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Reevaluating Obama

Heaven help me, for I'm about to agree with David Brooks, the stupidest political analyst this side of his namesake Broder. But tonight I think he's on to something

Republicans are saps. They think that they're running against some academic liberal who wouldn't wear flag pins on his lapel, whose wife isn't proud of America and who went to some liberationist church where the pastor damned his own country. They think they're running against some naïve university-town dreamer, the second coming of Adlai Stevenson.

Ok, most of us former Hillary supporters probably agreed with this view. (Indeed, some Democrats cling to it.)   It was why Tom Davis, understanding that his party's brand was in the trash heap, nevertheless held out hope that John McCain and perhaps some of his fellow travelers would pull through:

The economy is softening and gas prices are skyrocketing, giving Obama an opening to court conservative value voters who are hurting economically. Fortunately, Hillary Clinton has driven a wedge between these competing constituencies, keeping them in play at the Presidential level. It begs the question of how these voters will vote in Congressional races.

Moreover, John McCain is not a polarizing figure. One could argue he is the opposite - moderate, bi-partisan, and unifying, which makes his claim on value voters different from Bush. How these lunch-bucket Democrats, who are culturally more conservative, vote this fall is the key to victory.

The wine and Chablis culturally liberal voters have made their pick...Obama. They, along with African Americans, form the nucleus of the money, the organization and the energy for Democrats this year. His talk of hope and change at 30,000 feet (I call it "Happy Talk"), though short on specifics, captures liberal anxiety about the direction of the country.

The coalition of cultural liberals and African Americans assembled by Obama has left out vast swaths of middle Americans concerned about the war, gas prices and the economy. But they are hardly ready to embrace McCain, let alone Congressional Republicans. Harsh cultural appeals on abortion and guns may have less to do with bringing these Democrats and Independents on board, than reassuring them that we have answers to these other issues.

But now Obama has pulled through and, by hook or by crook, has secured the Democratic nomination. Some of us abhor the tactics he used. But I have a strong suspicion that he knows how to repair the damage and get himself elected. As Brooks puts it:

Just try to imagine Mister Rogers playing the agent Ari in "Entourage" and it all falls into place.

[. . .]

He's the most effectively political creature we've seen in decades. Even Bill Clinton wasn't smart enough to succeed in politics by pretending to renounce politics.

So I strongly suspect that Obama can get himself elected. With him will follow an inevitable wave of Democrats in both houses of Congress. But we should be clear: nobody controls Obama. Not Dick Daley, not Markos, not you, not me, and not even his kool-aid-drinking small dollar donors. His coalition is so finely resolved that no one faction has enough pull to change his course. And the one faction that does, African Americans, will not dare try. The speech Obama gave this weekend denouncing deadbeat dads in the black community was, in my opinion, as much about testing what he could get away with as delivering a message intended to move votes. (I don't know how this issue plays in the AA community, so my analysis is limited here).

In any case, Obama is a free agent. And he will have my support all the way to the White House. I do not trust him, and I consider everything he says fungible. But what I have to rely on is that he chose the Democratic party for enough of the same reasons I did that he will enact policies I believe in. At least, I hope, they will differ from what John McCain would offer. And to echo Brooks, "[a]ll I know for sure is that this guy is no liberal goo-goo."

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    Of course, maybe Brooks is completely off (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:03:03 PM EST
    and Obama is just a lucky SOB. But I don't think you defeat Hillary Clinton with luck alone.

    Great diary, my friend. (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 11:14:21 AM EST
    And I agree with it. I know some people who are like Obama, and when they discuss politics, they never try to state what they believe in, necessarily, but always try to find the best lefty argument to get whatever righty voter (or vice-versa) to maybe change "sides", whether they believe in what they're saying or not. They're all about swaying people and votes towards whatever party they're for, and that seems to be what Obama does. It's hard to pin down what Obama believes in because of this, although that can be said about some of our finest Presidents as well (FDR for example.)

    I firmly believe Obama is a lefty because of this, and right now he's just in that mode of trying to reason with people to vote for "the left" or "the Democrats." And it's working, by all possible measures so far. I don't know what specifically he'll enact as "leader of the free world," although I do have confidence that it will be something I like.

    Owning Obama (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by VicfromOregon on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 04:23:08 PM EST
    I think if you take a look at Obama's record as a Stae Senator, you wiull see that anyone with money owns him.  Nothing has changed.  He is unclear in his statements because he intends to be unclear.  You will see him, now, backing away again and again from "clear" statements the next day, after moenied and powered interests have had a chance to give him a little direction and admonishment.

    Obama has been selling out since he entered politics and he will sell out until he has some inexplicable change of heart or a consciousness raising moment.  Those can and do happen.  But I'm not banking on it.  Neither are the banks.

    His sources of cash are so disparate now (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 04:37:22 PM EST
    that he has freedom from being owned by anyone.

    Parent
    I haven't looked for awhile, I admit (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 05:32:16 PM EST
    Do you know what percentage AIPAC is contributing to him?

    Obama's gift to Israel
    Leftist hero Obama's pro-Israel speech has immense significance at this time
    Sever Plocker
    Published: 06.12.08, 17:11 / Israel Opinion

    Barack Obama did the job for me.

    In his appearance before AIPAC, the Democratic presidential candidate delivered an enthusiastic Zionist speech. I downloaded it from the AIPAC website, saved it on my computer and on my cell phone, and printed out many copies of it.

    From now on, I will no longer have to prepare an outline for myself ahead of panel discussions with European or American leftists to which I am invited on occasion. I will no longer have to dig deep and uncover old quotes dating back to the establishment of the State of Israel that attest to the Left's support for the Zionist idea. I will no longer need to come up with wording that will explain Israel's policy in terms accepted by human rights groups.
    ....
    If it was another US presidential candidate, the words would be seen as a form of sycophancy to the Jewish vote, proof of the immense power of the pro-Israel lobby, and yet another particularly blatant expression of American politics' subjugation to Israeli interests.

    However, all these accusations cannot be leveled at Obama. After all, he is the admired leader, the leading model of the "other politics": Clean, transparent, moral, one that does not capitulate in the face of pressure groups and big money.

    After all, Obama was elected as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate (even though "elected" is a little exaggerated: Overall, Obama received fewer primaries votes than Hillary Clinton did, and lost to her in all the large states) because he dared say everything he believed in, without holding back. Therefore, the sincerity of his love for Zionism and Israel, as it was powerfully expressed in his AIPAC Conference speech, cannot be doubted without doubting the man himself and his entire path to the presidency.



    Parent
    Honestly, you won't find any (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 05:38:40 PM EST
    paroxysms from me over AIPAC. He needs to sound a little hawkish about the Middle East, and that doesn't bother me.

    Truthfully, I'm a bit more of a hawk than you probably realized. My fierce opposition to the Iraq war has masked my support for other interventions (most notably Kosovo).
     

    Parent

    I'm not trying to bait you, andgarden (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 05:52:55 PM EST
    I'm trying to figure out Obama, since he has a reasonable chance at becoming President. At least a 50 -50 shot, anyway.

    But as far as I recall, the last president who wasn't "owned" was JFK, so I'm a little concerned about how badly Oama wants to be President and what he'll do to get there.

    It's tempting prize for him I'm sure, especially since he's come far enough to taste it within his grasp, to mix metaphors.

    Parent

    I know you're not, I'm just laying out (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 05:54:34 PM EST
    my positions.

    I think, as BTD does, that Obama is doing and saying what he needs to in order to get elected. What happens after he gets in office is likely a center-left leadership style akin to Bill Clinton's. I can live with that.

    Parent

    I make about the same evaluation. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:03:02 PM EST
    Unfortunately, since I believe the bar should and could be much much higher. Many more people died in Iraq under the sanctions during Clinton's terms than have died since Bush invaded.

    Parent
    I am personally ambivalent about the sanctions (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:08:07 PM EST
    I don't really know what we should have done with Iraq in the 90s.

    Parent
    Yes... sanctions are a separate subject. (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:12:18 PM EST
    Except to people who suffer them. And that's never the leadership of the country sanctioned.

    As I say, I think the bar could be higher. At least Obama, if he wins, may be the lesser evil of the lesser of two evils, since Hillary is out.

    Parent

    That Is Questionable (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:17:36 PM EST
    As horrid as the sanctions were, particularly for infants, the post Invasion deaths have topped the deaths resulting from the sanctions measured on an annual basis.

    This is from over a year ago.

    Consider the following estimate from the Johns Hopkins medical scientists of "annual death rate per 1,000 of population" of 13.3 (post-invasion Iraq) as compared to (a) 5.5 (for pre-invasion Iraq after 12 years of crippling Sanctions) and (b) 4.0 (for Iraq's resource-poor but peaceful neighbours Syria and Jordan; UN Population Division data: http://esa.un.org/unpp/ ).

    link

    And considering how the Iraq infrastructure is now worse than ever, plus the DU dust that has contaminated the water, soil, and everything, I would imagine that the deaths attributed to BushCO was will far exceed those directly caused by the sanctions.

    Nice to see you commenting again Edger. Hope you stick around.

    Parent

    Hi Squeaky. Thanks. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:21:59 PM EST
    Once in awhile I will be, though I have a lot on my plate lately and time is always short, you know?

    Thanks for the link. I admit I also haven't updated on numbers for awhile and maybe I spoke too soon... but the last time I checked it was much higher. Although the DU will over the long rung dwarf both...

    Parent

    Last time Petraeus (sp?) testified (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:48:58 AM EST
    before Congress, NJ Senator Menendez confronted him with a laundry list of horribles in Iraq since invasion -- number of Iraqis who are homeless, number of Iraqis who fled to other countries, no electricity for lion's share of each day, etc., etc.  P asked Senator where he got his info -- & Menendez replied it was from material he & other colleagues have been provided.  Perhaps Senator's sources were included in the record?
    IMO, the Iraqi War has devastated this country.

    Parent
    Hi Squeaky. Thanks. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:22:42 PM EST
    Once in awhile I will be, though I have a lot on my plate lately and time is always short, you know?

    Thanks for the link. I admit I also haven't updated on numbers for awhile and maybe I spoke too soon... but the last time I checked it was much higher. Although the DU fatalities will over the long rung dwarf both, I'm sure...

    Parent

    Perhaps you don't understand 'death' (none / 0) (#60)
    by stevea66 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 01:00:59 AM EST
    Perhaps as many as 1 million Iraqi's have died.

    3 million have been displaced.

    Of those, over 1 million have left the country looking for a better way.

    The numbers that have been disfigured is beyond belief.

    Just imagine 3 million American's having to leave their own country.

    Imagine your kid being arrested in his own back yard and imprisoned without charge for years.

    It's unimaginable to me that Obama would even be capable of creating and sustaining something as horrendous as this.

    Parent

    This is how countries elect (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Grace on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 01:13:22 PM EST
    horrible leaders:  
    Obama is doing and saying what he needs to in order to get elected.

    And this is projecting your values onto him:  

    What happens after he gets in office is likely a center-left leadership style akin to Bill Clinton's.

    There is no evidence he'll be anything like Bill Clinton.  He talks a lot, but talk is cheap.  

    There is a lot of evidence he'll do and say anything in order to get elected.  I would totally agree with that.    

    Parent

    I thought Obama was the non-Bill Clinton.... (none / 0) (#41)
    by sallywally on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 11:26:20 PM EST
    first of all, thus Clinton being the anti-Christ to Obama voters, and secondly, that Bill Clinton was center-right in the mode of Eisenhower; Clinton described himself, after all, as being a good Eisenhower Republican.....

    Parent
    What's Obama's Tag? (none / 0) (#56)
    by fctchekr on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:48:32 AM EST
    He won in Chicago by eliminating all his opponents: it was legal,but was it ethical?

    He beat Clinton by elminating her with the help of THEIR party and the media. It was not okay when GWB did that to Gore and Kerry; but it's okay when Obama does it? This time it isn't the courts, it's worse.  

    How can we accurately assess or be critically discerning about a candidate if a political party and the media give them a pass?  

    Someone needs to write a book, and they will--not because this could be the first Black American President, but because this may be the first hypnotist turned Presidential Candidate, turned master political hypocrit whose self-righteousness manifests itself in the glow of pontifical rhetoric... a pseudo hallo to match.  

    Remember Dick was "tricky" and Clinton "untrustworthy."  Obama? How can anyone in politics avoid a tag? Or is it that he has so many, not even one of them will do?

    Scary!

    Parent

    The UnOwned Man (none / 0) (#28)
    by VicfromOregon on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 06:20:00 PM EST

    While Obama has brought in lots of new small cash donations, over half his fundraising is bundled through neo-lobbyists (the lobbyists that aren't lobbyists while collecting cash from well monied donors and bundling it in a fashion oddly looking like regular cash bundling. Check out factcheck.org).  

    So, in many ways, the "disparate" funding streams are misleading when taken to indicate no one person or group has "undue influence" (which is what we mean, right?) on Obama.  Just the fact that Obama is in the media while other, more qualified candidates can't get any coverage is, itself, an indication of just how much a part of the existing political and financial system Obama is.

    But, he may still, despite it, be less owned.  That may be a good thing as long as his inner demons own him even less.  Is he really his own man?  Some people may be surrounded by all types of powerful influential players and circumstances, and yet, keep true to their values and goals, while some fold ever so easily.  It is to Obama's past that we must look to find the answer to this deeper question.  Sadly, few are willing to take the few minutes to actually look into Obama's past, including syndicated media.  But, Chicago's local media carried several investigative stories on Obama's many involvements while a State Senator for District 13 in Chicago, (a part-time position more akin to most city's council positions) he held while being a lawyer in the city, as well as some rather callus deeds, such as letting poor old people go without heat in the winter. Read Chicago Sun-Times).

    Can you truthfully examine his past as a public servant and say he wasn't owned? Perhaps his funding streams weren't disparate enough?  That explains his laspes in judgement and character? But now they are?  Now he won't be pulled, bought, wooed, threatened, flattered, tricked, unduly influenced?  

    While one can argue it is the influence that is most troublesome, and diluting that influence will be to the good, and I agree, I tend to, equally, if not even more, look at the qualities and past actions of the person to help me judge what they are capable of doing in the future.  It's possible Obama will change.  Any of us can.  If he becomes president, I truly hope he finds the strength to make those changes and not repeat the "boneheaded", his words, corrupt, my words mistakes of the past.

    Parent

    Small donor argument (none / 0) (#30)
    by VicfromOregon on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 08:53:54 PM EST
    Just a thought.  Check out Jay Mandle's article in the Washington Post June 20, 2008 - The Small Donor Fallacy - if you'd like to look further into who is contributing and how much.  Turns out that while small donor donations may be rising, big monied donations are rising faster, and in fact, we are losing ground.

    We may not be able to buy our way out of this problem.

    Parent

    A challenge (none / 0) (#61)
    by stevea66 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 01:07:03 AM EST
    I'd challenge anyone to undergo the scrutiny Obama has and come out looking so good.  Do you know why?  Because he is good.

    It's interesting to note that while he has received 140,000 (I believe) from Fanny Mae employees (not PAC), when you take just the contributions from major players in that firm, Obama has received a mere $14,000 while McCain has received upwards of $130,000 (could be more).

    Who is in who's pocket.  Hmmm...

    Parent

    Obama and donors doesn't mean he's not owned (none / 0) (#32)
    by VicfromOregon on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:48:36 PM EST
    Just a heads up.  There is a good article by Jay Mandle in the Washington Post on June 20, 2008 entitled "The Small Donor Fallacy".  It's essentially addressing that while small donors have increased for Obama and McCain both, big donors have increased faster.  Percentage wise, Kerry and Bush had more small donors (42%) than Obama and McCain (39%), so we're actually going backwards.  It also points out that Obama's small donors are more affluent white collar workers.  The working class still has little left over to contribute, so class wise, I'm not sure many gains have been made, either.  It still looks to be more surface change than actual change in the system.  I think that as long as we uphold the business model of democracy and continue to try to buy our candidates rather than elect them, we will always have someone or something that will outspend us.  The upper classes, the more affluent, and the better connected are still calling the shots.

    As to AIPAC contributions, those won't be available, I believe, until the next quarter.  But making sure everyone attending the conference understood that he was "ruling in" the nuclear option against Iran might increase whatever contribution he was expecting from them.

    I see no other way to interpret Obama's words and emphasis as he spoke about the possibility of Iran getting nuclear weapons - "I will do everything within my power.  Everything.  Everything.  Let me be clear - everything..." to prevent Iran from having theses weapons.  Doesn't sound like "parlay" to me.

    Parent

    I checked out a link yesterday (none / 0) (#33)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:43:58 AM EST
    to lists of candidates' bundlers indicating individual name, professional affiliation and amount -- I will try to find link later (have a midterm Wed - & no, I'm not part of the youth vote, just a lawyer who's been there, done that going for another career); many large contributions from Carlyle and other IL-related businesses, as well as Wall St, healthcare cos, etc.

    Parent
    refusing public financing (none / 0) (#35)
    by VicfromOregon on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:16:31 PM EST
    Glad more are checking into this. Three years ago, Axelrod and Obama figured out a unique way to use lobbyists to bundle cash without having to make large portions of the contributions public.  Together, they crafted legislation to encode this method that Obama then presented and got passed as a US Senator.  Knowing the legislation intimately and having structured his entire campaign financing scheme upon this legislation, he got a head start on taking advantage of the new rules.  This is Axelrod at his best.

    Those who don't look too deeply and remain content with appearances, see a brave new candidate who appears to be above "undue influence peddling" by special interests.

    Some would view this brilliant scheme as politcal expediency and see it as just the kind of ruthless qualities they want in a leader, while others would be taken aback by the Machiavellian complexity of it.  Not surprisingly, the DNC has decided to adopt the method.

    I think a lessen here, if one wants to take one, is one spoken of here and other sites with some frequency - Marshall McCluen's "the message is the massage".  Some are doing a witty twist to this phrase - "the media is the massage".  Perhaps, a less financial example, which could easily require most of us to take a class in accounting to even speak about what Obama pulled off here, would be another, more recognizable marketing ploy - the use of brand names and recognizable product icons.  Further research will show you that Obama employed the services of the advertizing agency and graphic artist who designed the Pepsi logo.  If you look at his campaign logo side-by-side with the Pepsi-Cola logo, you will immediately see nearly identical features, proportional shapes, and colors.  I don't recall what Pepsi's motto is, but I'm afraid to look.

    None of this should be surprising, nor should it be alarming.  Many candidates do take every advantage.  The news flash isn't that Obama is no different.  The story is that so many believed him when he said he was "not like all the rest".  Yet, there is much truth in what he claims.  In many respects, he towers above them.  Just not in the ways he wants us to think.

    Parent

    Agreed, but if the MSM (none / 0) (#36)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:22:20 PM EST
    were doing its job.....this info is not hard to find.

    Parent
    MSM not soing its job (none / 0) (#38)
    by VicfromOregon on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:25:40 PM EST
    Righto to that.  Though, much of the first source material was from the Chicago Suns-Times, and some of the local television news reporters. The syndicated media outlets, however, felt no compunction to carry the stories though they were offered.

    Chicago is so used to doing investigative spotlight pieces on their politicians that Obama's shenanigans weren't even considered that bad compared to many others.  But, then again, the city is practically owned by the DNC.  Republicans need not apply.  That monopoly has created an atmosphere tolerant of a lot of corruption over these many years.  It's a pay-to-play political system there.  Obama cut his teeth with some of the best who helped him, in turn, get him where he is today.

    Parent

    It's my understanding (none / 0) (#40)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:38:41 PM EST
    that the corruption being investigated by Fitzgerald -- "operation board game" I think it's called -- involves both Republicans & Dems.

    Parent
    includes both parties (none / 0) (#49)
    by VicfromOregon on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:31:26 PM EST
    It's tough for republicans to get higher office positions in and around Chicago, though it does happen - a hold over from labor unions - but the state shows a better overall representation of republicans, democrats, and independents.  It's possible to get elected governor as a republican.

    You are absolutely correct - politicians from both sides of the aisle were in on the scam.

    Obama's main role as a real estate and acquisitions lawyer and as a part-time State Senator (the relatively small size of his District 13 would make his position more akin to many city commissioner positions than to a State Senator in another state, and so he actually acted in a part-time capacity only) position was facilitating contacts - as a senator he could have insider info on properties the city wanted to see things done with, and as the lawyer, he could represent clients, like Rezko by giving them a heads up and an inside line, as well as help them tailor their applications to meet the boards criteria, pressure or encourage the "selection review board choosing and overseeing proposed projects for those buildings to choose his client, then again as a senator, write letters of recommendation to award his client the project or money or whatever, and then get a nice campaign contribution by the client.

    I can only guess that his complicity in this complex relationship is why he felt compelled to ignore the pleadings of his constituents that winter when they were freezing without heat in some of the buidlings he had helped Rezko get.  Technically, he wasn't legally required to oversee the contracts and make sure Rezko was keeping to his contract to rehab the buildings.  It took the governor to intervene and bring a lawsuit against Rezko, forcing him to repair the boilers and turn the heat back on. In the end, this brought attention to the slum conditions and had people asking where the money had gone, if not into rehabbing.  

    Again, having kept no records from this time, Obama, when questioned recently by the press, said he "didn't recall ever being contacted" by these people.  He also said he had been "unaware" of the building conditions because "he rarely went by there", though once he bought his mansion, he would have driven by on a near daily basis.  And, again, having failed to keep records of this period, there is no proof he received the petitions of the residents.  So, they can claim having sought his help all they want. Without the actual letters, the point is moot.

    (Incidentally, as a former public servant myself, I know that the failure to keep and maintain public records would be grounds for dismissal.  Every scrap of paper belongs to the public, not the individual.  Obama said he didn't have the file storage capacity so he shredded all the documentation).  Per usual, the press nodded their sympathy for the small size of his office.

    Incredibly, his role in this capacity is not considered that problematic while many still feel it was unethical. But, in and of itself, since it would be nearly impossible to prove there was any intent to benefit himself, or intent to ignore his constituents, or intent to destroy evidence it will probably not be considered illegal.  He would be a very small fish to catch.  

    Without Obama's own records, phone logs, or appointment books to go through, most of the info on his relationship to Rezko comes from Rezko sources and FBI surveillances on Rezko himself.  So, while Obama told the press he only met with Rezko a few times in a year, he actually met with him a few times a month. He said he only received $65,000 in campaign contributions from Rezko, then later had to admit he received over $250,000. But by the time that info was made public, the story was old news.

    These experiences make Obama a very good "politician as usual", and even possibly more clever and ruthless than the White House has seen for a while (Rove aside).

    Parent

    Another challenge (none / 0) (#62)
    by stevea66 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 01:09:27 AM EST
    Someone give me an example of how a 'contribution' influenced a vote Obama has made, or legislation he has written.

    Parent
    Three years late (none / 0) (#64)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jun 16, 2011 at 11:51:40 PM EST
    and with perfect 20/20 hindsight.  

    But, in summer 2008 the following was clear.

    Obama had small donors it's true but small donors don't speak with a single voice, they have no lobbyists and their reasons for donating, their concept of Obama probably varied greatly.  The legions of small donors had no access and did not have Obama's ear.

    He was a huge recipient of finance industry money even topping Hillary Clinton by that date.  I can't remember if he was ahead of McCain's finance industry take at the time but the final tote was heavily Obama.

    After the meltdown Obama surely received the lions share of finance industry money.

    The finance industry and other large sector contributors had Obama's ear.  They (finance, others) speak with a single voice, have lobbyists and know exactly why they supported Obama.  They have access and Obama's ear.

    Support he got from labor was small compared to the finance industry.

    I made these points to Obama's supporters in the summer of '08.

    Given the appointments Obama made it's obvious he's owned and it's obvious who owns him.

    Unless he got almost everything from small donors he could not have been independent.

    Parent

    And there's this: (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 12:27:33 AM EST
    "Be the change that you wish to see in the world."
    -- Mahatma Gandhi

    Obama:  you are the change you are waiting for.  

    Parent

    Thanks for a good diary, andgarden (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:29:21 PM EST
    And the conversation. :-)

    My pleasure, and likewise (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:30:25 PM EST
    It's nice to see you around again Edger. This place really changed in the last 6 months or so.

    Parent
    No kidding. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:34:08 PM EST
    I barely recognize the crowd here. And the targeting.

    Parent
    That Is Why We Need You Back (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:54:17 PM EST
    Just for a bit more balance. The GOP trolls have almost entirely vanished but new ideologues have filled up the threads.


    Parent
    Can you hold them off for a bit? (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:02:20 PM EST
    Knock the ladders over, and pour boiling oil off the ramparts or something to slow them down? Or something? ;-)

    Parent
    Yes I Have Been (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:11:15 PM EST
    I just miss you and some of the others who helped keep the fanatics at bay.

    Parent
    Sounds like reinforcements would help? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:56:50 PM EST
    I'll see what I can do.

    Parent
    Yeeeaaaaah (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 08:08:51 PM EST
    Although I do imagine that the ones here now defacto shilling for McCain will slowly peel away and join some right wing sites.

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    Shilling for McCain (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 09:16:37 PM EST
    is even lower than being McCain...

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    we don't allow (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 11:50:42 PM EST
    shilling for McCain.

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    Somehow I sort of assumed (none / 0) (#47)
    by Edger on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 06:44:36 PM EST
    that you wouldn't, Jeralyn. :-)

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    Well (4.00 / 3) (#26)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 09:24:18 PM EST
    It is really disaffected Hillary fanatics who happen to think Obama is soooooo completely different from Hillary that they will vote for McCain, or not vote for POTUS at all. The defacto part is that, at worst, imo, it winds up an Obama bash fest along the lines of powerlie.

    I have no problem with demanding that Obama move to the left, respect his past promises, and basically stop BSing us, but that is not what is mostly happening here. It is more like revenge for defeating Hillary.

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    hmm (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by boredmpa on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 10:20:49 PM EST
    maybe you should learn to read some of those posts instead of ruining a rather nice thread/diary with your "revenge" meme.

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    Call me a paranoid (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by jondee on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 06:52:39 PM EST
    but Im thinking it's more like ideologues/GOP trolls.

    Good to see you back around bro.

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    Break a Leg, andgarden. n/t (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by creeper on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:14:45 PM EST


    How can you (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by mkevinf on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:16:30 PM EST
    not trust a man yet still be with him all the way to the White House?

    If you don't trust him, how do you know he really chose the Democratic party for the same reasons you did?

    What does this guy have to do before you decide maybe he's not what you think he is?

    Pretty much anything in the name (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:37:55 PM EST
    of keeping a Republican out of the White House is acceptable to me.

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    Really. I find that surprising. (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Joelarama on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 07:58:16 PM EST
    I do not agree.

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    Confucius [Analects, 5.10] said: (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:02:23 PM EST
    At first the way I dealt with people was to listen to their words and trust they would act on them. Now I listen to their words and observe whether they act on them.


    Ok, fine, let's play that game (4.00 / 2) (#46)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 06:20:47 PM EST
    I'm pretty comfortable with his Senate record.

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    The Senate Record (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by WakeLtd on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 05:57:01 PM EST
    It probably is not fair to point to one vote for a particular bill in the Senate as indicative of future expectations. However, Senator Obama's "Yes" vote for the 2005 Energy Bill (often called the Bush-Cheney Energy Bill) is as fair as any other vote to consider for signs of what we can expect from his leadership in the White House. It certainly cannot be attributed to the "shift to the Right" that allegedly all Democratic candidates make when running for the Presidency. It seems to me that Bill Clinton's shift toward the center-rght came post-election, and more in response to lack of support from Congressional Dems (e.g., Sam Nunn). I don't think this vote necessarily diminishes the idea that a President Obama will lead differently than the current President, although the FISA debacle unfolding could be seen as "of a piece" with a disturbing trend of accomodation. Once you get past the personality aspects of politics, and are left with, well, just the policies themselves,  I  am not sure that we have the guidance needed to forecast a progressive agenda should the Democrats regain the White House this election.

    I also hope he will enact policies (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:10:05 AM EST
    different from what those McCain would offer.

    But I have some doubts about that.

    And neocons seem to like him.

    "The single most important job of any president is to protect the American people," he affirmed in a major foreign-policy statement last April [2007]. But "the threats we face.... can no longer be contained by borders and boundaries.... The security of the American people is inextricably linked to the security of all people." "That's why the U.S. must be the "leader of the free world." It's hard to find much difference on foreign policy between Clinton and Obama, except that Barack is more likely to dress up the imperial march of U.S. interests in such old-fashioned Cold War flourishes.

    That delights neoconservative guru Robert Kagan, who summed up Obama's message succinctly:  "His critique is not that we've meddled too much but that we haven't meddled enough.... To Obama, everything and everyone everywhere is of strategic concern to the United States."  To control everything and everyone, he wants "the strongest, best-equipped military in the world.... A 21st century military to stay on the offense." That, he says, will take at least 92,000 more soldiers and Marines -- precisely the number Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has recommended to President Bush.



    My point is that even if (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 02:54:28 PM EST
    they think they own him, they don't.

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    I think that is an illusion... (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by sallywally on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 11:35:17 PM EST
    he started tacking rightward on everything as soon as Sen. Clinton suspended her campaign. His comments on the FISA bill have been greeted with howls of anger from many now-former supporters. No reason to assume this won't be the same if he gets elected. It is probably already too late to do anything about buyers' remorse with him; it surely will be so if he continues on this path and is sent to the White House.

    Don't listen to what he says; look at what he does. And lately that is to move to the right even when he would be more popularly received if he led on the left, as is the case with FISA.

    Parent

    You're conflating the rightward shift (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 09:02:05 AM EST
    that most Democratic candidates undergo with Obama being "owned" by unspecified people.

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    Your point is still only your opinion (none / 0) (#57)
    by JavaCityPal on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 11:59:19 AM EST
    There are millions and millions of voters who disagree with you.


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    Sorry - bad link above. (none / 0) (#27)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 03:59:59 AM EST
    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 07:09:53 PM EST
    They are both equally bad on the WOT, but not as bad as the GOP. They are also bad on crime, but on most core democratic values, they are pretty much in line.

    I would not call either of them progressives though. The fact that these were our choices is reflective of the voters aka mainstream America.

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    Funny how you wrote this (none / 0) (#51)
    by lilburro on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 10:12:19 PM EST
    right before the great Week of the Center by the Obama campaign.  I wouldn't be surprised if next week he goes back and emphasizes a few of the points in his campaign that haven't gone center yet.

    My two concerns:  

    One - To get to the center, sometimes you don't just talk, you do.  Supporting FISA is a very real consequence of creating the image of being at the center.  And that sucks for us.

    Two - How is he going to handle a debate with John McCain?  He's already fighting for the center on national security in IMO a really dumb way, as the real point of contention in his foreign policy is the way he wants to talk with foreign leaders.  Supporting FISA in no way protects him from accusations on that level.  How is he going to respond to questions about gay marriage and "values"?  So far I am not really confident that he'll be able to take control of these moments and deliver swing states like Ohio.  I think it would be to his advantage to have Hillary as VP, because she draws attention to the economy and healthcare in a singularly pressing way and might lend his campaign some focus.  What strategy does McCain have other than distracting Americans from our pressing domestic problems and Iraq?

    Eeeyahhhh (none / 0) (#58)
    by lentinel on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 05:27:07 PM EST
    Another soul who does not trust Obama, and recognizes the truth about Jesse Jackson said: that Obama talks down to black people.

    And what plan of action does this person take?
    This person will support him "all the way to the White House".

    Wonderful.

    Is Obama over-exposed and losing his charm? (none / 0) (#59)
    by joeyz on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:51:49 AM EST
       No question that Obama is still the guy with the words and can sell a message.  However, I can
    recall being "spellbound" when I first heard him speak earlier this year. Since than I have heard him countless times...maybe too many times.  The shine seems off the apple...the words are the same, the delivery "almost" the same, but the impact is like seeing "Titanic" for the third time.  Still a great show but now you know everything that is coming.  In this regard, Biden is no plus.  We have heard him for three decades and it's the same story.

       Hillary made the point about Barrack during the primary and his lack of experience.  Hillary was the best qualified of the final three. If she had presented herself earlier this year with the same voice she is using currently this truly would have been a historic year with a woman leading and second place on the ticket for both parties.  Actually, the "change Hillary could believe in" would be her at the top of the ticket.

    I can at least listen to him... (none / 0) (#63)
    by stevea66 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 01:11:37 AM EST
    Put McCain on TV for a one-hour address and Obama on for the same.  I have not yet been able to sit through even 10 minutes of McCain without getting distracted.  At least I can listen to Obama.  I guess in part because there's a better chance I'd be hearing the truth.

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