Obama Courts Jewish Vote in Florida

Obama sought to reassure Florida's Jewish community he is pro-Israel today. Here's what he had to say in response to a question about Rashid Khalidi.

“You mentioned Rashid Khalidi, who’s a professor at Columbia," Obama said. "I do know him because I taught at the University of Chicago. And he is Palestinian. And I do know him and I have had conversations. He is not one of my advisors; he’s not one of my foreign policy people. His kids went to the Lab school where my kids go as well. He is a respected scholar, although he vehemently disagrees with a lot of Israel’s policy.”

....“To pluck out one person who I know and who I’ve had a conversation with who has very different views than 900 of my friends and then to suggest that somehow that shows that maybe I’m not sufficiently pro-Israel, I think, is a very problematic stand to take," he said. "So we gotta be careful about guilt by association.”

He apparently didn't mention Khalidi hosted a fundraiser for him when he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2000, or or that he attended a testimonial dinner for Khalidi and praised him when Khalidi left Chicago to chair Columbia's Middle Eastern Studies Department, or that while he served on the board of the Woods Fund, it voted to grant $40,000.00 to the Arab American Network, an organization headed by Khalidi's wife. From the LA Times: [More...]

It was a celebration of Palestinian culture -- a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.

A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."

On the fundraiser:

....In 2000, the Khalidis held a fundraiser for Obama's unsuccessful congressional bid. The next year, a social service group whose board was headed by Mona Khalidi received a $40,000 grant from a local charity, the Woods Fund of Chicago, when Obama served on the fund's board of directors.

Khalidi's praise for Obama:

At Khalidi's going-away party in 2003, the scholar lavished praise on Obama, telling the mostly Palestinian American crowd that the state senator deserved their help in winning a U.S. Senate seat. "You will not have a better senator under any circumstances," Khalidi said.

The import:

Today, five years later, Obama is a U.S. senator from Illinois who expresses a firmly pro-Israel view of Middle East politics, pleasing many of the Jewish leaders and advocates for Israel whom he is courting in his presidential campaign. The dinner conversations he had envisioned with his Palestinian American friend have ended. He and Khalidi have seen each other only fleetingly in recent years.

And yet the warm embrace Obama gave to Khalidi, and words like those at the professor's going-away party, have left some Palestinian American leaders believing that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say.

Why the Palestinians like Obama:

At Khalidi's 2003 farewell party, for example, a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, "then you will never see a day of peace."

One speaker likened "Zionist settlers on the West Bank" to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been "blinded by ideology."

Obama adopted a different tone in his comments and called for finding common ground. But his presence at such events, as he worked to build a political base in Chicago, has led some Palestinian leaders to believe that he might deal differently with the Middle East than either of his opponents for the White House.

Here's Khalidi on the Charlie Rose Show, May 12, 2004 (available on Lexis.com):

KHALIDI: Palestinians and the Israelis are going to continue to live in a situation of what I would call worse than apartheid. There`s one state and one sovereignty between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. There`s one state and one sovereignty that controls everything to do with security, and the Palestinians live in open-air prison camps, reservations, call them what you will, tiny little dots, splotches in a swath of Israeli control of most of the West Bank.

CHARLIE ROSE: What might change that prognosis?

RASHID KHALIDI: The Israeli people could change it, and the United States could change its policy back. That, and the Palestinians getting -- and finally, the Palestinians and the Arabs getting their act together.

(emphasis supplied)

Here's Khalidi in 2001, speaking at an Open Tent meeting on six prerequisties for peace in the Middle East (Rashid Khalidi Outlines Peace Prerequisites at Open Tent Plenary, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs July 31, 2001, available on Lexis.com):

The third prerequisite, Khalidi said, is Israel's acceptance of the pre-1967 Green Line.

"If we proceed that far," he continued, "the fourth prerequisite is a reversal of settlements, which have led to the settlers-only bypass roads, apartheid, racist zoning and violence." (emphasis supplied.)

Fifth is to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of both states. Sixth, according to Khalidi, is the right of return, compensation and acknowledgment by Israel of its responsibility to refugees it drove from Palestine. "It is outrageous that Israel ignores U.N. Resolution 194 and says the 300,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon cannot return," he asserted, "while any Jew in the world can go to Israel.

....When asked how other world powers could help the Palestinians, Dr. Khalidi commented: "I don't foresee an apocalypse, but there must be intervention to halt the apartheid. This downward spiral is dangerous for the Palestinians. What Washington doesn't see is the fury of the people in Arab countries. What is being done to the Palestinians is hidden in the U.S. but not in Arab states. The people are going to react and boycott U.S. products. (emphasis supplied)

When asked whether he called Israel's policies racist or compared them to apartheid, according to the New York Times, Khalidi responded (NY Times, February 28, 2005, available on Lexis.com):

The New York Sun has reported that Professor Khalidi has called Israel a ''racist'' state with an ''apartheid system,'' and has endorsed the killing of Israeli soldiers as legitimate ''resistance'' to occupation.

TRUE? ''I may have used the word 'racist' about Israeli policies,'' Professor Khalidi said in interviews Friday and yesterday. ''In a speech I talked about the system of control of Palestinians, where they cannot move, and I said if that system is maintained, it would develop into worse than the apartheid system.''

This is not to take a position on the policies and problems of Israel and Palestine -- that's far beyond my expertise. It's to point out that Obama is going after the Jewish vote by stressing his unwavering support for Israel while minimizing his ties to the very pro-Palestinean Khalidi.

Today Obama said he knows Khalidi because he taught at the University of Chicago, he's had a conversation with Khalidi and their kids attended the same school program. He doesn't mention the fundraiser Khalidi held for him at Khalidi's home or his warm testimonial remarks about their dinners together at Khalidi's home, or his voting to fund money to an organization headed by Khalidi's wife.

His minimization of his association with Khalidi is something I think pro-Israel Jewish voters should consider in deciding whether his pitch for their vote is sincere and truthful.

My prior posts on Obama and Khalidi are here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    How can anyone trust (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by lisadawn82 on Thu May 22, 2008 at 11:59:07 PM EST
    whatever promises he makes with his past behavior?

    ... and Hillary hasn't mislead in the past? (none / 0) (#124)
    by ctrenta on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:47:36 AM EST

    Not to pick on Hillary... but the majority of Washington politicians mislead us one way or another. Was there ever a time when they didn't?


    But that is not the point, (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by bslev22 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:03:37 AM EST
    particularly when Senator Obama is stressing a new direction in politics.  He cannot have it both ways, i.e., he can not be a traditional politician (just like Hillary for the sake of addressing your argument), and at the same time claim that he is something different.  That dog don't hunt.

    I understand your point.... (none / 0) (#166)
    by ctrenta on Fri May 23, 2008 at 09:54:41 AM EST

    ... but Hillary doesn't get away with it either. She's contradicted herself many times.

    How soon we forget!

    Point is, they're BOTH guilty of it.


    Plenty of room under the bus! (5.00 / 9) (#2)
    by lambertstrether on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:02:27 AM EST
    But let's look on the bright side! We're not going to have to hear about the grandmothers again!

    you think? i passed the city bus barn (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by hellothere on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:11:38 AM EST
    the other day and started laughing about obama and the unfortunate groups under the bus.

    There's a parade float (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Edgar08 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:27:32 AM EST
    Here somewhere.

    or a great theme party (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by boredmpa on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:46:00 AM EST
    not that i could find 10 anti-obama folks in SF

    Hey (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by Edgar08 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:54:49 AM EST
    For all I know there's an open bar underneath the bus.

    The New York Times has an article (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by oculus on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:03:55 AM EST
    by Jodi Kantor on Obama's efforts to reassure Jewish voters in FL.  

    saw it and it left out (5.00 / 7) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:14:56 AM EST
    Obama's response about Khalidi. It made it seem like the person who asked the question was booed and he didn't bother to answer. It took quite a few articles to find what Obama said in response. That's the point of this post.

    Ah. (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:16:40 AM EST
    Here is the Kantor article. (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:35:22 AM EST
    It consists of interviews before today's events in FL.


    Kantor doesn't delve into Obama's Chicago background re Palestinian causes.


    They should have interviewed some of my neighbors (5.00 / 5) (#72)
    by Mark Woods on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:32:31 AM EST
    in Miami Beach -- are they angry and ready to vote for McCain if Clinton isn't on the ticket?  Yes!!!

    Are they angry and ready to dump the Democratic Party if our votes are scrapped again? Yes!!!

    Perhaps an Obama debacle will ultimately serve to cleanse the party of Dean/Brazile/Kennedy/Kerry/Pelosi-types, once they crash and burn and give the Republicans the Ge . . .


    cindyfor congress,org to throw out Pelosi (5.00 / 3) (#106)
    by suzieg on Fri May 23, 2008 at 04:17:10 AM EST
    Let's support her and donate to her campaign so she can at least give Pelosi a good fight and embarrass her!

    You should meet some of my neighbors (none / 0) (#141)
    by samtaylor2 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:39:40 AM EST
    You should come to Detroit here and talk to some of my neighbors that say that if Obama's victory is taken away from him, they will not vote.  Now, as a progressive I defend the Democratic party and try to assure them that a democrat, regardless of who, is the best and only option if we want our civil rights to be protected again.  Do you do the same?

    His vote? (none / 0) (#145)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:46:16 AM EST
    People did not vote for him, they voted uncommitted.  Let those delegates stay uncommitted till roll call.   They will have their turn.

    Yet, it was the only section of the (none / 0) (#23)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:18:50 AM EST
    appearance that FOX News broadcast today :)

    barack, the cherry picker, obama cannot be (5.00 / 9) (#4)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:04:16 AM EST
    trusted...if only there was one person he is associated with that is the problem....the list is quite long and doesn't even include some surprises we may be privvy to in the near future.
    There is NO good reason for the Jewish community to trust obama.  Good for them that they will hold him accountable and he has to prove himself before they will even consider throwing a vote his way.

    please (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:17:22 AM EST
    don't race-bait or call Obama names like "liar." You can make your point without doing either. (Sorry, but I just deleted two of your comments.)

    But Jeralyn (5.00 / 12) (#33)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:26:36 AM EST
    what's the word for it when somebody says they only had "a conversation" with somebody they've been socializing and dining with for years?  Or says he only did 4 or five hours of legal work for Rezko, or that Wright is "just the pastor of the church I attend"?

    There's a pretty unmistakable pattern that's developed here, and nobody would call it truth-telling.

    I have no problem with his being pals with this guy, my problem is that he denies the relationships ever existed.  Why won't he ever defend these things?  Instead, he denies them in the face of the fact that the truth is otherwise.

    I don't know what that's called other than the word you won't allow us to use.  It's extremely troubling.


    disingenuous (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by angie on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:31:26 AM EST
    is the "polite" way to call someone a liar.

    Try obfuscate. (none / 0) (#143)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:42:18 AM EST
    Lots of people could not object till they hit the dictionary.

    Maybe the (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by mikeyleigh on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:50:51 AM EST
    word mendacious would do.  But, the really sad part of this story is that Obama's past stance on the Palestinian problem is one that I can wholeheartedly support.

    I call it minimizing (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:29:25 AM EST
    Something tells me that isn't what (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by oculus on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:44:00 AM EST
    you say during closing argument!  

    particularly if I'm talking (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:47:53 AM EST
    about informants, you're right.

    Did you see the recent NYT article (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:49:57 AM EST
    about informants and the economy?  More snitches these days.  I thought of you when I read it.

    Minimize (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:07:40 AM EST
    "Represent or estimate at less than the true value of importance". That's my widget dictionary talking.

    Is disingenuous ok too?


    my issue with that (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by boredmpa on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:55:25 AM EST
    is that most people don't understand rhetoric and a lot of rhetorical magic is based on that.  not to mention that the overall context, not just the sentence, is to mislead.

    If the intent is to mislead the audience (and this is a trained/experienced speaker), I personally think it should be called lying.  And I feel like I'm supporting academia and elitism when i don't call a cigar a cigar.

    For example, if the british say "we are surprised to   hear these allegations that rendition flights are going through our country."  And it is later revealed that they new about them, then it's a lie to 90%+ of the populace.  I don't care if it's worded carefully then or when cheney connects al qaeda to iraq, because the intent and the result is to deceive.


    Well. while we're talking of guilt by association (none / 0) (#97)
    by Cream City on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:22:18 AM EST
    please, watch the anti-intellectual crap.  There certainly are academics who are elistists, but there are others of us from the working class and teaching the working class students at commuter campuses.  We suffer from the elitists, too.

    Simplistic thinking, sweeping generalizations -- whether his on the working class or yours on academia -- are neither correct nor constructive.   And they always say more about the dismissive attitude of the speaker than about those so summarily dismissed.


    i don't think i was being anti-intellectual (none / 0) (#102)
    by boredmpa on Fri May 23, 2008 at 04:07:35 AM EST
    in my mind, requiring nuanced discourse on something as basic as "what is a lie" on a political blog connotes either an academic, graduate+, or elitist restriction.  

    I'm not judging anyone, I'm just saying that not accepting the vernacular rubs me the wrong way.  Then again, it's a liberal politics blog, it's a left blog, and it's a law/crime related blog.  It certainly fits the legal aspects.



    This rule just gives the liars power (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by diplomatic on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:30:36 AM EST
    Liars should be confronted and exposed.  But there are other blogs for that.  I will respect the site rules.

    I agree... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Alec82 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:36:12 AM EST
    ...and that is why no honest person can become president.  

    Honesty is overrated anyway (none / 0) (#50)
    by Edgar08 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:42:35 AM EST
    It's not a pre-requisite really for doing a good job.

    It's also not necessarily something you want to say is a good thing either.

    It's just if the Iraq war was successful, no one but the anti-war idealogues would have cared that Bush lied to get us into it.

    But now it's also more complex than that even, how one lies about something can reveal how they think about something, the attitude they have towards something, so it's also worth pointing out that Bush's lies are a manifestation of just more incompetence.

    But the fact remains, if you're successful, no one's going to care how you got there.

    I'm nothing if not consistent on this issue, if we wake up 8 years from now and Obama has a 65% job approval rating, no one's going to care if he's a liar.

    Really the issue is, can you lie and do a good job, and to the extent one can (IF one can), lying just isn't that big of an issue for me.


    Do what you must, I don't think the comments (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:37:00 AM EST
    were bad, but I respect your decision.

    This is another instance of his believe what I say (5.00 / 7) (#6)
    by Serene1 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:06:23 AM EST
    not what I do.

    Either Obama is a politician who will say or do anything to win - in this case hunting with the hounds and running with the hares - or he is deceiving someone purposely either the palestinian supporters who believe he is on their side or the jewish supporters to him he now says as many pro israel statement as possible.
    Didn't his campaign to a similar thing with Nafta also saying all the right things to the local crowd but winking furiously at the candaians on the side.

    Similarly, Obama described (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by oculus on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:09:21 AM EST
    his relationship with Rezko as much more distant than it really was.

    I saw the exchange on TV (5.00 / 12) (#7)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:08:36 AM EST
    Obama did not answer the man's question. He wanted to know if Obama had any similarly close relationships with Jewish leaders. Obama mentioned he had Jewish people on his finance committee, and other casual acquaintences.

    It isn't uncommon to mistrust a person who will not answer simple questions. It begs the question why they can't just answer. Instead, he lectured the crowd on how they were allowed to think about who his close associates are.

    Heavens to Betsy! (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by angie on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:14:12 AM EST
    Obama lecturing people on how they should think?!?! Say it isn't so!

    Obama lecture us? (none / 0) (#173)
    by americanincanada on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:12:03 AM EST
    Perish the thought. Except that's what he'll be doing today...when he lectures of and the Cuban community in Miami when Obama delivers his Major Latin America Foreign Policy Address. According to Mark Halperin at The Page.

    I wonder how many speeches this guy can make before people start to tune him out.

    I am from Florida and still vote there absentee and keep very abreast of politics there because of that and family/friends.

    Good luck in Miami, Obama. You're going to need it.


    Is it wrong that (5.00 / 4) (#80)
    by LatinoVoter on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:08:29 AM EST
    I'm laughing 'cause Obama just perpetuated a stereotype of Jewish folks and probably doesn't realize it?

    transformational change... (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:28:44 AM EST
    this is why I think that Obama's whole "transformational change" thing is going to backfire on him.  People are going to want to know what that means, and they know that politicians will say what they want to hear to get elected, so they look at the background and record.

    And when Obama is dishonest about his past, as he is with his description of his relationship with people like Khalidi, Ayres and Wright, it reinforces the distrust.


    Odd (none / 0) (#175)
    by Virginian on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:39:10 AM EST
    All of his associations, mentors etc are Marxists or people who espouse post Marxist ideologies...I wouldn't have a problem with that as long as he had left it behind...Has Obama left this behind? We don't know, he won't answer questions on it; they are "distractions".

    I find Obama to be a tough pill to swallow as a Democrat...but intellectually...I am a philosopher by training...your position that Obama intellectually agrees with Marxism, is not at all troubling in the lease...after all, if you study Marx, I think you'll find that Marx was right most of the time...and more to your point about historical materialism...Marx was spot on


    Hmmm (none / 0) (#180)
    by Virginian on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:53:02 PM EST
    If you agree with Material Marxism/ Post Colonialism, then you agree that all of history should be seen as class war;
    In a capitalistic society...it is...I think this is beyond debate

    and more to the point that all of white people's interaction with black people is exploitative?
    a bit of historical exegesis is needed in regards to this statement in regards to Marx...but however, I think historically that is probably a true statement...and is still true on the societal level...see Africa for reference

    Don't we ever interact with each other simply as human beings?
    read Foucault  on his ideas of post-monarch power...of course we interact with one another as humans (even Marx agrees with that) but the interactions...all interactions are those related to power...so the real question is can individuals relate to one another as true equals (a true equal balance of power)...the answer is no, individuals cannot...

    Actually (none / 0) (#183)
    by Virginian on Sun May 25, 2008 at 03:19:50 PM EST
    I am not a "material Marxist" by any means...by and large one of the most influential thinkers to me is Simone de Beauvoir, I've published a number or essays regarding her views on freedom and individualism. With that said, on to your critiques:

    I totally disagree, as human beings we have free will, your view is determinist.
    Marx (nor I by affirming Marx's economic/material theories) believe in determinism, but Marx DOES believe (as do I) that there are circumstances that are largely outside of the control of the individual...anyone who exists in any social environment can experientially affirm this.

    According to you ALL my dealings with men oppress me. Which is ridiculous.
    Not at all what I am suggesting, again...read Foucault...it may be YOU with the upper hand in relationships...there is not such thing as a true, balanced, partnership in which power is truly balanced equally...this however may change moment to moment, day to day, week to week...one moment you may have more power in a relationship, and in the very next instance the other individual may have more power...power is not fixed...of course when I say power, I am not solely referring to power that is physical, or controlling...power is fairly amorphous...

    As for the rest of your reply, I am not all to sure how that is to tie in with our current tangent...oppression does come in many forms, and I am by no means an absolutism...oppression is obviously most visible in the relativistic mind...if you think you are oppressed, then you are oppress...the fact that your professor found the specific objectification of a female body oppressing, while I disagree in context, the mere fact that your professor found it to be so, means that for her it WAS so...arguably Renoir is not the oppressor in this case though, rather your professor may have been oppressing the self...

    the French feminists ironically believed that the body was the language of the feminism...and in an odd twist, Renoir's beautification of the female body was arguably more feminist than not (this however is not an argument for the obscene...it is an argument for the aesthetic).


    politicans hit the usual groups saying (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by hellothere on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:13:49 AM EST
    they are the best thing going. of course the voters don't believe them for the most part and neither does the politican. take a good look at their past conduct. that tells you eveything you need to know. save the flowers mr obama, where's the steak.

    Obama used people (5.00 / 12) (#20)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:17:05 AM EST
    to climb to where he is.  Now those people are not convenient.  So, he discards them one by one.  Grandma, Palestinians, Wright, the list keeps growing.  Who and what is Obama, we still don't know.  What is his core?  Not clear.  

    And, as his momentum built, he began (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:31:02 AM EST
    dumping us enmasse. White working class, older, etc. He didn't any of them, so he discarded without a second thought.

    This current standing came to him so easily (all the party leaders helped) that he thinks once he's officially annointed everything will be just fine. He won't feel an obligation to apologize for anything.


    This is one of the problems I have (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by Grace on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:45:02 AM EST
    with Obama.  He doesn't seem to have the ability to pick sides.  How is he ever going to make a decision?  His voting "Present" shows that he's unable to decide on things.  

    Do we really need a president who wants to make everyone happy even though it's impossible?  This is why I believe he is an appeaser.  He'll cave in on issues just to not upset anyone.  


    Heh (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by Steve M on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:18:14 AM EST
    It's just sad the way you're not allowed to appear even the slightest-bit evenhanded on Israeli-Palestinian issues. And I say this as a Jew.

    I will be even more sad if McCain manages to pick off a significant portion of the Jewish vote in this election.  It shouldn't be that way.

    Being Even Handed Would Be A Good Thing IMO (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by MO Blue on Fri May 23, 2008 at 08:46:11 AM EST
    The problem lies in the fact that he continually distorts his associations with people even when there is ample proof that what he is saying is not factual. His association with Rashid Khalidi was much more extensive than how he is portraying it.  He has done this with Rezko, Ayers and Khalidi. This provides the Republicans with more ammunition to paint Obama as someone who cannot be believed and instill doubts about who he really is and what his positions really are. If they are able to paint him as unbelievable, then they can successfully form a negative picture of him in the eyes of voters. IMO Obama keeps opening the door for them to be able to do this.

    i agree (none / 0) (#150)
    by dws3665 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 08:16:55 AM EST
    But to me this is about more than his supposed desire to be even-handed.

    It's a thorny issue, but it shouldn't have to involve such transparent ... oh, what did we decide to call it? Mini-varic-fuscation?


    Did Obama just insult people's intelligence again? (5.00 / 9) (#24)
    by diplomatic on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:19:29 AM EST
    Oh, yes he did!  In related news, I found me an orange from an orange tree.

    Please let's discuss (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:23:39 AM EST
    Obama's reach out to the Jewish community without calling him names or engaging in personal attacks. The issue I'm raising is his credibility -- I'm not calling him a liar or mocking him and reader's shouldn't do that either.

    Aren't Jewish voters looking for (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by MarkL on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:25:34 AM EST
    specifics, more than knowledge of associations?
    Where does he stand on settlements, what kind of two-state solution does he support, if any.

    Actually (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Steve M on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:47:40 AM EST
    I had a chat with a very right-wing Jewish colleague the other day about some of these issues.  What I got from the conversation is that no, for most Jews, it really is about associations!

    Also, conservative law professor David Bernstein had an interesting post the other day about the Jewish vote.  By my reading, he also seemed to think it mainly has to do with associations.

    So while I happen to think we Jews are savvy voters by and large, that doesn't mean that we necessarily wonk it out when the topic is Jewish issues and Israel.


    When people lie, they are liars who are lying (1.00 / 0) (#35)
    by diplomatic on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:28:29 AM EST
    Jeralyn, it is not the worst thing in the world.  I have never understood your rule on this.  Doesn't seem to foster a reality-based environment.

    it's the name-calling (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:31:06 AM EST
    you can say you don't believe him, he's being disingenous, less than truthful, etc. Calling him a "liar" is name-calling and a personal attack on his character.

    Sorry, that's how I see it.


    Allrighty (none / 0) (#42)
    by diplomatic on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:32:08 AM EST
    My guess (none / 0) (#44)
    by Edgar08 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:33:20 AM EST
    It's a legal thing.

    To prove someone is lying you have to prove the person lying knows they lied.


    what's in a name? (none / 0) (#151)
    by dws3665 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 08:20:55 AM EST
    I would venture to say that we have all lied at one time or another. Does that make us all liars?

    I would think not, and I think that's Jeralyn's point.


    Overnight open thread coming (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:26:23 AM EST
    you readers are intent on having fun tonight and I don't want to stop you, so I'll put up an open thread where you can all have your say on your own topics.

    open thread (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:32:11 AM EST
    is here for those of you who want more self-expression and less deletion of your quips and jokes.

    There is a lot in the NYTimes piece that (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by zyx on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:26:25 AM EST
    ran recently about Khalidi.  The one entitled "Pragmatic Politics, Forged on the South Side", date May 11.

    "For years, the Obamas had been regular dinner guests at the Hyde Park home of Rashid Khalidi, a Middle East scholar at the University of Chicago and an adviser to the Palestinian delegation to the 1990s peace talks. Mr. Khalidi said the talk would often turn to the Middle East, and he talked with Mr. Obama about issues like living conditions in the occupied territories. In 2000, the Khalidis held a fund-raiser for Mr. Obama during his Congressional campaign. Both Mr. Khalidi and Mr. Abunimah, of the Electronic Intifada, said Mr. Obama had spoken at the fund-raiser and had called for the United States to adopt a more "evenhanded approach" to the Palestinian-Israel conflict.

    Still, Mr. Khalidi said ascertaining Mr. Obama's precise position was often difficult. "You may come away thinking, `Wow, he agrees with me,' " he said. "But later, when you get home and think about it, you are not sure."" (and there is more, later)

    You know, a lot of people in Florida probably read the NYTimes...

    Very hard (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:31:42 AM EST
    to look at the contradictions particularly now in his efforts to court the various constituencies and not see the glaring character implications.

    A new open thread is (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:37:21 AM EST
    A pattern of Obama's (5.00 / 7) (#58)
    by Foxx on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:50:27 AM EST
    He just bald faced says things that are not true, that are contradicted by the evidence, that are the opposite of what he said at another time. It is blatant and shameless. And the press doesn't call him on it.

    This really (5.00 / 4) (#90)
    by Grace on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:51:14 AM EST
    slays me.  The issue about Obama saying he would sit down with foreign leaders "without preconditions" -- that's exactly what he said.  He said it in a debate.  It's not like you could misinterpret what he said because it wasn't surrounded by a lot of other words and sentences.  He was quite clear that he wants to sit down with leaders of countries we don't get along with "without preconditions."  

    He only started flopping in the wind when McCain and Clinton pointed out how naive he is.  

    Now he clings to the "without preconditions" but has added "with preparations" -- but his preparations sound a heck of a lot like preconditions.  

    I just typed this and I honestly can't believe intelligent people are voting for him.  Are they book smart only?  Don't they have any common sense?  Have they taken any logic classes?  It's just mind-boggling.  


    His problem is naivete more than credibility (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by catfish on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:51:26 AM EST
    He does not seem to sense danger (as in danger to one's own career) until it is too close. As with Wright - how did he not call up Wright and say look, I need a huge favor, for you to keep quiet and if you do you'll be rewarded big time.

    So with Khalidi, who at first seems OK but delves into some extremist language, does Obama not listen very well? He's a little like Reagan this way - like he's day dreaming a lot of the time. Nancy was "the heavy" in that relationship, as Michelle is in this one.

    - armchair shrink analysis.

    But unlike Reagan (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by catfish on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:52:55 AM EST
    who had put in a lot of time with the Republican party, he wanted to move the party in a certain direction, what is Obama's objective?

    This is more (5.00 / 6) (#61)
    by facta non verba on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:53:08 AM EST
    of wanting to be all things to all people. He's a farce. Obama has no convictions of his own. It's what's good for Obama is good for the country. That's his MO.

    The New York Times has an article on his outreach to Jewish vote. Obama Courts FLA Jewish Voters

    and here's an interview of Ed Koch who like Ferraro may not vote for Obama:
    Ed Koch Interview

    Feel free to drop jaw here: (5.00 / 11) (#62)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:54:50 AM EST
    This item from Jeralyn's ABC news source got my attention: "Obama said that members of the U.S. Congress have expressed anti-black sentiments but they are still his friends and it doesn't mean that he avoids dealing with them".

    So Obama says he has racist friends in Congress. Did anybody think to ask, well, do tell, like who, and how are they racist? Surely, he wasn't thinking about poor Senator Byrd.

    That takes the cake. Obama lays claim to racist friends in order to assure Jewish voters that he doesn't share the views of his anti-Israel friends. How "bone-headed" is that?

    One wonders whether Obama has any friends who aren't, in some way, a political liability.

    Ahhh (5.00 / 4) (#63)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:01:00 AM EST
    this is the exact stuff that gets me about the "transcended" and "tranformative" candidacy.  First it's not honest  to say that we are post racial, then it's not honest to constantly use race, culture etc to legitimize his candidacy.  

    People are always so impressed hearing 2nd hand... (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Ellie on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:54:55 AM EST
    ... that someone lofty, evolved and jam-packed with sincere sincerity like Obama is friends even with those who are beneath him.

    Isn't it flingin' flangin' special of him to consort with lesser mortals that he can, you know, USE POLITICALLY IN SOME WAY?

    Phew, good thing they're too dumb to access his public statements, existing in blissful ignorance of what's behind Obama's largesse in shining his special attention upon their undeserving heads.

    Otherwise, discovering Obama's true motives might make them
    (a) righteously peeved
    (b) prepared to resist being cast off the bus
    (c) inclined to retaliate in some way.

    Add this to the huge cache of yet more unexploded General Election Ordnance dispersed by Obama himself.

    Former allies he's used as stepping stones on his hasty ascendency to fly close to the sun need only to take a shot, from a distance, at an unexploded bomblet for it to go up and they won't get a speck on themselves.

    And people wonder why he has to spend 2, 3 and 4:1 in damage control advertising just to tread in place.


    What a strange statement (5.00 / 5) (#64)
    by Steve M on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:06:37 AM EST
    I'm Jewish, and I don't have any anti-semitic friends.  Is that weird of me?

    One wonders who these people are, these Congressional dinosaurs who apparently just can't resist cracking racist jokes in Sen. Obama's presence.


    SteveM, for what it's worth, (none / 0) (#70)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:29:40 AM EST
    I also don't have any "friends" who are anti-semitic, or misogynist, or racist, or ageist, or classist.

    I've worked with some people ('creative-class') who were some, or all, of those things. But, I kept my distance in the work place and I wouldn't be caught dead associating with any of them in any sort of voluntary capacity. Why would anybody choose to do otherwise?


    I'm a sinner + distinguish btwn actions and being (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by Ellie on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:01:45 AM EST
    I don't understand this climate of public denunciation. The Conformist Class protests too much and riotously point accusatory fingers now that they are "innoculated" from charges of bigotry by having a new Black BFF.

    (I was just watching the late night rerun of The Daily Show. Jon "Hitler, therefore You're All Racists" Stewart did another weak bit reliant on HRC supporters being racists because they support the white lady and not Obama. The punchline is that Jon Stewart is Jewish and, in closing, Hitler.)

    All I'd ever cop to is my own behavior. If someone I knew was called out I'd more likely implore them to do the same and would stand by them as they made amends. I'm more bothered by hasty denunciations; it's just more evil to "discard" people.

    I wouldn't smack on an *ist label unless someone routinely went to an *ism and consciously ignored calls to make amends, esp. if there was malice involved. This 900 degrees of separation measurement is ridiculous.

    (TMI: I volunteer offline with multi-cultural and multi-faith groups to get local resources for peoople in need. Everyday, the people who routinely get charged the MOST of being *ist are ... yep ... the volunteers. There are too few resources for too many people in need and this is down to tooth and claw. Being called a name in a frustrating situation sucks but the suffering isn't even in the same stratosphere of sleeping on the street or living in terror of domestic violence.

    In Passing: And add this to the dozens of reasons I pathologically detest the Bush/Cheney admins. Apart from the offloading of tax burdens from their cuts for the wealthy, cheeseball "govt shrinking" creative Repug accounting to, eg, use local security for campaign expenses have bled local coffers of money available for "social" use.)


    I hear ya Ellie, in the work place (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:15:04 AM EST
    we don't get to choose our associates, but even there we can still choose our friends, without being unkind to anybody.

    When my time is my own, I have the privilege of spending it with open-minded people of my choice who I call family and friends.


    Problem is, when you hear him say it, (5.00 / 5) (#76)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:48:01 AM EST
    he talks in slow short sentences with long pauses in between and tons of "uh" fillers. It gives the perception he's searching hard and fast for everything he can think of to cover his butt.

    Look at how the thoughts come from a dozen different directions. And, every time he starts to speak using "well, look" or "look, look, look" he is going to be condescending and instructional on why the audience, or person is wrong and he is the victim of their wrongness.

    And look at "guilt by association" -- (5.00 / 12) (#96)
    by Cream City on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:14:55 AM EST
    that is classic Obamaspeek.  The problem is not him.  The problem is those who say things about him.  

    It is a weasely tactic over and over with him.  I simply can't contemplate listening to four or more years of it.  Bleccch.


    amateur hour (5.00 / 5) (#129)
    by Kathy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:07:02 AM EST
    This kind of stuff is so easy to check, and galvanizes people when they know they have been lied to.  They don't just feel angry, they feel betrayed, an emotion that lasts a heck of a lot longer.

    Rezko, Ayers, Wright, this guy...how many more bad associations does Obama have lurking in the wings?  Rezko was, "that man," or similar, too, and then we find he was Obama's IL senate campaign finance director.  Same with Ayers, and he worked for the guy on that foundation.  And now another instance where Obama sat in an audience listening to toxic hate (this time in the form of a poem) and did nothing.

    The house of cards is looking mighty wobbly. Thank God Clinton is still in it to win.  Rise, Hillary, Rise!

    ps: wtf is going on with U of Chicago and all these leftist loons?


    Chicago School (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by magisterludi on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:23:24 AM EST
    This is what turned me off to Obama.

    Home to Milton Friedman, the man who inspired Ronald Reagan. His ghost still commands a great presence there. Ask Austan Goolsbee and George Will (who, btw, is VERY comfortable with Obama's trade policy stance).

    These guys are, for the most part, neo-liberals.Just as scary as the neocons.


    You got that right ... (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by Inky on Fri May 23, 2008 at 09:27:46 AM EST
    And of course, Milton Friedman's son, David Friedman, is a supporter of Obama for just the reasons you mentioned.

    Perhaps I am too optimistic about Obama, but I do not think he is going to turn out to be an orthodox liberal. There is a group of intellectuals connected with the University of Chicago who have accepted a good deal of the Chicago school analysis but still want to think of themselves as leftists. They are, as I see it, trying to construct a new version of what "left" means. Examples would be Cass Sunstein and Austan Goolsby, both at Chicago, and Larry Lessig, who used to be there.

    Sunstein describes himself as a libertarian paternalist, meaning that he wants to take advantage of elements of irrationality in individual decision making to nudge people into making what he considers the right decisions, while leaving them free not to if they so wish. Goolsby, judging by webbed pieces of his I've read, is a pro-market economist who happens to be a Democrat, rather like Alfred Kahn, who gave us airline dereguation under Carter. He is also Obama's economic advisor. I do not agree with all his views--for details of one disagreement see an earlier post--but I like them better than the views usually supported by Democratic politicians and their advisors.



    Exactly (none / 0) (#162)
    by talex on Fri May 23, 2008 at 09:34:15 AM EST
    Good observation. I, and I know others, saw what you point out in the very first interviews we saw him in.

    So, once again (5.00 / 5) (#83)
    by janarchy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:28:24 AM EST
    Obama claims he hardly knows someone that he used to associate with, gave him large sums of money and helped him out along the way. Convenient how these things keep on cropping up?

    FWIW, his talk in FL was arranged by his supposed good friend Robert Wexler who clearly wants to mollify his constiuents. I'm furious with Wexler for turning into another kool-aid drinking fool who is in the tank for Obama and who blocked any efforts to get the Florida primary mess sorted. Pretty funny considering he was one of the biggest mouthpieces in 2000. I hope the voters are smarter than Wexler's turned out to be and din't buy into Obama's pandering today.

    That's what leapt out at me. (5.00 / 4) (#100)
    by rghojai on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:48:36 AM EST
    The first graf of your comment was my reaction... in addition to thinking BO's comments weren't smart. It's so easy for so many people to find that he was, er, inaccurate in his description of the relationship... again.

    Can feel like the 527 ads just about write themselves.


    It just blows my mind (5.00 / 5) (#116)
    by janarchy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 05:10:14 AM EST
    that he keeps pulling the same tricks with all of these people and very few people bother to comment or even care. And that his supporters keep falling for it and just back him up!

    What's so sad is that usually the RNC and FOX have to embellish/distort/make up stories in order to sell them to their followers. This year, they've been able to sit back, kick their heels up and take the high road and just point out the facts. It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.


    The man in the white shirt behind obama (5.00 / 3) (#91)
    by fly on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:59:27 AM EST
    was not convinced what so ever..i watched this man the entire time giving looks like..b.s...his brow was creased like he didn't believe one word he was hearing..and he was really showing it with his expressions.

    This was a manufactured joke!

    fly from Fla.

    This whole issue disgusts me (5.00 / 0) (#94)
    by Siguy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:09:57 AM EST
    As an American-Jew, I've found my conversations with fellow Jews about Obama to be hideous and upsetting.

    I say to them, why don't you like him? They say "He's not good on Israel."

    I say, "What does that mean? He's not good on Israel? What has he proposed that you don't like? What do you think he's going to change?"

    And all they say is he had this Palestinian friend five years ago and one of his foreign policy advisors "is bad on Israel."

    That's the phrase I hate. People are talked about as "good on Israel" or "bad on Israel" but none of my fellow jews have any god damned idea what the hell that means. They tell me "Well you know that Bush and McCain are good on Israel," and I want to strangle them. Good how? Good in that they provide the same basic funds and military support any Democrat would provide but they also bring to bear a positively messianic Middle East foreign policy that inflames the entire region and has made Israel less safe.

    Frankly, I think someone like Obama could be the best thing to happen to Israel because he would restore the relationship Bill Clinton had, the honest broker relationship that, while by no means totally successful (Camp David failures), did produce a long period of peace and stability and gradual normalization. Bush has ruined our foreign credibility, and having someone as President who has actually, you know, spoken to a Palestinian intellectual, seems to me like a good thing.

    More than anything this is all just excuse making. Most of the Jews I speak to who have problems with Obama have drifted Republican on dozens of other issues due to their wealth and they use the Israel discussion as an excuse to clothe what is still a pretty unpopular thing for a jew to do, vote Republican.

    Obama thinks (5.00 / 5) (#95)
    by Edgar08 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:13:45 AM EST
    Bill wasn't good on Israel.

    Maybe that's why people think Obama is "not good on Israel."


    I'm waiting for a time... (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by ctrenta on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:56:47 AM EST

    ... when the discourse includes " Fill in the blank is good/not good on Palestine."

    I once heard Senator Russ Feingold say, "Israel is our ally." Followed by an applause. Then Feingold said, "And Palestine is our ally too." I think I heard a dozen or so people clap. That's par for the course and that's unfortunate.

    This isn't all about Israel. The MidEast crisis is about both countries and until we start treating and discussing Palestine's needs/interests as equal as Israel's, then hopefully we'll move in a better direction.


    I don't think (5.00 / 5) (#118)
    by janarchy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 05:17:36 AM EST
    he'll be good on anything. I don't care whether he has Palestinian friends or not. The fact that he conveniently downplays anyone he deems as a bad influence to the people he's talking to at the time is what matters. It's a matter of character, judgement and honesty. I have no idea what Obama's real beliefs are or what his policies will be. He talks out of both sides of his mouth so often that it's laughable.

    Do not compare him with Bill Clinton. Clinton, for all his glibness, actually gave a d@mn and wanted everyone everywhere to get along. It didn't always work out but the man tried. Obama? Not even remotely in the same league. It's becoming more and more apparent that the only thing he cares about is Obama.


    What about another Clinton? (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:15:26 AM EST
    You know (none / 0) (#171)
    by Steve M on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:10:09 AM EST
    It's rare that I see a comment on here that rings so true.  But I have the exact same conversations!!!

    One of my co-workers said, "I have my concerns about whether Obama is good on Israel."  I stared at him and said, "Since when did YOU start voting based on Israel."  He thought about and said, "I dunno, I guess I actually don't care that much, but I just have concerns about him!"  Really, really surreal conversation.

    I think your last paragraph may be correct but the bottom line is, once these votes realign they are not coming back.  I would like to see Obama be MUCH MUCH more explicit about the mainstream liberal argument, that the peace agenda is the true pro-Israel agenda.  Trying to out-AIPAC McCain will get him nowhere, and it sticks him with bizarre positions like he'll talk with Iran but won't talk with Hamas.


    This whole issue disgusts me, you said (5.00 / 4) (#99)
    by Monda on Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:46:53 AM EST
    No, this whole issue disgusts me.  Obama is in the tank with people who paid for him to be where he is today. This man, paid and bought for by the strong Serbian lobby in Chicago released the worst statement when it came to Kosovo independence (the Balkans, hint). Not that he had a clue, but he was "paid" to say what he did.  The same thing now, when it comes to Israel-Palestine.  He doesn't now what the hell is going on in the region.  But his buddies provide him the information and the money.  (And Gaza Strip students making phone calls for him to donate.)  I can talk geo-politics forever.  I'm from the Balkans, and I have two degrees in this horrible stuff.  But what disgusts me is all the aura around  this man making it look like the second coming.  I could go on and argue these points, but not to you.  It's beyond repair.    

    Can you link to (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:13:59 AM EST
    more info about the Serbian info?

    Here's video (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by facta non verba on Fri May 23, 2008 at 04:09:19 AM EST
    of the exchange between Obama and the man asking the question.

    Obama on Rashid Khalidi

    More friends under the Obama bus (5.00 / 5) (#105)
    by Robot Porter on Fri May 23, 2008 at 04:14:48 AM EST
    I think the lesson we should all take from this is Obama will throw anyone under the bus if it helps him politically.

    I mean anyone.  Anti-war people.  African Americans.  Democrats.  And anyone else you can think of.

    You're his friend when it helps him, and a nonentity when it hurts him.

    Leadership?  Sounds like cowardice to me.

    I am an ardent zionist who is (5.00 / 5) (#130)
    by bslev22 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:10:30 AM EST
    also committed to my bones to a peaceful two-state solution.  I have stated from the bima of my congregation that I fully endorse and recognize the national aspirations of the Palestinian people and I would never alter that position.

    I don't agree with everything that Mr. Khalidi has ever written or said, I'm sure, but he is a leading and well-respected Palestinian-American and I would never hold it against Senator Obama that he had a close relationship with the man. I wish there was more such interaction.

    But, of course, Jeralyn hits the nail on the head.  This is not about one's views on the Middle East; this is about consistency and candor and, frankly, loyalty to a former friend and political ally.  Obama has failed on each of these fronts with respect to the Israel-Palestine dispute and his relationship with Mr. Khalidi, and he has failed miserably.  

    Obama on Khalidi and past associations (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by noholib on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:22:47 AM EST
    Bravo to Jeralyn for post #69.
    There is a definite disturbing pattern to Senator Obama's answers about associates whom he now wants to relegate to the distant past or the dustbin of history.  Concerning Rezsko, he first said that their relationship entailed only a few billable lawyerly hours.  Now he makes it sound as if his relationship with Prof. Khalidi revolved mostly around their children's Lab School.  
    If he has had good relationships with both American Jews and American Palestinians, then let him say that openly and draw from that experience to offer/do something constructive.  
    Some American Jews would accept that, some wouldn't; some American Palestinians would accept that, some wouldn't.  But at least people would know how and what Senator Obama thinks.
    He has used his personal story to great advantage and the charge of dishonesty and dissembling against Senator Clinton.  I ask you: who's guilty of dissembling?  
    I wish he'd be more honest and forthright.  That would show us whether or not he has the stuff of real leadership within him. IMO, one of his greatest problems is his desire to be everything to all people.  I know politicans wants to be elected, but I sense that he wants to be liked too much.

    I think if he were more explicit on matters (5.00 / 3) (#146)
    by lilburro on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:53:13 AM EST
    of policy, he wouldn't have to be defensive about his judgment and friends all the time.  Maybe it's just bad reporting but this abc blog seems to be less about how he would affect Israel, and more about what a great guy Obama is.

    "There is not a single trace of me being anything more than a friend of Israel and a friend of the Jewish people. ... And so I would just ask --because this is part of, I think, the tradition of the Jewish people -- is to judge me by what I say and what I've done, don't judge me because I've got a funny name, don't judge me because I'm African American and, you know, people are concerned about sort of memories of the past."

    That's a good statement, but why doesn't he just cut out the beginning and say, I am a friend of Israel, I want to do this, do that, preserve this.  Make some promises.  Show you know the issues.  He is making this about worldview, tendencies "I am pro-Israel" rather than policies and actions ("I have very pro-Israel policies").  People want to know what Pro-Israel means, and you can't explain that without delving depeer into policy.

    liburro - "explicit" (none / 0) (#156)
    by noholib on Fri May 23, 2008 at 08:39:01 AM EST
    Liburro, thanks for this gem:
    "...you know, people are concerned about sort of memories of the past." (Senator Obama)

    That's a truly eloquent statement if I've ever heard one.  One truly worthy of a Harvard Law School grad and a University of Chicago Law lecturer.

    Is this his brilliant way of addressing the fact that Jews have long and sometimes painful memories and these memories sometimes affect how they vote? Thanks Senator Obama for displaying so much deep understanding.  I can't wait for your next pronouncement on history and memory!

    Will it be about the Middle East, the language spoken in Afghanistan, the Bataan death march, or calling Senator Clinton the Senator (D) Punjab.

    P.S.  I know he's more intelligent than the above statement shows, but really ... "sort of" may cut it with his young admirers, but I think it's a turn-off for older folks.


    Never mind about the media picking up (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by carmel on Fri May 23, 2008 at 08:30:39 AM EST
    on anything that would be negative in relation to Obama and any of his relationships. Of course the media will ignore his relationship with Khalidi, the same way they ignored Wright and Rezko. One other point not being made is that Obama endorsed Jimmy Carter's meeting with Hamas before Obama changed his mind and said it might not be a good idea for Jimmy Carter to meet with Hamas. And the media continues to ignore that Zbig Brezinski is one of Obama's top foreign policy advisors. It seems Obama's positions on any given topic are suited for the current audience he is standing in front of at the moment.

    It is apartheid... (2.33 / 3) (#45)
    by Alec82 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:33:40 AM EST
    ...and I don't think it is very controversial to acknowledge it.  Jesus how else does one explain their marriage regime?

     The Palestinians are not saints, but Israel is not a passive victim in this garbage.  I very much dislike this kind of attitude.  Senator Clinton is shameless about Israel and, more importantly, AIPAC.  Senator Obama is just dismissive or opportunistic.  Neither has any high ground.

    AIPAC and OBAMA (5.00 / 7) (#49)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:39:25 AM EST
    Are you serious?  Obama has totally caved to AIPAC.  As someone with family in Lebanon and being from the middle east, I prefer Hillary, I know what she stands for and she does not have to prove she is so pro Israel that she would necessarily do anything that would be harmful to the Palestinians or Lebanese.  Whereas, someone who is trying to prove themselves, I find more unpredictable and actually dangerous.  

    That's the problem.... (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Alec82 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:48:53 AM EST
    ...you can't run against AIPAC.  You can't be objective.  You can only praise Israel for "trying" and tell the Palestinians they need to do more.  

     The rest of the world sees it for what it is.  


    What? (none / 0) (#66)
    by squeaky on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:08:04 AM EST
    Have you read Hillary's AIPAC speech? It is no less strident than Obama's speech. All in all, comparing the two, Obama seems slightly less hawkish than Hillary, not more as you suggest. He even mentioned that he was against the Iraq war and wants to withdraw the troops. Something Hillary did not say boo about.

    IMO, there is barely any difference in their mid east policies.


    she also was the first politician advocating (none / 0) (#112)
    by suzieg on Fri May 23, 2008 at 04:47:55 AM EST
    for a palestinian state

    Israel, Palestine, Obama, Clinton. (2.33 / 3) (#52)
    by Addison on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:43:56 AM EST
    Jeralyn, I honestly don't know what you're doing here.

    Israel has a right to exist, I don't think that Obama is disputing that. Israel has a right to defend itself, again, the same. But that situation right now isn't working. Both sides, as Khalidi states, well, getting their act together is what is needed.

    The boundaries of the future states is certainly a matter for discussion. The culpability of both sides isn't really even a debate among reasonable people. Obama seeking to reassure Jewish voters that he's not going to cede Israel into the sea isn't abnormal, it's his policy.

    I hope that by now I've managed to show I'm not nuts. But when I think of TalkLeft as not merely pro-Hillary (you're very honest about it not being neutral), but anti-Obama (which is something different), this is the sort of post I think about.

    Obama is pro-Israel. Obama had fundraisers with a guy who is pro-Palestinian. I see subtlety, I see (yes) a little politics). I don't see deceptiveness. I see a president who could help solve this mess where many presidents have failed.

    Finally, thank you for your integrity on keeping this discussion civil.

    Addison (5.00 / 18) (#69)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:25:03 AM EST
    To answer you: It's not whether he's right or wrong on Palestine and Israel, as I said, that's not something I feel comfortable taking a position on because I don't know enough.

    It's three things.

    One is a pattern I see with him: that his positions change depending on his audience. See all my posts about his various stances on drug laws.

    The second is his many references to "political capital" and how some things might not be worth expending it on. It's too hard to figure out what he will take a stand on and what he won't. He's clearly said changing drug laws may not be worth expending political capital on. Why give him credit for his views on drug laws if he won't act on those view?

    The third is a result of the first two: Trust. I have a problem trusting someone whose positions change and who may not fight for something he says he believes in, particularly if that belief pertains to an issue I want action on.

    Finally, his tendency towards exaggeration bothers me: comments like his saying no one has done more against anti-semitism than he has. What about Elie Wiesel? Even today, he talked about how Rashidi doesn't reflect the views of 900 of his friends. Who has 900 friends? I'm no shrinking violet and I'm not sure I even know 900 people -- and I don't know a soul who has 900 friends.

    His positions morph over time, he talks about wanting a united state instead of blue states and red states. That's shorthand for compromise. The reason to get a Democrat in is to get Democrative values included in bills. When the crack powder equalizton bill comes up, is he going to sign the one that provides for an increase in powder penalties so a lesser reduction in crack is neccessary to equalize them? His friends Diane Feinstein and ken Salazar support that bill. He signed on to joe Biden's bill which equalizes penalties at current ratios. But Republicans and centrists like Salasar and Feinstein are pushina a 25:1 bill. I'm hearing without a big fight, we could end up with that. Also the bill he and Hillary sponsored, Biden's S. 1711 is filled to the gills with more money for prosecutors and the drug war and won't apply retroactively.

    Instead of hope and change, I'd like him to lay out his plans and tell us which are his priorities that he will fight for tooth and nail, and which will go by the wayside.

    There are still 2 candidates in this race. With Hillary, as Stellaa said above, you know where she stands. She's never changed. I like candidates to be straight-forward and honest.

    He seems lacking to me. I don't post any "hate Obama" pieces. I'm still on who is better, him or Hillary. I trust Hillary. I know where she stands. And while she's more centrist than I am, I can live with her positions. They are well thought out and she doesn't change them. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

    I also don't trust him on social security or on health care.

    That's not hating him, that's expressing my view why I prefer a different candidate. Once the nomination is decided, if he gets it, I'll be comparing him to McCain and he will come out ahead. But not as far ahead of McCain as Hillary.


    Nightmare words, "political capital" (5.00 / 8) (#81)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:09:58 AM EST
    we heard that phrase over and over again from GWB when he started his second term. He used it with "in your face" emphasis that he was going to do whatever he wanted without regard for the people. And, he has.

    I see so much of GWB in Obama that he scares me. I also feel that his party elders (Biden, Kennedy, Kerry, etc.) endorse him because they believe they can get their projects accomplished easier under his administration than they could under Hillary's. As close as they are to retiring, the want their legacy to reflect bigger things.


    GWB: Reagan stupid not to use political capital (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Ellie on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:14:03 AM EST
    I'll have to root through my cache of Bush dreck to find a living link.

    GWB said that Reagan should have used his accumulated political capital to muscle through hard right agenda items. Bush seems to have a 'morally materialistic' view of political capital (and public approval poll numbers): they are meant to be spent.

    IMO this ties into his frequent allusions to Future History, where the rottenest Pres. ever heading the worst admin ever will be vindicated, admired and so on.

    I don't see that happening, but then I didn't see Bush coming either. (I knew that Cheney, Rummy, Baker and the usual scum were lurking out there.)


    Superstars and lone wolves don't have 900 friends (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by Ellie on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:13:59 AM EST
    Even today, he talked about how Rashidi doesn't reflect the views of 900 of his friends. Who has 900 friends? I'm no shrinking violet and I'm not sure I even know 900 people -- and I don't know a soul who has 900 friends

    Only superstars have hundreds of close personal friends (or hangers-on) and lone wolves have as many whom they, er, probably ate at some point along the journey.

    (General election: BOOM goes the dynamite.)


    Amen, Jeralyn, to your comment #69. (5.00 / 9) (#87)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:44:42 AM EST
    Now, if only Obama had your way with words.

    I am generally unnerved by the befuddled,  flippant, tone-deaf way he often speaks when he's off script. On the whole, he doesn't seem to grasp that you just don't say certain things in a certain way in certain contexts. We can't afford that in another POTUS.

    You mention his "exaggeration". I don't know what to call it. But Obama recognizes that he has a problem with what he calls "numeracy" (a real word I've never heard used by anybody but Obama). He tends to grossly over-estimate when he is dealing with any kind of quantity: like the Kansas tornado death toll (10,000 vs 10); or Myanmar (10 million vs 100,00); 57 states vs 50; 900 friends, etc. And sweeping generalizations; like saying no one has done more against anti-semitism than he has.

    Then there's the confused logic of trying to offset the anti-Israel views of one group of friends by saying that he has other friends who have anti-black views. How does he not know that sounds doubly wrong? How does he not know how implausible it sounded when he said he'd never heard any of Rev. Wright's more inflammatory rhetoric?

    In my experience, this is the way people talk when they have few core convictions and are fundamentally detached from what's going on around them. That may, or may not, be true of Obama.


    Obama bamboozles with ease (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Josey on Fri May 23, 2008 at 05:33:41 AM EST
    Trust Required for Change (5.00 / 5) (#108)
    by HenryFTP on Fri May 23, 2008 at 04:31:32 AM EST
    Addison's query, and Jeralyn's response, very neatly encapsulate what's at issue. I don't see anything particularly unusual about Obama's deflecting the query -- after all, it's what "straight-talking" John McCain does all the time whenever he's questioned about his rogue's gallery of unsavoury acquaintainces.

    But I think Obama's making a big mistake here by playing politics as usual. More conventional politicians may feel that they have to placate AIPAC, but from where I sit on the Upper West Side of Manhattan AIPAC does not reflect the views of many, many Jewish Americans on reaching a modus vivendi between Israel and the Palestinians. Obama is not going to win over likudnik voters in any event, but he could energize a much larger number of people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who think that America has a more constructive role to play in bringing about a just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and that America cannot play such a role if it only talks and listens to one side while only lecturing the other.

    It was a missed opportunity. By trusting the voters with a bit more candor, Obama could build the trust necessary to effect some real change.

    I also fear that if he continues to take this fairly defensive approach to his associations in his Hyde Park community, it's going to go very badly for him once the Republican slime machine really gets rolling in a few months. And before folks start wringing their hands about how the candidate won't look "presidential" if he goes too negative, I suggest they take a good look at the campaign speeches of FDR and Harry Truman.


    agreed (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Josey on Fri May 23, 2008 at 05:43:56 AM EST
    and imho Obama frequently plays the Guilt Card to dissuade further discussion about an elephant in the room.
    Obama's silver tongue takes slick and sleazy to new low levels because he can (get away with it).

    Give 'em hell, Harry! (none / 0) (#137)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:25:58 AM EST
    from a genuine original Truman Democrat

    how do you get entire refugee camps (none / 0) (#14)
    by english teacher on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:14:18 AM EST
    under a bus?  where is chief brody when we need him?   "we're going to need a bigger bus"!

    Sounds Smart (none / 0) (#51)
    by squeaky on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:43:52 AM EST
    I am sure that in front of muslim voters he would maximize his Palestinian relationships..... I have many good friends that are muslim....

    Thats does not negate that many of his good friends are jews...  

    Why would he maximize his relation with Kahlid in front of jews who identify with right wing Israeli policy? That would be stupid.

    not smart (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by tree on Fri May 23, 2008 at 04:38:03 AM EST
    in the present day of pocket recorders, cellphone cameras and youtube. That's how we got "bitter-cling".

    look at what is yet to come courtesy of all my rep (none / 0) (#101)
    by suzieg on Fri May 23, 2008 at 04:07:23 AM EST
    acquaintances including all members of my dentist's staff and ex-work colleagues who have been emailing me this story because they know I'm a democrat!

    oops hit the wrong bar again! (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by suzieg on Fri May 23, 2008 at 04:11:26 AM EST
    changed from Mac to Pc and I'm having trouble adjusting to the space bar.

    Where Hope Finally Made a Comeback.

    Saturday, May 17, 2008
    Obama Met Secretly With Shady Imam in Michigan This Week

    Barack Obama met secretly with a controversial Imam this week in Michigan.
    Imam Hassan Qazwini has hosted Louis Farrakhan at his mosque and is close to the Hezbollah Spiritual Leader who issued the fatwa to blow up 300 U.S. Marines and embassy officials in 1983.

    Imam Hassan Qazwini, head of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, met privately with Sen. Barack Obama at Macomb Community College on May 14, 2008. (Detroit Free Press)

    Imam Hassan Qazwini met privately with Senator Barack Obama this week in Michigan.
    The Detroit Free Press reported:

    A Muslim leader from Dearborn met privately with Sen. Barack Obama during his Wednesday visit to Michigan.

    Imam Hassan Qazwini, head of the Islamic Center of America, said in an email that he met with Obama at Macomb Community College. A mosque spokesman, Eide Alawan, confirmed that the meeting took place. During the meeting, the two discussed the Presidential election, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Iraq war, according to Qazwini.

    At the end of the meeting, Qazwini said he gave Obama a copy of new book, "American Crescent," (his book on why Islam is good for America) and invited Obama to visit his center.

    The meeting with Obama came about after Qazwini had asked David Bonior, the former U.S. Rep. from Michigan, if he could meet with Obama during his visit. Qazwini was not selected to be part of a group of 20 people who met with Obama, but Qazwini later got a private meeting with Obama, Alawan said.
    Hat Tip Banafsheh Zand Bonazzi

    Debbie Schlussel wrote about Imam Hassan Qazmini and saw Farrakhan speak at his mosque in 1998:

    In 1998, the mosque--then in Detroit--was the first mosque to which I went undercover. I wrote about it in The Detroit Newsistan, before the paper became Muslim-occupied territory under such boneheaded individuals as editorial page editor Nolan Dhimmi Finley. At the time, the mosque hosted Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who delivered a long hate-filled rant against Jews and Christians (and in praise of Saddam Hussein). When Farrakhan called Jewish Americans "forces of evil" with a "Satanic mentality." Imam Qazwini and his congregants gave him a standing ovation. That's not to mention that the Imam and other Muslim officials introduced Farrakhan as "our dear brother" and "a freedom fighter."
    Imam Hassan Qazwini has met with the Spiritual leader of Hezbollah:

    Imam Hassan Qazwini(right) meets with Hezbollah Spiritual Leader Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. (This photo is posted at DebbieSchlussel.com)

    Debbie Schlussel wonders what Obama is doing hanging out with Hezbollah's Iranian Agent Imam in Michigan?

    Iranian Human Rights activist Banafsheh Zand Bonazzi wrote to add this on the meeting:

    Here we have one of the most unnoticed Mullah promoters, someone who is allegedly a member of the Mullahs secret agent network (VEVAK), now living in the U.S. and said to be working in brainwashing people in Dearborn, on behalf of the terrorist regime of Iran, meeting with Obama. I would bet my bottom dollar that he has a message from his presumed bosses in Tehran for this Democrat candidate. But how come this isn't being reported more widely?!


    Heh (none / 0) (#167)
    by Steve M on Fri May 23, 2008 at 09:57:22 AM EST
    "Shady Imam"?  The Democrats invited the guy to give the opening prayer in Congress!  I believe he heads the largest mosque in the country.

    Debbie Schlussel is just a nutjob.


    After reading the article (none / 0) (#123)
    by magisterludi on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:40:38 AM EST
    it seems Obama's ties to Rev. Wright, coupled with relationships with Palestinian activists, makes some Jewish voters wary. I swear, that Reverend has something for the GOP to exploit on just about every hot button issue.

    WIth the exception of Jimmy Carter.... (none / 0) (#127)
    by ctrenta on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:02:59 AM EST

    ... can you think of any other president since 1948 who hasn't acted any differently? Bill Clinton was instrumental with the Oslo peace process but when was the last time any US president recognized al-Nakba? If they did, or if they advocated for many other Palestinian issues, it would be political suicide.

    That's the thing I can't understand.

    Interesting Tidbit (none / 0) (#134)
    by democrat1 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:17:13 AM EST
    I found this comment by Harriet at Taylor Marsh Hot Topics:

    What a surprise! Obama's appearance at a Florida synagogue was yet another fix. According to the WSJ, his staff and local suck-up politicians hand-picked the audience so that no tough questions would be asked. Here is the blog I posted at the WSJ. It appears just below that of a woman who refers to King Con as "Obamination." That's a keeper to run with.


    I can become a regular politician just watch me! (none / 0) (#140)
    by Saul on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:35:08 AM EST
    Boy I would hate to have this guy call me my friend.  You can rest assure that you are expendable if need be.  

    The irony of his campaign is that becoming a regular politician, and divorcing himself of that holier than thou road he initially took as the heart of his campaign just might be what gets him nominated.

    If a reporter would ask him

    Well Senator Obama what the greatest thing you learn while campaigning for President?

    His reply should be

    Well I can say I really learn how to throw people under the bus when it's necessary.

    This is how bad this guy wants to be president.  By the time he gets to the white house he will be just like those old politicians who he claimed represented the past and were considered evil.  

    Welcome to the official world of politics Mr. President.  You just made a 180.

    A friend (none / 0) (#142)
    by sas on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:39:51 AM EST
    from Massachusetts told me that she and I were suffering from BITS - that is "Bush inspired Tourette syndrome".  This is where, upon seeing him or hearing him, we scream obscenities and say outrageous things.

    OK now I have it with Obama.  What shall I call it - OITS.  Maybe I can just use BITS again - Barack Inspired Tourette Syndrome.

    Because as soon as I see him....out they come.

    Oh no....another 4 $%T%$#$!!@@ years....?

    Rashid Khalidi (none / 0) (#144)
    by carmel on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:43:08 AM EST
    was responsible for getting Ahmedinajad to speak at Columbia University. I'm surprised nobody in the media has picked up on this. Obama also supported the late Edward Said and attended a dinner in his honor with Michelle. And Obama supporter George Soros makes no secrets of his feelings about what he would like to see happen to the State of Israel.

    I'm surprised nobody in the media has picked up on (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Buckeye on Fri May 23, 2008 at 08:05:23 AM EST
    this."  The Republicans have not yet started campaigning against Obama.  Once they do...

    It's so clear to me (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by joanneleon on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:06:57 AM EST
    that this is the candidate the Republicans want to run against.  The media will help them all along the way, as they are helping them now by going easy on Obama in order to help him get the nomination.

    The campaign commercials are making themselves every day.  I don't know if I can take it when they start to tear him apart.  Because I could see it coming from a mile away.  I really think I'm going to need to just walk away from politics once the GE campaign starts in earnest.  I desperately want to be positive about winning in November, but I really think this is going to be one of the most spectacular losses in American history.  There is no way that this race should even be remotely competitive this year, after eight years of Bush/Cheney, with a quagmire of wars, global warming looming and the economy in the tank.  But we go and choose the most vulnerable of candidates and we get our priorities all freaking mixed up.  

    Someday I hope someone can explain to me why, in 2008, it was more important to choose the ideological candidate over the pragmatic one who could get in there and solve immediate problems and pave the way for the more ideological candidate.  We're so screwed.  The Clintons know it, and that's the main reason why Hillary is hanging in there, trying to convince people that we need her to be the nominee this year.


    Good post. (none / 0) (#174)
    by Buckeye on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:26:10 AM EST
    In a normal election, McCain would mop the floor with Obama for many many reasons.  The only reason Obama has a shot is that the Republican party is in really bad shape this year.

    For the general election, if the word Democrat is running against the word Republican, the Democrat mops the floor with the Republican.  But when you erase the word Democrat and write in Barack Obama, and then erase the word Republican and write in the name John McCain...what happens?

    That is the big question that needs to occupy the minds of the superdelegates between now and the convention.


    That's the key. (none / 0) (#153)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 08:22:08 AM EST
    The media can ignore this crap all they want but the GOP won't.

    the buisness about McCain (none / 0) (#154)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 08:30:20 AM EST
    dumping on Hagee was all about trying to attract some of the Jewish voters who are looking for someone to vote for besides Obama.
    McCain would never have done it if the Hitler quote had not been making the rounds.

    Folks pay attention please (none / 0) (#158)
    by delacarpa on Fri May 23, 2008 at 08:53:07 AM EST
    Go here and read what is really going on with Obama's record. What he will deal with if he is the nominee. We will have 4 more years of Bush lite president


    So now you folks are relying (none / 0) (#165)
    by riddlerandy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 09:53:55 AM EST
    on RW nutball sites?

    LOL (none / 0) (#169)
    by flyerhawk on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:04:41 AM EST
    Yes we should be very concerned about that sort of thing....

    ASI has received the thanks and recognition of President George W. Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and General Tommy Franks for its work to protect American soldiers and citizens from "war crimes" prosecutions by the United Nations. Then-Senator John Ashcroft proclaimed: "One of my greatest allies in this crucial work is Cliff Kincaid. For years, Cliff has publicly exposed the U.N.'s schemes to destroy America's independence and freedom."

    Perhaps you should start quoting NewsMax as well.


    Obama met with Hezbollah supporter in Detroit? (none / 0) (#159)
    by Shainzona on Fri May 23, 2008 at 09:01:23 AM EST
    Anyone know if there is real truth to this story?


    Stop Obama? (none / 0) (#172)
    by joanneleon on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:10:35 AM EST
    Do you really think I'm going to take anything seriously on a site called stop-obama?

    Please, use your common sense.


    Don't kill the source - look at the article (none / 0) (#176)
    by Shainzona on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:37:15 AM EST
    and the facts it contains.  Does this make sense to you?

    And when Hillary talks about her support (none / 0) (#164)
    by riddlerandy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 09:52:11 AM EST
    for Israel, she probably does not mention her kiss of Arafat's wife.

    you know playing both sides is political (none / 0) (#179)
    by hellothere on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:46:22 AM EST
    and diplomatic. that is how diplomatic talks are done. sorry to bust your little balloon there. and there should be discussion about the problem israel has with her neighbors in the middle east. it is long overdue. however, whining about hillary giving some wife a buzz on the cheek is well silly! whereas rev wright and farakhan said and did quite a bit more than that. obama knew nothing about it? i have a bridge in brooklyn for you. gold only though as i am a cynic.

    senator obama, you tell us you want (none / 0) (#178)
    by hellothere on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:43:23 AM EST
    to be president. ok, so just what do you plan to do regarding the explantion of past associations. you see, sir, many ask that question. farakhan, rev wright all have made questionable comments about this issue. you are left very vulnerable and your vast group of supporters getting mad and whining won't do you any good in ge. there are many other issues that need explanation. i won't get into that here. but explaning this in a manner besides calling us hicks, bigots, racists, and bitter would be a good start.