (#196)
    by pattonbt on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:31:20 AM EST
    Im not implying that it doesnt go both ways.  I dont bother with the candidate diaries over there anymore for this exact reason.

    Id love to find a place where I can have a balanced, yet sometimes snarky, discussion about the candidates and their campaigns tactics without it going over the edge.  As we know, 'over there' has lost it in that respect (but they still have a bunch of other great dem stuff so I dont throw the baby out with the bathwater) and Im searching for a plce to try again.  I know its a long shot here, but Im willing to see if its possible.

    But this stuff, I mean its lunacy and it makes dems look really really bad.  I get outraged to and I would imagine sometimes its unwarranted, but I see stuff like this (and the Obama picture darkening consipracy thing that went on at 'the other place') and I cringe for our collective health as a party.

    Have we really come to this?  And before you say it, no it is not the great satan Obama's fault.  It is our fault collectively, so yes I deserve some blame.  But Id like to repent and mend fences if possible.


    Hey, what would I know? (1.00 / 1) (#224)
    by lambert on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 06:43:27 AM EST
    I'm a racist.

    pattonbt, forget the finger. (none / 0) (#206)
    by kangeroo on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:42:28 AM EST
    look at the video and focus on the tone of obama's voice, his timing of words and gestures, and at the way the audience reacts.  i admire your desire to keep things rational and sensible, but obama has done too much this season to accept this latest maneuver in good faith.  at some point we are the morons for giving such infantile egomania the benefit of the doubt--especially when doing so only provokes more childishness on his part.  he needs help.

    I know for myself (none / 0) (#207)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:43:00 AM EST
    The damage is done.

    One person here or there isn't going to make a difference either way.


    Hmmm, how about the shoulder flicks? (5.00 / 1) (#222)
    by goldberry on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 06:24:30 AM EST
    Were they just an accident?  Because the crowd went {{wild}}.  Oh, yeah, and Matt Yglesias haa a post up called Dirt off your Shoulder where he seems to think it was intentional.  His fan base seems to agree.  
    I think the problem is that you have the wrong video clip.  Yours is much briefer and at a different angle than the one we've been watching.  
    Here, try this one and see if it makes a difference.  Oh, and watch it until the end because there are several gestures worth watching.
    It's not a little unintentional finger scratch or shoulder brush.  The audience clearly knows what's going on.

    His (none / 0) (#231)
    by kenoshaMarge on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 07:21:31 AM EST
    fan base, not only agrees and cheers him on they find it cool.

    But one thoughtful soul does warn that the "geezer" and "near-geezer" vote is important. Isn't that sweet?


    It's not just the "body language;" (5.00 / 3) (#229)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 07:13:18 AM EST
    it's the content of his remarks, which make it sound like Hillary was in charge of the questions, responsible for asking them, and her fault for responding.

    The man has no class.  None.  I think the middle-finger and the timing of his pauses were absolutely deliberate.  The man who grinned and smirked while demonstrating Hillary's twisting of the knife, the shoulder-brushing - it was all of a package.  Immature, mean-spirited, classless.  This isn't change, or hope or unity - at least not the kind I want.

    One thing - face-scratching/touching is a classic sign of deceit, so pay attention to the frequency with which he does this, and note what he is saying when it occurs.  Makes me think he may not be all that great a poker player, cause he sure isn't fooling me.

    Whether it was intentional or not (5.00 / 1) (#234)
    by joanneleon on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 07:43:19 AM EST
    it's something he'd better work on, now.

    Clearly his crowd reacted to the gesture and I'm pretty sure they thought he was flipping her off.

    If Obama is going to use demeaning and dismissive gestures like the "brush off" then he should be really careful about which finger he uses to scratch his itches.

    Come on, do you think we were born yesterday?  You think we've never seen or used the subtle middle finger gesture while adjusting eyeglasses, rubbing chins or scratching other facial itches?

    Again, if it was an accident, he should do something to remind himself to be more careful of his inadvertent gestures... and he should ask his crowd not to whoop and laugh when he does it while flinging insults at Hillary.

    I think (none / 0) (#235)
    by cmugirl on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 07:47:15 AM EST
    he knows what he was doing, and yes, I think it was intentional - every move these people make is scripted and focus-group tested.

    I think he thought he was being "cool", but as many have pointed out, this was "cool" when everyone was in 7th grade and we all thought we were being clever.


    Its all in the audience... (4.66 / 3) (#199)
    by Rainsong on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:49:34 AM EST
    is the killer. When I saw it at work with the sound muted (was in the cube farm at the time), no problem, I saw nothing but him scratching his face.

    When I saw just that 15 seconds or so again - as posted here at TL, with sound, like Jeralyn - I also saw nothing. Whats the Big Deal I thought?
    Have Clinton-supporters finally flipped too? Or just a storm in a tea-cup... shrug

    But -

    When I saw the whole 3-4 minutes on CBS, (before and long after the scratch) from a wider angle and clearer view of the audience immediately behind him and their reactions, coupled in time with what he was actually saying.

    Then.. then, I saw what's being referred to - its all in the audience reaction, the face scratch is just the first time we see it, and its more obvious actually just after that scratch, when he goes on for a little while about her digging in the knife and twisting it, with special pauses timed for e3ffect. Then comes Captain Smirk, and Captain Sneer, and the crowd going ap*sh*t with jeers at his somewhat crude gestures used to demonstrate Hillary digging the knife in.

    It may not have been intentional of course, but the audience perceived it that way, in context of the whole segment...

    On second or third viewing, you know what it reminded me of?

    Junior high, 8th-grade etc,
    gym class politics.

    Although I'm a girl, I'm fairly sure the boys in my co-ed education, must have their own version of junior-high gym class politics.

    hh how I hated gym class in those years, with the put-downs, one-up(wo)man-ship on personal insults, the ganging-up, the back-stabbing, the sneers, the jeers, the sarcasm.

    I like to think most of us grow out of it sometime before high-school graduation anyway - although recently I read an article in a British women's liberal feminist magazine, talking about corporate office career politics between women - calling it "stiletto politics". (Interestingly, as an aside, far more common amongst women who had been educated co-ed, than amongst those who had been educated single-sex)

    But anyway,

    I now think of Obama as a bigger b*tch than Hillary ever was! LOL - he sure is very good at it, in the context of this particular speech.
    He worked that crowd well...

    Obama... Obama...tsk...tsk..tsk... (4.50 / 2) (#195)
    by carrienae on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:31:06 AM EST
    All he talked about was the first part of the debate but when issues were asked he was rumbling and lost of words. Obama... please we are not fools. You can't take the heat.... can't even answer the questions on issues strongly and properly...can't even be specifics. Obama has the charm of a car salesman. He and his supporters are the equivalent of the neo-cons. They are the "NEO-LIBS," changing the real essence of the Democratic Party. We cannot have another Bush in the White House!
    My God, where does this country go to? Now he thinks all these questions are distractions??? Welcome to the real world of politics.

    Sweet Jesus! (4.50 / 2) (#203)
    by KnightErrant on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:02:38 AM EST
    I was an Edwards supporter leaning to Obama. I have been reading TalkLeft for few weeks to understand better the Clinton branch of my party. I am in shock.

    Trying to turn a scratch into a scandal? Have you no sense of shame? Don't you know how silly this looks? How can I take anything you write seriously if you get righteously indignant over a scratch? Can't you see that trying to turn a scratch into an attack is irrational?

    Take a step back and look at what you are doing. Please.

    post above yours (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by miguelito on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:48:22 AM EST
    it's all in the audience.  I was an Edwards supporter too and I am so disappointed that the old guard of this party have let us down by endorsing this person.  The party deserves what it gets if they nominate him.

    i agree. the audience tells the story. (5.00 / 1) (#213)
    by kangeroo on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 05:02:49 AM EST
    at some point one starts to realize that being willfully obtuse to such infantile behavior is only encouraging more of the same.  the list of arrogant and reprehensible remarks, gestures, etc. from obama are too long to ignore any longer.  i don't know who obama is, but i no longer have an iota of respect for the man.

    Posts I've read by teachers here ... (5.00 / 1) (#214)
    by cymro on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 05:04:02 AM EST
     ... said that this is an obvious example of a crude gesture that they are very familiar with, it is typical of kids from middle school onwards, and unmistakable. A couple of posts I saw here by young adults said the same thing.

    People are not "trying to turn a scratch into a scandal," they are reacting to what they saw. You may not have recognized it, but plenty of people did, and clearly his audience did. They were not reacting to him scratching himself. And his delivery seems far too choreographed for it to be an innocent hand movement accidentally being mistaken for a deliberate gesture. Watch the other videos before you conclude that this was done in all innocence.


    I you're serious (none / 0) (#223)
    by goldberry on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 06:29:32 AM EST
    then you need to watch the other video.  It is clearly NOT unintentional.  It is exactly what it appears to be and there are additional gestures that the crowd also responds to.  See my post below and follow the link to The Swamp video.  Watch the whole thing.  I guarantee that by the end, you will have a very different opinion of Obama.

    Not sure whether it was intentional (4.50 / 2) (#212)
    by Serene1 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:58:41 AM EST
    but the audience surely thought so as evidenced by their raucous response.

    Funny that he was dissing Clinton for the very same thing he was doing - talking negatively and twisting the knife.

    As someone who sees more (4.00 / 3) (#57)
    by 1jpb on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:58:57 PM EST
    of BO than many HRC fans here on Talk Left, I'll tell you that this man is constantly itching his face.  For a long time I've been wondering why his face is so itchy.  You can be certain there was no finger gestures aimed at HRC, even though that may come as a disappointment to some of her supporters--ironic.

    My totally uninformed guess has been that his itching is related to quiting smoking.  But, I've heard that he wears a lot of makeup (for tv) so maybe that is the reason.  Or, maybe it's stress, Or, maybe he's always had an itchy face.  This situation may be a chance for me to find out why he's so itchy, does anybody have an idea?

    PS: those who are worked up because the audience is animated should note that there are people behind him who couldn't see that side of his face and they are just as excited as anyone else.  Also, he gets strong positive reactions from the audience throughout this whole video tape.  

    my jury is out because I'm (5.00 / 0) (#73)
    by nycstray on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:08:34 AM EST
    too tired to care ;) but, I also wondered about the people behind him (Hillary's demographic, lol!~) and not being able to see the gesture. There could be video screens up. Who wants to sit BEHIND the candidate, especially if they are arranging the audience?  As to the itchy makeup, you'd think he would have found one that didn't itch by now. Women aren't walking around scratching their faces all the time either  ;)

    Well maybe it's not (none / 0) (#88)
    by 1jpb on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:17:04 AM EST
    makeup (although I thought I heard tv makeup is heavier than normal makeup, of course I really know nothing about this, it's a faint memory from somewhere.)

    Any other ideas from anyone?  I'm a big BO fan, but his itching has been a pet peeve of mine for a while.  I never thought that I'd have an opportunity to ask folks why he's itching, so this is great for me.


    I dated an on-air guy and don't remember (none / 0) (#117)
    by nycstray on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:36:03 AM EST
    him being a face scratcher. I honestly never noticed Obama scratching too much before, but I don't pay close attention to him that way. I'll have to go back and look at some vids

    On the makeup though, if it is bothering him, he's a fool not to have switched it. I think my guy may have used OTC stuff and he has about the same skin tone as Obama. Most on set work I did, makeup was also OTC. Some models with sensitive skin or allergies carry their own, but make up artists just use what works.


    You don't like (3.00 / 2) (#225)
    by kenoshaMarge on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 06:55:49 AM EST
    the topic; don't participate. Or start your own blog.

    Maybe subconsciously... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Exeter on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:23:30 PM EST
    ...but definitely not intentionally.

    No. He did it twice. In two speeches. (none / 0) (#125)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:44:27 AM EST
    He did the same gesture at the same place in the same speech at two different venues.

    It was absolutely intentional.


    Two videos with same gesture (none / 0) (#147)
    by Prabhata on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:03:24 AM EST
    Not sure what you mean. Sorry, I'm tired. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:35:22 PM EST

    I'm being told that the face (none / 0) (#22)
    by kredwyn on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:35:50 PM EST
    gets itchy when you quit smoking.

    So the crowd went wild with applause because a guy, who is quitting smoking, itched his face with his middle finger just after he talked about Clinton and just before he referenced her twisting a knife.

    Good that he's quitting smoking...gotta be a heck of a time to do that...in the midst of a Primary Nightmare.

    Weird (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by CytoEric on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:58:28 PM EST
    I've never heard that before, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.  Anecdotally, I didn't notice my face being itchy when I quit smoking...I just had a shorter temper than usual and was a lot more fidgety...

    I personally think it was done intentionally, but it was done in such a way that he can easily deny it...


    It seems like an odd reaction (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by kredwyn on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:01:36 AM EST
    to me. I'd understand the temper issues, which is why I'm surprised he'd try to quit in the middle of a campaign.

    Gnight all (none / 0) (#74)
    by CytoEric on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:09:05 AM EST
    I wonder if he is using a medicine to quit...I have been searching google to try to find a link between quitting smoking and itchiness, but the only time I have found the two mentioned together are in reference to meds.  Not that it is a big deal :P  It is good he is quitting though...I have a feeling he won't be quitting for long though.  Like you said, he is in too high stress a position to quit now...

    Oops (none / 0) (#76)
    by CytoEric on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:10:03 AM EST
    Not quite like you said...I mis-remembered what you said in your reply :P

    I think (none / 0) (#79)
    by LoisInCo on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:10:36 AM EST
    he is chewing Nicorette.

    spare us the psycho babble (none / 0) (#84)
    by white n az on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:13:53 AM EST
    he chews Nicorette but he quit over a year ago

    I don't know psychobabble... (none / 0) (#92)
    by kredwyn on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:18:32 AM EST
    rhetoric? yes. Psychobabble...not so much. But here's the link to the itchy face references.

    it's psycho babble (none / 0) (#98)
    by white n az on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:24:50 AM EST
    unless you have something technical to back it up.

    As a long time smoker who has quit at various times for various lengths of time, I believe it to be complete hogwash.

    After a week, all of the chemical dependency is gone. He quit well over a year ago.


    okay... (none / 0) (#99)
    by kredwyn on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:26:59 AM EST
    but I think you're being prickly at the wrong person here...

    All I said was that's what I was being told...


    I'm not being prickly... (none / 0) (#109)
    by white n az on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:32:41 AM EST
    I'm just saying that it sounds like complete psycho babble to me.

    My first hand experience (and I haven't quit smoking for about 2 months now), is that there is no cause/effect between quitting smoking and scratching.

    I am not discounting that some medical journal hasn't documented this somewhere but until someone gives me evidence to that, I have to go with my own personal experience and that says...psycho babble.


    sorry... (none / 0) (#122)
    by kredwyn on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:41:00 AM EST
    thought I was on the "psycho babbler" hot seat.



    at least you're not "mentally deranged" (none / 0) (#184)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:01:37 AM EST
    talk to me in a couple weeks (none / 0) (#194)
    by kredwyn on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:26:23 AM EST
    when I've got 75 student/prof conferences.

    There's a reason I crave bubble baths and margaritas at the end of a semester. :)


    maybe I should've added (none / 0) (#135)
    by kredwyn on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:53:58 AM EST
    a /snark tag after part of it...

    "I'm being told" (none / 0) (#94)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:22:04 AM EST
    Right, like Dave Letterman and his imaginary earbud.

    I quit smoking. There is not itching involved.

    And if there is, you don't use THAT finger when you know you're being videotaped.

    It was intentional, and it was beyond infantile.


    Here's the link... (none / 0) (#103)
    by kredwyn on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:29:26 AM EST
    to the "itchy face" comment.

    I've never smoked...and my dad has never quit smoking his pipe. So I don't know...really...it's being discussed elsewhere.


    conjecture is not proof... (none / 0) (#114)
    by white n az on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:34:54 AM EST
    of non-psycho babble content

    I know that... (none / 0) (#120)
    by kredwyn on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:38:52 AM EST
    remember the rhetoric part? As I said...that's what I was being told.

    Course, as I noted to that particular poster, I had the "itchy face" response figured out earlier in the thread.

    Though I have to admit...the smoking part is an interesting twist on the expected response.


    No, the face does not get itchy (none / 0) (#130)
    by nellre on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:50:01 AM EST
    Having been there and done that... no itch issues for me.

    i never experienced that when i quit for 2 years. (none / 0) (#204)
    by kangeroo on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:32:22 AM EST
    nor have i ever heard of it occurring in any of my various quit-smoking materials, nor have i ever heard of it anecdotally.

    Oops! (none / 0) (#40)
    by txpolitico67 on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:48:05 PM EST
    "a" turn off.  For whatever reason, my keys get stuck when I try to type comments on this blog.  Doesn't do it anywhere else...and this is a brand new lap top.

    Was the gesture at the same time (none / 0) (#42)
    by sumac on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:51:05 PM EST
    in both speeches? If so, then it's hard to dismiss outright.

    I looked at this and I couldn't really tell... (none / 0) (#49)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:55:03 PM EST
    ...if it was two speeches. The camera angles were so very different it was hard for me to tell.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#60)
    by sumac on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:02:15 AM EST
    I couldn't tell either given the disparity of the camera angles.

    The (none / 0) (#107)
    by sas on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:31:41 AM EST
    commenters said it was at the same time-the Hillary is in her element time.

    Please provide more info (none / 0) (#46)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:53:38 PM EST
    This was recorded at two different events?

    The (none / 0) (#116)
    by sas on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:35:58 AM EST
    commenters said at two different events - because they wanted verification-once could be a fluke, but not twice.

    I did not investigate myself.  I have not seen this firsthand.


    Read above... (none / 0) (#244)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 09:11:17 AM EST
    ... the "two different events" did not happen.

    It was the same speech from two different angles.


    Pointer finger (none / 0) (#47)
    by CST on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:53:40 PM EST
    Looks as if it was also up but is hidden by the other.  And he definitely did not make a fist.

    that is what i thought (none / 0) (#66)
    by TheRefugee on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:05:17 AM EST
    until I saw a different video taken from a different angle...it is definitely just the middle finger...and yes I think it was just a scratch.   You think the crowd went nuts because he was scratching his face though?  Or because they saw the 'bird'?  For me it isn't what he did, it was how the crowd reacted..they were approving of the gesture whether he was aware of the gesture or not.

    maybe they were cheering (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by wrkn129 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:16:02 AM EST
    because he scratched his face...his crowds go wild when he blows his nose.

    That's fair (none / 0) (#82)
    by CST on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:12:51 AM EST
    I agree the crowd reaction is inappropriate.

    The crowd understood the gesture (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by white n az on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:17:16 AM EST
    but your motivations won't allow you to admit what is so plainly obvious from the Fox video.

    and please...another troll rating


    Ok I have now watched like 5 different views (none / 0) (#151)
    by CST on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:11:15 AM EST
    It definitely looks like the pointer finger was up to me, but I have not seen a side view yet.  Do you have a link to one?  Also, it appears Ben Smith from Politico agrees with me, so I know I am not the only one if I am going crazy.

    focus on the enemy... (none / 0) (#71)
    by white n az on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:08:23 AM EST
    seems like the enemy is Obama and he decided to raise the stakes

    You (none / 0) (#104)
    by sas on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:30:00 AM EST
    innocents are so naive.

    I've seen it a hundred times at school.

    To me it's absolutely clear cut.

    Go ahead, spend a few years at the high school level in the public schools....and then come back and talk to me about it.

    I calles two teacher friends just to be sure-and they saw the same thing.

    Clear cut.

    It's obvious (none / 0) (#139)
    by kayla on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:56:12 AM EST
    We've been doing this since middle school.

    Huh? If it was subconscious how can you blame him (none / 0) (#123)
    by jerry on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:41:13 AM EST
    Jeez, you sound like my ex-wife.

    Honestly, I think it was unintentional on his part, and not even subconscious, but what's telling is that his audience thought he had given her the finger and they applauded wildly.

    It's hard to imagine his reasons (none / 0) (#127)
    by cymro on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:44:47 AM EST
    ... other than the fact that he enjoys basking in the adulation of his hard-core supporters. But those people are already voting for him anyway, so who is this type of behavior going to win over?

    It does not make sense to me. But then, this is not the first time I've felt that way about his campaign, so what do I know!?

    OK now (none / 0) (#131)
    by sas on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:50:19 AM EST
    some commenters are saying it happened at only one location....want to be fair....even tho
    I'm sure it was intentional

    Another (none / 0) (#137)
    by sas on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:54:37 AM EST
    observer - two different locations...

    hope someone figures this out

    Please (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:56:53 AM EST
    What observers?

    What two locatiions?

    What two videos?


    I wonder if the MSM will agree (none / 0) (#143)
    by Chimster on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:58:35 AM EST
    that he's flipping her off. Even if they don't, carrying the story will plant more seeds of doubt about Obama (whether it is deserved or not). If the story sticks, delegates take notes.

    How about brushing his shoulders? (none / 0) (#156)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:18:43 AM EST
    Jeralyn, I'm curious if you also weren't bothered by his Jay-Z impersonation and if you have seen the video "Dirt off your Shoulders" by the aformentioned rapper.

    Not dumb just arrogant. (none / 0) (#158)
    by Radix on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:22:41 AM EST
    Why did the crowd react so enthusiastically at that point? I'm fairly certain they could see him on a big screen, no? I guess the bloom is off the rose as they say.

    Are we sure he's not dumb? (none / 0) (#159)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:25:20 AM EST
    Running for President with no experience
    Agreeing to debates with Hillary Clinton

    I could go on...


    exactly (none / 0) (#205)
    by rooge04 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:35:23 AM EST
    Bush went to Yale right?  So this one went to Harvard and worked the Obamameter

    It means nothing. (none / 0) (#163)
    by Joelarama on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:31:08 AM EST
    Some shrillosphere denizens are willing to say anything, attribute any foul motive, to anything Hillary does.

    I do not feel that way about Obama.  The man is not Dick Cheney.  He is not as ugly as some of his unfortunate supporters.

    I think he was simply nervous in the face of the kind of questions he can expect in the general election, up against media-Mahdi John McCain.

    Questions Hillary weathers at every turn, with a composure that his super human.  God, what a tough, resilient person.  And, at the risk of sounding sexist, what a strong woman.  Stronger than any man in the public eye I can think of as I write this.

    One week Obama is an elitist who looks down on (none / 0) (#164)
    by RickTaylor on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:33:42 AM EST
    regular people, the next week he's a crude hick who can't even scratch himself right. I sure will be glad when the election's over.

    To be fair, I think it was also crazy when posters at Daily Kos were pouring over Hillary Clinton's adds to try to prove that Obama's skin had been darkened.

    Hick? (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by kayla on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:52:04 AM EST
    Only hicks use the middle finger?  Is it so hard to believe that elitists would use that gesture?  Gosh, you're so stereotypical!


    I don't really think viewing this little rant of his in a negative light is "crazy".  He really does look like a jerk, finger or not, and it's not the first time he's acted like this.  And I'm not surprised by it, either.  I didn't have a problem with Hillary pressing some of those questions against Obama, but I didn't want her to do it because I knew he was going to do the "That's old politics!" crap again.  And it's so annoying to me when he does this.  I hope he doesn't try this against McCain.  It makes him seem childish.


    x (none / 0) (#169)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:40:17 AM EST
    Wow. What a total moron. This is just unbelievable.

    Even the Hillary Haters at Free Republic... (none / 0) (#170)
    by diplomatic on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:41:21 AM EST
    vast majority over there seem to think it is obvious and intentional:


    Sometimes the best gauge of unbiased reaction is to see what the other side notices because they're less emotionally attached to our candidates

    Either way: (none / 0) (#182)
    by LoisInCo on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 01:56:11 AM EST
    KO should declare Obama's finger " The worsttttt fingerrrrrrrr in the worrrrlllllllllld".

    llllllllddddddddddd" (none / 0) (#197)
    by carrienae on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:33:54 AM EST

    "i don't think" (none / 0) (#198)
    by cy street on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 02:39:39 AM EST
    "i think"

    "i don't think"

    it is a sad day in talk left when "i think" becomes the standard.  by thinking, you leave the door open to possibly, maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

    if you want to call something out, call it out on the basis of fact.  say he did it and stand by it.  this "i think" business smells like propaganda and innuendo.  squint your eyes, tilt your head and look at it this way.

    this is desperate and a cheap shot.

    if you do not know, leave the thinking and laughing to god.

    Cy, you should think more. (none / 0) (#217)
    by cymro on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 05:22:28 AM EST
    Your post is titled "I don't think" which strikes me as rather ironic. I believe if you would only stop burying your head in the sand and really think a bit more, you would find that thinking and debate are what eventually leads to conclusions and knowledge.

    Unless of course you are referring to the kind of knowledge that one gets when one is hit over the head by a baseball bat. But that technique doesn't work so well in the realm of political discourse, does it? Although they do seem to come close over at KOS -- maybe you'd find the degree of certainty exhibited by most posters at that site more to your liking.


    While we are arguing about whatever (none / 0) (#209)
    by felizarte on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:49:45 AM EST
    gesture Obama may or may not have done on purpose, Republicans have already made their own conclusions, based on today's David Brooks column in the NY Times:

    How Obama Fell to Earth

    Back in Iowa, Barack Obama promised to be something new -- an unconventional leader who would confront unpleasant truths, embrace novel policies and unify the country. If he had knocked Hillary Clinton out in New Hampshire and entered general-election mode early, this enormously thoughtful man would have become that

    But he did not knock her out, and the aura around Obama has changed. Furiously courting Democratic primary voters and apparently exhausted, Obama has emerged as a more conventional politician and a more orthodox liberal.

    He sprinkled his debate performance Wednesday night with the sorts of fibs, evasions and hypocrisies that are the stuff of conventional politics. He claimed falsely that his handwriting wasn't on a questionnaire about gun control. He claimed that he had never attacked Clinton for her exaggerations about the Tuzla airport, though his campaign was all over it. Obama piously condemned the practice of lifting other candidates' words out of context, but he has been doing exactly the same thing to John McCain, especially over his 100 years in Iraq comment.

    Obama also made a pair of grand and cynical promises that are the sign of someone who is thinking more about campaigning than governing.

    I wanted to make this link (none / 0) (#211)
    by felizarte on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:52:34 AM EST
    Proof (none / 0) (#216)
    by kcowley on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 05:16:07 AM EST
    Jeralyn, I too was skeptical until I found out that he did it twice- two different speeches with the same gesture at the same moment in the speech. There are no coincidences.

    Thank you for your posts, you've helped save my sanity many days!

    It's the same speech ... (5.00 / 2) (#218)
    by cymro on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 05:31:03 AM EST
    ... filmed from different angles. Same background, same man with grey hair sitting behind him, just below the W. This has been pointed out here two or three times already, if not more, in this thread and an earlier one.

    But that doesn't change my conclusion that it was deliberate.


    This is similar to Michelle Obama's dig at Hillary (none / 0) (#221)
    by ding7777 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 06:21:43 AM EST
    if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House.

    (pause for audience hoots, hollers, and cheers)

    (then continue with a CYA statement to "CHANGE" the meaning)

     So, so we've adjusted our schedules to make sure that our girls are first..."

    McCain (none / 0) (#232)
    by cmugirl on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 07:37:35 AM EST
    I'm not defending McCain, but don't you think McCain will crush him with stuff like this?  We KNOW McCain has said worse and had lived with more painful things than a supposed "finger" - McCain will eat him alive and spit him out - all before the end of September.

    One way to settle whether (none / 0) (#236)
    by frankly0 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 07:48:16 AM EST
    there's any there there is to produce videos showing Obama scratching his face in a like manner.

    People have been claiming he does this all the time. Well, videos should show it.

    I feel like something of an idiot myself even to make the suggestion that people spend time on it to "settle" it, but that would be how one might do so.

    Just another couple points (none / 0) (#239)
    by frankly0 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 08:17:37 AM EST
    1. the crowd reaction might readily be explained by what he said at that point, "Hillary is in her element", and then the pregnant pause.

    2. of what value is the crowd reaction anyway? Maybe they too took an unintentional gesture as intentional. The bottom line is, we can see at least as well as the vast majority of the crowd what Obama's doing with his hand. If we can't be decisive in our conclusions, how could they?

    In the longer version (none / 0) (#241)
    by katiebird on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 08:22:19 AM EST
    He scratches closer to his mouth/chin with is pinkie finger. THEN he moves on to the "elements" line.

    not exactly conclusive (none / 0) (#242)
    by frankly0 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 08:24:53 AM EST
    I'd just like to see him scratching his face in other speeches, and see if there's even a single instance of him doing it with his middle finger.

    Again, I say this while feeling like an idiot for suggesting it.


    I scoffed too... till I saw this... (none / 0) (#237)
    by BoGardiner on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 07:57:23 AM EST
    Jeralyn, I started to post that it was probably unintentional and this silliness should stop now. But once I understood the level of dog-whistling intended behind the shoulder and shoe gestures, as becomes obvious from this link, I now realize it was almost certainly intentional.

    Link for above (none / 0) (#238)
    by BoGardiner on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 08:01:02 AM EST
    Can't get link working, sorry. It's the "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" discussion at http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/

    So what was the audience hooting about? n/t (none / 0) (#240)
    by Talktruth on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 08:19:20 AM EST
    He is an unbelievably immature person who shouldn't set foot near the whitehouse.  We see what the last big baby did while he was there!

    Not the audience behind him who did not see it (none / 0) (#247)
    by BarnBabe on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 09:21:18 AM EST
    And that is a tell. The AUDIENCE thought he was flipping her off and loved it. I saw the clip and I saw the video. He sets it up by touching his face with his little finger first. Then he sneaks that 3rd finger thing in later. People scratch their face with their index finger or use all their fingers. I say this with complete honesty and not because I favor Hillary. If she did it, I would say the same thing. I also would not think it is very Presidential just as I do not think he is either. This was a school yard stunt. He just covered it up better than the current President did.

    Creative class weighs in: Definitely intentional (none / 0) (#246)
    by lambert on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 09:14:19 AM EST
    But Pretty cool!

    And who am I to disagree with the creative class?

    They are not referring to the finger (5.00 / 1) (#255)
    by CST on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 10:12:48 AM EST
    He is referring to the Jay-Z brush the dirt off your shoulder move, very different.

    comments now closed (none / 0) (#258)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 10:20:16 AM EST
    thanks for your thoughts.