Obama's Patriotism Speech

Update: Here is the prepared text of his speech.

Around noon today ET, Sen. Barack Obama will give a major speech on patriotism in Independence Missouri, Harry Truman's home town.

The Democratic presidential candidate's campaign says he will talk about "what patriotism means to him and what it requires of all Americans who loves this country and want to see it do better."

The speech in Missouri Monday comes in the run-up to the July 4 holiday and as Obama seeks to reassure voters about his commitment to the country as well as to counter questions about his patriotism. He's recently started wearing a flag pin on his lapel.

Tuesday he will give a speech on faith and Wednesday and Thursday on service to the country.

He'll spend the 4th of July in Butte, Montana.

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    Heh (5.00 / 7) (#2)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:52:51 AM EST
    I'm starting to think Mitt Romney had the right approach to talking about patriotism.  "Gosh, I love America."  Keep it simple!

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#124)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:40:44 PM EST
    Perhaps BHO can use the faith speech to tell us why Wright's phrase, "White folk's greed runs a world in need." was so appealing.

    I am so over Obama (5.00 / 11) (#5)
    by cmugirl on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:56:21 AM EST
    Is this going to be the "Greatest Speech on Patriotism Ever"? Followed by the "Greatest Speech on Faith Ever"?  Maybe at the end of the election, they can put a book out of Obama giving the greatest speeches on every topic known to humankind ever.  (See Chapter 42 for the "Greatest Speech on Playing Tiddlywinks Ever").

    LOL.... (5.00 / 8) (#25)
    by northeast73 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:12:53 AM EST
    Have the pundits already declared it so?  Best speech EVAH...

    Hate to sound like a broken record, but how about Obama actually DEMONSTRATES his beliefs on issues by actually DOING things??

    Just a thought


    Just Like During The Primaries (5.00 / 6) (#40)
    by talex on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:25:40 AM EST
    and the debates where he fell flat on substance and talking about issues he is falling flat again during the General so....

    It is back to Meta Speeches. Nice flowery feel good words and prose, highlighting Truman no doubt, that end up being vast empty and expansive exercises void of how to actually get anything done.

    Inspiring but not substantive. Palatable but no beef. Fills the heart but not the gas tank.


    I'm so with you... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by stefystef on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:05:34 PM EST
    II think it's the pundits who are more happy about Obama's speeches than the American People.  They are looking for another tingle up their collective legs.  And it gives them something to talk about to fill up cable news time.

    Thanks to TalkLeft, I don't have to listen to Obama.  You guys will tell me what happens.


    Hilarious... (5.00 / 0) (#80)
    by Exeter on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:09:04 PM EST
    Why does he only give a major speech on an issue that is a personal political weakness? Where is the major speech on health care?

    And as it's not our political wakness (none / 0) (#148)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:51:37 PM EST
    as a people, so what -- compared to what we want to hear him talk about.  Which is, of course, we the people.

    I think that Garrison Keiler has already given... (5.00 / 0) (#87)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:16:16 PM EST
    ...the greatest speeches on patriotism ever.

    First, Obama assumes the mantle (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:56:22 AM EST
    of Honest Abe; now, that of Give 'Em Hell, Harry.  What next?

    P.S.  See Huff. Post link to the Calitic, which has a letter Obama sent opposing the CA Prop. limiting marriage to between a man and a woman.  

    How could I have forgotten JFK? (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:58:42 AM EST
    Ask not what your country can do for you (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:25:31 AM EST
    and whether you're proud of your country?

    Ask not what your country can do for you (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by talex on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:26:58 AM EST
    Ask what your country can do for me, Barack Obama.

    The buck stops here? (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:34:25 AM EST
    Are there enough American cities (5.00 / 6) (#7)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:57:14 AM EST
    with thematic names for him to make all his points? Unity, Independence...I'm sure there must be Faith and Service someplace...

    I have to question going to Butte, however...

    Truth or Consequences, NM. (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:58:13 AM EST
    there must be Faith (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by tokin librul on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:02:16 AM EST
    Santa Fe... also in New Mexico...a crucial, bell-weather state...means Holy Fairh, but close enough

    I would not be at all surprised (5.00 / 0) (#82)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:11:10 PM EST
    if the faith speech comes from there, in that case.

    When the symbolism and stagecraft become the first thing I notice, I get annoyed.


    Faith speech (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:44:00 PM EST
    could be given in Bethlehem, PA...  There's all sorts of great imagery that could go with that one!  

    There's Ponder, TX (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by kredwyn on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:37:22 PM EST
    Great place to sit around and think...oh...and pick up a pair of boots.

    Why boots? (5.00 / 1) (#218)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:22:03 PM EST
    Is it because the @#$% is getting deep?  

    Should we think about getting hip waders instead?  ;-)


    Justin boots... (none / 0) (#222)
    by kredwyn on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:27:21 PM EST
    has an outlet there. I picked up a pair of Ropers when I went down to defend my diss.

    The importance of keeping campaign promises (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:10:21 AM EST
    in Liarsville, Alaska?  This is just too much fun.

    Also goes to his campaign (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by talex on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:31:33 AM EST
    Needmore, Alabama

    Roe v. Wade in (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:02:33 AM EST
    Intercourse, PA?

    probably not (5.00 / 0) (#56)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:41:58 AM EST
    Needles california

    Good town for his (5.00 / 0) (#68)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:59:38 AM EST
    Labor Day address.  ;-)

    HUGE, huge laugh! (none / 0) (#48)
    by nashville on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:33:51 AM EST
    I knew we could get that in somewhere! (none / 0) (#79)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:08:24 PM EST
    my thoughts exactly! (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by kimsaw on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:11:07 AM EST
    Let's hope he's not (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by Lahdee on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:52:28 AM EST
    speaking from Hell's Canyon, Arizona on November 5th.

    Obama in a Pig's Eye (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:43:19 PM EST
    in Minnesota was, after all, the site of his speech claiming to have clinched the nomination.

    Pig's Eye was the original name of St. Paul. :-)


    PA has some small towns with interesting names... (5.00 / 0) (#103)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:26:38 PM EST
    But, I'm not sure what the theme of his speech would be in Intercourse or Blue Ball

    Next stop: (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by drobertson on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:36:58 PM EST
    Boring, Oregon....

    What's going on? (none / 0) (#136)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:45:45 PM EST
    Why are you saying Obama is boring?

    Because some of find his (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:59:08 PM EST
    public speaking better than ambien. I used to fall asleep in church, too. Now I just sleep in.

    Bird in Hand (none / 0) (#52)
    by MichaelGale on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:38:27 AM EST

    Butte... my thoughts exactly (none / 0) (#59)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:49:10 AM EST
    Also, just a small typo and he ends up in Butt...

    I guess I will reserve (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by standingup on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:59:52 AM EST
    comment on the content of the speech until I have heard what he says on patriotism.  

    I am getting a little tired of the use of props, Unity speech in Unity, patriotism speech in Independence....and so on.  I want to hear about issues and how he is going to dig the country out of this hole the Bush administration has dug us into the last 7 plus years.  The republicans have used patriotism as a distraction for too long.  I would be more impressed if Obama were to explain how a Democratic president would restore our nation to a place where we can feel all right with feeling patriotic again instead of angry, ashamed and fearful of the future.  

    OT - the first link is not working.

    link fixed, thanks (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:02:30 AM EST
    You know, I agree with you on this, but... (none / 0) (#168)
    by oneangryslav on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:05:55 PM EST
    Al Gore trounced W on the issues, and look where that got us.  Yes, I know he won more votes (not important) and got scrwed in FL (extremely important!), but had the public--and more importantly--the media really cared more about issues, then Gore would have won the election in a landslide.  

    As it is, things like "who [sic] you'd rather have a beer with are more important in the electoral scheme of things. You and I may justly cringe at that reality, but that makes it no less the reality.  Unfortunately, to paraphrase that war criminal Rummy, "you go to war with the electorate you've got."

    What's most important to me right now is that we get a Democrat into the White House in the fall and I'll start berating Obama for his policies on November 5th of this year.


    Maybe it's just me, but I take the need to (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:07:19 AM EST
    reassure voters about his commitment to the country

    as a really bad sign for a presidential candidate.

    But I keep chanting my mantra 'ours to lose, ours to lose, ours to lose'....

    This is exactly (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by pie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:32:35 AM EST
    what I tought when I read about the speech.  This is a man running for POTUS, for crying out loud.

    Yes, incredible (none / 0) (#175)
    by oneangryslav on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:11:05 PM EST
    What does that say about some of our electorate (and media)!

    And this is the only time that the Democratic nominee has ever been tarred as not being patriotic enough.

    Do you remember when many were arguing that with Kerry as our nominee in 2006, patriotism and the like would be off the table.  It's time for Democrats, like you and I (I assume here that you're still a Democrat) that you don't have to be stupid to be patriotic.  Smart people can be just as patriotic as stupid people.  You don't have to wear the stars-and-stripes on your underwear to be patriotic.


    and that speech (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by ccpup on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:53:25 AM EST
    will never be one McCain needs to make.  

    Making a speech on patriotism opens up the door to people asking "why is he making a speech on patriotism?"  Whoever foisted this hair-brained idea on Obama (I'm looking at you, Alexrove ... or maybe Barack himself?) should be put at a back desk licking those please-send-more-money envelopes for Donna Brazile and Howard Dean.

    McCain will respond with a "what it meant to me to serve with distinction for my Country" speech and Obama won't have a leg to stand on in comparison.  And it'll be his fault 'cause he opened the dang door!



    In the back of my head (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:02:39 PM EST
    I keep thinking that the USA didn't waste money buying that "Mission Accomplished" banner for GWB's speech because Obama is going to get to reuse it one day...

    That's really not a very pleasant thought.  :(


    I doubt it (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by ccpup on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:07:01 PM EST
    Unless, of course, the Junior Senator from Illinois finds some use for it on his return to the Senate in 2009.

    And, no, I take no pleasure in saying that.  I just see a disaster for the Democrats in the making and it didn't have to be this way!  We could have had an amazing candidate in Clinton and yet we have this guy who needs to make speeches on patriotism, faith, etc and so on to REASSURE voters who he is and what he stands for.


    He's on defense already and we're still two months from the Convention.



    ccpup....I think this speech by obama is (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:44:09 PM EST
    just throwing a big ole bone to McCain to gnaw on...

    yes (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by ccpup on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:22:28 PM EST
    the GOP will have a veritable Field Day with it.  

    It would be interesting if McCain could turn Obama's perceived strength (his ability to make a "great" speech) against him.  

    Without that, what would Obama have?  Not even the (D) behind his name is enough to count on in November.


    I'm totally an American, man. (none / 0) (#67)
    by sarahfdavis on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:59:04 AM EST
    Yep. The anti-american narrative will be the story Obama fights. Rebutting the frame acknowledges the frame. And mocking McCain's service plays right into this. I read the other diary about this and some of the comments...I have to say I was even bothered  by the way liberals are viewing this issue. Another frickin' speech. AAAAGGGHHHHH.

    Glad that's taken care of (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by blogtopus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:08:16 AM EST
    Now we can get 'Teh One Tru Speechification' on:

    • The Middle East
    • The Economy
    • Gas Prices
    • Bitter Old People (and how they don't matter and/or are racist)
    • Cool Young People (and how they are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way)

    and finally, just in time for November:
    - Really Awsum Movies He's Seen

    Not Before We Get the Speeches on: (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by santarita on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:13:06 PM EST
    Faith, Hope, Charity, Virtue, and the Ten Commandments.

    Not that I'm surprised, but (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by Jim J on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:15:09 AM EST
    I worry that Obama is already on the defensive.

    This is the time he should be going gangbusters on the "change" thing, but instead he's back on his heels for nothing. Pathetic.

    I eagerly await the "Mom and Apple Pie" (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:18:23 AM EST

    Minorities and women have so much more to proove (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:20:43 AM EST
    It is absurd.  We built this country under the radar without thanks or payment, yet we have to show proof we love it.  I just don't understand that.

    True. More to prove. (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:10:33 PM EST
    But actually, every candidate for president has to "prove" patriotism to some extent, so this sort of speech obviously was coming.  McCain, no doubt, wil be making a July 4 sort of speech, too.

    And this one ought to be an easy one to speechify about for Obama, and he can make it a moving one a la his 2004 speech -- compared to tests that could come on other abstractions, such as the faith speech.  Obama has not, that I can I recall, done anything that ought to raise questions, among the sane, about his loyalty to his country.


    I think his always beating around the bush (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:49:47 PM EST
    with his answers and his lame answer at the last debate brought this on him.  Can't blame him for people thinking he is muslim.  For myself, I often wonder about people who don't salute the flag or put their hand over their heart during the national anthem, especially someone running for president.  It wouldn't have taken much on his part so he never would have had to adress this.  My real beef with obama is his inexperience and lack of substance and judgment...that is why he doesn't get my vote.

    Calling b.s. on this one....obama brought (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:46:52 PM EST
    much of this on himself.

    How? (none / 0) (#164)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:01:51 PM EST
    It is maddening, isn't it? (none / 0) (#91)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:17:44 PM EST
    To the average (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by eric on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:21:18 AM EST
    Joe that actually cares about "patriotism" and thinks it is a legitimate topic of concern when selecting a President, that "patriotism" is defined as how much you can faithfully and unquestioningly support whatever it is that US position is on things.  The more you salute, the louder you sing the national anthem, the more eagles and red white and blue you have on your truck, the more patriotic you are.

    I doubt that is Obama's definition of patriotism so he isn't going to get anywhere with Joe.

    This is where Obama could make me happy (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:54:37 AM EST
    If he defines a different kind of patriotism. If he's going to be all about the hope and change adn new politics, then be about it. It's bs that anyone has to prove they love this country and that they love it in a way approved of by the average Joe.  So I hope he gets up and says that--patriotism isn't my country right or wrong, our country is strong enough to withstand criticism, etc.

    And then, yes, when he's done lecturing us, he should go actually do something.  As Atrios once said, "Speechifying isn't the same as Presidenting."


    Timing (5.00 / 8) (#38)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:24:06 AM EST
    I have to wonder about his timing on these speeches.  Yes, it's Fourth of July time, but I would guess that more people are worried about how they are going to survive and how Obama plans to help pull us out of this ditch than about how patriotic Obama is.

    Now, a speech on true freedom and independence would be very appropriate, or perhaps about the importance of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  But I guess we won't be getting that speech any time soon.

    Also, right about now, some serious New Deal type speeches would be so much more effective.  Instead we're getting speeches about Faith and Patriotism.  Gad, I wish I could get rid of this (growing) sinking feeling and this sense of deja vu.  What exactly is new and different about preaching to the American people about Faith and Patriotism?  

    And, speeches on Faith?  Really, I don't understand what they're doing with this whole thing.  

    These speeches are all about Obama, and helping Obama reassure the people on the topics which have been a train wreck for him.  Personally, I'd appreciate more from Obama that reassures us that he has our best interests in mind, not his own.

    wow! (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by ccpup on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:00:43 PM EST
    this sentence "that reassures us that he has our best interests in mind, not his own" ties it up all very nicely.

    It's not about US, the Voters.  It never was, it isn't now and it won't ever be.  

    It's about Barack and his Historic Candidacy.  Should he be lucky enough to not be blown out of the water in November and actually make it to the WH, he'll immediately begin running for re-election.  His time in Office will be all about giving the heavy lifting to others and taking credit, mitigating any damage, keeping things steady and making himself look as strong as possible to as many groups as possible so he can walk through to his Second Term without having to work at campaigning or convincing people.

    It's not about Us.  It's about him.  And speeches like this highlight that unfortunate fact.  Speeches like this also play right into the Media Narrative and GOP Narrative that there's something, maybe, perhaps that can't quite be trusted about him.  Not sure what, but ... there's something.

    Having to convince voters of your patriotism isn't the best place to start.


    What do you define as being blown out of the water (none / 0) (#183)
    by oneangryslav on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:22:02 PM EST
    I'm really starting to get annoyed with these kinds of sentiments.  What has happened over the last few months that would even hint that Obama will lose the election, let alone get "blown out of the water?"

    It will not be close, and your candidate (McCain) will lose big.  I'm willing to take bets on that.  So if you're willing to put your money where your pixels are, then send a response to my e-mail address (my screen name AT yahoo) and I'll set it up.

    And I am archiving many of these responses, so would you mind defining "getting blown out of the water?"

    Thank you,


    A lot! (5.00 / 2) (#207)
    by pmj6 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:02:22 PM EST
    Things like Obama flip-flopping on the flag pin, Jerusalem, gun control, FISA, campaign financing, Iraq. Things like his associations with highly dubious characters of the Wright, Pfleger, and Rezko ilk. It is Obama's election to lose and, given his track record to date, he's fully up to the task.

    It is remarkable that, after 8 years of Bush/Cheney, the Democratic Party's presumptuous nominee cannot seem to crest 50% in polls against McCain. A bit of irony here, seeing how Obama himself said he didn't want to go into general election with half of the country already deciding not to vote for the Democratic nominee (a statement that I believe was a dig at Hillary).


    McCain is not my candidate (5.00 / 3) (#221)
    by ccpup on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:25:27 PM EST
    and neither is Obama.

    When the DNC decides to run a candidate who was running at a deficit against his Democratic opponent with regards to the Electoral Vote match-up with McCain, you have a problem.

    I have yet to see Obama make the case to the Voters that he's the one to trust when it comes to sitting in the Big Chair in the Oval Office.  I see a lot of hero worship, a disturbing amount of missteps and an inability to NOT play the "race card" eg. "they will attack me because I'm black" when, in reality, they will attack him for his inexperience and his positions which he will then SPIN to them attacking him because he's black.

    Listen, this is the first time since I started voting in 1992 that I will not be voting top-of-the-ticket.  But to claim I support McCain because I don't support Obama is ludicrous.

    Next you'll be calling me a racist or suggest I cling to my guns or my religion.  Either way, I'm still not feelin' the Unity.


    After (5.00 / 7) (#45)
    by nell on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:33:13 AM EST
    Obama is done lecturing the country about race, patriotism, faith, and service, can he get back to actually telling us what he is going to do to make our lives better?

    Even the most skeptical among us can be convinced if he shows that he is serious about restoring progressive values and pushing progressive policies, but I don't hear ANYTHING about what he is going to do for me. I'm not voting for him because he loves unity, is patriotic, faithful, or believes in service. I'll vote for him if I see what's in it for me.

    Enough already with the speeches.

    get "back to it?".... (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:30:50 PM EST
    when did he do it in the first place?  Aren't you just supposed to go read his web site if you want information on policies?

    Good point (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by nell on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:32:43 PM EST
    There is no getting back to it, he has never done it. Speechifying is the Obama way.

    Here you go (none / 0) (#188)
    by oneangryslav on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:28:19 PM EST
    "but I don't hear ANYTHING about what he is going to do for me.

    I agree with you. Here's a couple of days worth of reading:



    I liked that he said dissent is patriotic (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:52:34 AM EST
    and he had a number of other good passages.

    Why did he feel the need to criticize Viet Nam protesters, however?  Why the need to criticize anyone in a speech like this?

    Oh, no. Now I have to go read (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:12:15 PM EST
    the transcript.  I was attacked again for that? :-)

    Jeebus..... (5.00 / 0) (#95)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:20:10 PM EST
    ...and I thought that protesting the Viet Nam war was one of the most patriotic things I ever did.

    And why did (5.00 / 0) (#98)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:23:29 PM EST
    his campaign just get quoted on CNN 'rejecting' Gen. Clark's statements.

    Obama throws Wes Clark under the bus?

    Wes is in good company now...

    It's a long way to a convention in August and a long hot summer ahead...and getting hotter.


    Are you kidding me? (5.00 / 0) (#101)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:26:14 PM EST
    ...threw him under the bus after Clark defended him?

    Same Reason (3.00 / 0) (#110)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:31:40 PM EST
    McCain threw his campaign manager, Charlie Black, under the bus.

    And most likely the same reason you and opponents of Obama continually use the beaten to death meme, 'thrown under the bus'.

    It is called politics.  


    Yes, squeeky, I agree.... (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:44:28 PM EST
    it is politics.

    Unfortunately, it's not good politics.

    The O campaign sent Clark out to counter the McCain CIC/military experience theme and when Clark handled it and the media mishandled it (deliberately), Ocamp caves to the media and doesn't back up Clark.


    Can't wait for BTD's take on this one.

    Mistake.  Huge.


    Does Obama do anything right? (2.00 / 0) (#144)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:49:18 PM EST
    Not if one were to only read the comments on this blog.

    I Disgree (none / 0) (#152)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:53:52 PM EST
    It is perfect. Clark is free to opine, and Obama is taking the highroad.

    Clarks function is to deconstruct a knee jerk GOP meme, so that American voters can reflect and say: Yeah, getting shot down in a plane? WTF does that have to do with being qualified to be POTUS.

    Obama is untouchable for not falling into the well planned GOP quicksand: questioning a veteran POW.


    Squeaky, you are giving voters to much credit. (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:00:44 PM EST
    ....I see it as Obama validating the notion that McCain is untouchable.

    Bingo in 5 numbers, Squeaky (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by wurman on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:30:45 PM EST
    Gen. Clark becomes the villain.  Obama stays above the fray.


    And if Clark is selected for V-P, just watch him knee-cap, sucker punch, & trash talk the GOoPerz.

    The general practiced on O'Lie-lly for a while & is definitely ready for prime time.  This is becoming very, very good.


    Except that... (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by pmj6 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:05:10 PM EST
    ...who'll believe Clark was a free agent in no way associated with Obama campaign? Even on CNN today people were speculating he was angling for the VP spot...

    It was what happened to McCain... (5.00 / 1) (#210)
    by pmj6 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:07:26 PM EST
    ...after he was shot down that's the issue. Character, perseverance, toughness, qualities that Obama lacks by comparison. If Obama campaign thinks swiftboating is a tactic that can work for the Dems as well as for the GOP, he'll have a rough wake-up call.

    I thought Obama was bringing (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by zfran on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:28:59 PM EST
    about change, not the same old politics?

    {rolls out the "Welcome" mat and (none / 0) (#150)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:53:22 PM EST
    scoots over for Gen Clark}

    Not to mention (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:41:54 PM EST
    the shot at MoveOn.org for the "General Betrayus" ad.  This after he made a big show of skipping the Senate vote on condemning MoveOn because it was supposedly such a non-issue.

    Yup (5.00 / 0) (#135)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:45:33 PM EST
    I forgot to mention that.

    I'm sure no one doubts his patriotism now.


    As a strong MoveOn supporter, I'm glad he (none / 0) (#186)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:23:08 PM EST
    skipped the vote.  Can't be used against him now.  Petraeus did betrays us, and paying off terrorists to stop killing until after the elections is an unpatriotic and deceitful way to spend our tax money.  That said, what would you recommend a Democratic candidate do?  Ignore the false attacks on his patriotism?  If Obama doesn't do and say things that make sense to the (mostly) male voters who think MoveOn is a crazy liberal organization trying to undermine our military, he loses them.  

    Do you have some ideas for better ways to reach them?


    How about... (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by pmj6 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:09:49 PM EST
    ...giving Da Best Speech EVAH on how MoveOn is not a crazy liberal organization of America-haters, instead of cravenly avoiding a vote on the issue? There is something to be said for courage. The Evil Hillary did cast a vote in support of MoveOn, after all and it did not kill her politically, so it can be done.

    This is a lesson that his supporters... (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by citizen53 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:57:48 PM EST
    could learn.

    I was more dismayed that he has to present both sides, rather than just take a position.

    This was a lot like his race speech, the greatest speech since the Gettysburg Address that no one can quote one phrase from.  


    As Vietnam veteran and as a Vietnam protester I feel offended.  And I wonder if he feels he should criticize the Iraq protesters.

    The subset that burned flags (none / 0) (#122)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:37:59 PM EST
    and abused returning troops, which I thought was a myth.  Anyway to the extent that it is true, he called them out.

    Also - Wes Clark -under the bus.  So much for that VP pick.


    So what about Ayers? (5.00 / 0) (#123)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:40:10 PM EST
    ...or does he get a neighborly exemption?

    I thought the SCOTUS had ruled (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:42:07 PM EST
    that flag burning was protected under the 1st amendment.

    I'm sure... (none / 0) (#212)
    by pmj6 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:10:30 PM EST
    ...he's reserving that for his July 4th speech...

    because America is imperfect and (none / 0) (#181)
    by kimsaw on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:19:17 PM EST
    he wants us all to remember just how imperfect we are. He needs to make sure everyone knows he's not perfect, hence no one can hold him accountable for his imperfections, otherwise known as flip flops, inexperience, gaffes or those pesky "isms".

    Isn't this redundant? (5.00 / 0) (#66)
    by stefystef on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:58:36 AM EST
    Hasn't Obama made these kinds of speeches before, about patriotism and faith and race and etc. etc.

    Obama PanderBear going at it again.

    ah but now he's got that flag pin (none / 0) (#190)
    by kimsaw on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:29:38 PM EST
    he's got to make sure everyone sees him wearing it. We know what the Republicans will do with those of Michelle and the picture of Obama lacking his hand over heart.  He's got to make a speech on patriotism because the media just swallows his rhetoric like a cat swallows a canary. Look how great his racism speech was received, when it was nothing more than a history lesson that concluded with him throwing his grandma under the bus. Besides, he gets air time, free advertising for the propaganda and he can keep throwing liberal dissenters under the bus while appealing to the evangelicals.

    Obama seems to be missing a central truth: (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:00:52 PM EST
    a lot of us are tired of being lectured on what patriotism is, and what is required of us as Americans; maybe he can explain the "patriotic" part of supporting the FISA compromise bill, but I think he'd sound too much like a Republican.

    A speech like this is not going to prove to the skeptics that he is qualified to be president; he could have the American flag tattooed on his left buttock and it wouldn't be enough.  He could hand out Granny's All-American Apple Pie recipe and it wouldn't help.

    It does not bode well that he is resorting to speeches on big topics, but then, I was never taken in by the soaring rhetoric, so maybe I'm just immune.

    I had the same thought (none / 0) (#74)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:05:02 PM EST
    He had plenty of chances to tell about how spying on citizens is not patriotic.  Wish he had done so.

    Actually there's plenty of room (none / 0) (#90)
    by brodie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:17:14 PM EST
    and need for the Dem nominee, and maybe this one in particular, to try to redefine and reframe the issue of patriotism since so many in this country, not necessarily the stubborn Obama skeptics in our party, seem to view it only through the flag-waiving/military lens.

    The Rs were going to go after the Dem on these phony emotional hot button issues anyway, since the major substantive issues -- the Repub Recession and the Repub War in Iraq -- work against them.  So they'll try to do what they tried successfully in 88 and again, not successfully, in 92 and waive the flag and the military service in our nominee's face.  

    Of course, Obama, as he seems to now acknowledge, brought some of this on himself with his unwise decision with the flag pin.  Better to get out front fairly early, not wait until the fall, and not only undo some of the (relatively minor) self-inflicted damage, but also plant a suggestion in people's minds about new ways of thinking about patriotism that involve more than just putting on the uniform.


    If you think the Republicans are going (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:34:31 PM EST
    to let Obama redefine patriotism, well, let's just say that I don't think that is likely to happen.

    Forget the flag pin - people who would define someone as patriotic or not on the basis of the presence or absence of a flag pin are not going to be convinced by a speech.

    If he wants to move the country in a better direction, he had a perfect opportunity on the FISA bill; his failure to do so makes me wonder, once again, why his words don't mesh with his actions.  And it makes me worry that he sees issues like the FISA bill as enabling him to prove to the flag-pin contingent that he is their version of patriotic.  That just doesn't work for me - and it doesn't make me question his patriotism as much as it makes me question whether he views patriotism as a political commodity to be traded, when necessary, for votes, even if it means that he comes down on the wrong side of these important constitutional issues.  

    How do you change the egregious errors of the last 8 years by saying one thing and doing another?


    Repubs aren't going to have (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by brodie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:43:09 PM EST
    the only say in who gets to define patriotism, judging by today and O's willingness not to sit back passively while he's trashed as an unpatriotic elitist.  

    Sorry to have to break this to you also, but O will have lots of funds available to continue to drive home his points on these hot button emotional issues in ad after ad as the campaign goes on.

    Today was a good start.  And the speech hit all the right notes, including the ones about antiwar dissent and working for progressive ideals as patriotic.  Little there for true Dems and progressives to complain about, really.  Though for some on this blog, nothing he says or does will ever be quite perfect enough apparently.


    I have a better idea (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:37:37 PM EST
    How about if we reframe the debate on national security, or the importance of constitutional rights, or the health care system, or trade policy, or just about anything else one could spend political capital on other than "reframing the debate on patriotism"?

    Those other issues will be addressed, (none / 0) (#139)
    by brodie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:48:14 PM EST
    no doubt as the campaign is just getting underway.  There's a time and place for most everything you list.

    But he scored major points today with his reframing on patriotism and the locale and timing were right on the mark.

    And it was a topic he needed to confront and turn on his head, which I believe he began to do today.


    Yes (5.00 / 4) (#154)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:54:27 PM EST
    "Major points," because you say so.  All over America, people are already starting to look at patriotism in a new light.

    Be sure to let me know when the "proper time and place" arrives for Obama to start showing some political courage in this general election campaign.  Clearly the opportunity just hasn't come around yet.


    Three more speeches? (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:05:33 PM EST

    How about some action?

    That's about as bad pre-press (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by Exeter on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:05:51 PM EST
    as you could ask for. Geez, they might as well have said "Obama, who allegedly hates America, will be giving a major speech on patriotism to dispute such hate-America allegations. To this end, he has also begrudgingly begun to wear a flag pin."

    Sure, he's wearing a flag pin, (5.00 / 0) (#86)
    by Lahdee on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:13:46 PM EST
    but does it glow in the dark like McCain's?

    One Of The Few Benefits of DU (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:16:59 PM EST
    Although it is not so good when the whole body is glowing as well.

    This speech thing is getting really old. Does (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by carmel on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:17:01 PM EST
    Obama have an original idea of his own? What if Obama schedules 3 Town Hall Debates with John McCain on those subjects? That would be useful to voters and it would give voters a chance to see Obama's "real" positions on issues, rather than his "scripted" positions on issues. Honestly, a speech from Obama on patriotism is about as believable now as his speech on race.

    You mean let McCain dictate (none / 0) (#104)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:26:38 PM EST
    the schedule and the forum, and McCain stay in his comfort zone of townhalls--which generally have less sharp questions than in formal debates....

    And, thus, let McCain show sonny the ropes....

    Obama should dictate his own forum, pace, etc....



    Wow, he really did (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by dk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:17:52 PM EST
    throw Clark under the bus.  At least he had his spokesman do it (read the AP wire story on the speech).

    The LA Times coverage is neutral. (5.00 / 2) (#201)
    by wurman on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:48:41 PM EST
    First, the comments in the speech probably don't refer to Gen. Clark--the text is generic & can as easily refer to the swiftboat liars or to the foolishness about Gen. Petraeus.

    Second, the Obama spokesman who assures all & sundry that Clark's statement is rejected isn't even identified.

    Third, McCain's replies are very good--he knows well that being shot down in an aircraft is not some qualifying experience for political office.  Sen. McCain deflects to his "overall" military experience rather than debating the singular combat circumstance.

    It seems to me that Gen. Clark is behaving like a well-trained attack dog--a military Doberman in mufti.


    Mufti! (none / 0) (#214)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:12:30 PM EST
    I uprated you just for that word.  Excellent.

    It was used often, decades ago. (5.00 / 1) (#220)
    by wurman on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:25:20 PM EST
    The old-time newspapers would describe military personnel, clergy, and even athletes with that term when they traveled wearing informal garb, rather than the "uniform" of the profession.

    In some ways, the British overworked it.  Even so, the grainy photos gave a glimpse of the powerful looking ordinary.


    Does this mean (none / 0) (#97)
    by Lil on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:23:28 PM EST
    Clark moves out of VP contention. I'm still rooting for Hillary, even though I love Clark.

    I think it means just that (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:07:44 PM EST
    And I changed my mind about wanting Clinton a few days ago when McCaskill and Sebelius both repeated the 'calling Obama inexperienced is racist' theme.  If that is what Hillary would be called upon to do, I'm sure she wants no part of it, and neither do I.

    Consistent (none / 0) (#106)
    by Lahdee on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:29:10 PM EST
    He's said all along
    Senator Obama honors and respects Senator McCain's service..."
    His spokesman went on to reject Gen. Clark's remarks. I'm sure General Clark is not that concerned about this bus.
    The discussion on McCain's experience is ripped open by a decorated General. Good, I see nothing wrong with that.

    Okay I read that link and..... (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:33:18 PM EST
    ...what pisses me off is that Obama is validating the criticism that Clark's remarks were critical of McCain's patriotism, which they were not. If what Clark said was wrong, then literally Obama is not qualified to be president because he was not shot down from a plane. Isn't this playing into the Republican's hands? I don't get it.

    Exactly. (5.00 / 0) (#127)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:42:36 PM EST
    You hit the nail on the head.  He agrees that Clark was attacking McCain's military service. Obama never saw a Repouiblican hand he did not know how to play right into.

    No, It Is A Win Win (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:46:03 PM EST
    The one two punch. Clark got the message out there and Obama distances himself from it. No dissing Clark, and taking the high road.

    For another cliche: he is having his cake and eating it too...

    As I pointed out upthread, it is not dissimilar to Charlie Blacks remark at Fortune Magazine, that McCain distanced himself from.


    To me it is a lot different..... (5.00 / 0) (#140)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:48:29 PM EST
    ...because IMHO Black's remark WAS offensive and Clark's wasn't.

    To You And Me It Was Not (none / 0) (#157)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:56:22 PM EST
    And he clearly was not questioning McCains heroism. But for Obama it is political quicksand. A well laid trap by the GOP for picking McCain.

    I would say checkmate on this one. Or at least check.


    So wrong (none / 0) (#146)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:50:09 PM EST
    It is just anpother example of Obama not standing up for anything.  The exact wrong message to send.

    Then why didn't Obama denounce (none / 0) (#192)
    by zfran on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:32:03 PM EST
    Clark in his speech when he politely distanced himself but didn't say I reject what Clark said. He waited another day to reject Clark's statement.

    I don't think so (none / 0) (#134)
    by Lahdee on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:45:19 PM EST
    Political form, as dictated by the corporate media, says he has to have the remarks rejected. Using a spokesman he has done that. Clark's remark still stands and we get a truth squad out of it.

    Why can't we refuse to play that game (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:48:51 PM EST
    for once? Especially when Clark was entirely correct?

    What else does changing the political paradigm mean, if not that?  

    Boggles my mind.


    Text is (5.00 / 6) (#94)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:19:39 PM EST

    You're going to learn that patriotism is a "guy" thing.  Only the men of Lexington and Concord were our first true patriots. All those women running out into the battlefields to scoop up the wounded and wisk them out of harm's way are a figment of the imaginations of all of those people who reenact the battles of Lexington and Concord every Patriot's Day. Other than his grandmother's working in an arms factory during WW2, there weren't very many women involved in patriotic acts. What an opportunity he missed to make women feel inclusive.  I'm going back to my knitting now.

    Included, I meant. (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:29:43 PM EST
    We're already "inclusive".

    Oh, my, our commenter Molly Pitcher (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:57:47 PM EST
    might have some words to say about the Revolutionary War heroine whose nickname inspired her blogname.  And that's just for starters.  I have marvelous files full of women serving on our battlefields in every single one of our wars as well as from the homefront.  And for those interested, there is a listserv by and for historians of women in the military, H-Minerva, with much new research, too.

    If this take is true, I dread the transcript.  Obama's staff seems so ahistorical, so often.


    Well (5.00 / 3) (#169)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:06:22 PM EST
    Obama did mention his grandmother's patriotic work on the bomber assembly-line.  And we know he considers her pretty typical, so we can extrapolate from that.

    Except Deborah Sampson... (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:56:57 PM EST
    of course, she had to pretend to be a man in order to be patriotic.  

    Hey wait!  I'm sensing a theme here...


    Continuing the theme (none / 0) (#213)
    by Redshoes on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:11:47 PM EST
    Dr. Mary Walker (1st and only female recipient of the Medal of Honor)

    Bah! (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by mwb on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:28:28 PM EST
    Enough with pointless distractions!

    When is Senator Obama finally going to take a bold stand and make a speech about cute puppies and kittens?

    Do people here think it's a good strategy (5.00 / 0) (#113)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:33:59 PM EST
    for Obama to do and say things that would affirm that he is progressive and will enact progressive policies?  This is a serious question.  Would that help him get elected?  

    Also, would talking about patriotism in terms of American women's contributions be effective for the election?  If so, who would it be directed to in the Hillary supporters group, and how should he do it?

    Just wondering if I'm missing something in terms of who our candidate has to reach out to for the GE.

    Obama is having (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:54:46 PM EST
    "some difficulty" attracting a portion of Clinton's supporters.  It should have been a no-brainer for him to include some of the female patriots of this country, other than his grandmother, into a speech on patriotism.  That he didn't says that he is truly unaware of how sexist he is. Or he really believes that women have made little contribution to the greatness of our country. Either way, not good.

    I'm assuming it's a good strategy for Obama (none / 0) (#173)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:08:59 PM EST
    to undermine the GOP slander strategies.  He's made it past too white, too black, a Manchurian candidate and secret Muslim.  It seems like the next step would be to block the religious right's stealth slanders (his outreach to evangelical youth who are more likely to resist their older leaderships rants) and hard core false patriots who can be misled by the presence of absence of a flag pin.  So he got a flag pin and it was a gift from a disabled veteran.  He's said (to us lefties) he doesn't think wearing a pin is the be all end all proof of patriotism, yet he still needs votes from people, mostly men, who do look for that kind of false symbolism.  Hence, outreach to those guys during the Fourth of July week.  Seems smart to me.

    As far as women patriots go, do you really think he doesn't know about them or that he overlooked them or forgot to mention them?  He's a well educated man with a strong wife.  I think NOT mentioning women as he works on getting votes from sexist men is a much more effective strategy.

    If it were me, I'd let the Hillary supporters go until after the convention.  The stronger, more "male" he looks now, the better he'll compete against McCain in the fall.  Hillary supporters, and especially women, will be looking for some outreach from here forward, but the guys who are independents and Reagan Dems need to be reassured now, as early as possible.  Once they're convinced he's not the wimp the GOP paints him as, they'll be in a mindset to resist talk radio and Faux News slanders.  

    As usual, women have to wait.  It sucks, but that's politics.


    Wow (5.00 / 6) (#176)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:11:34 PM EST
    I honestly cannot believe you just argued that Obama intentionally left patriotic women out of his speech in order to avoid losing votes from sexist men.  Just an utterly amazing comment.

    I was glad that I was standing next (5.00 / 2) (#185)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:22:53 PM EST
    to the sofa when I fainted over that one.

    So you think he really doesn't know American (1.00 / 1) (#193)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:35:23 PM EST
    history, or he's so sexist he overlooked the contributions of women?

    I think he's looking to score points with the men who won't vote for what they think of as a wuss, and if he goes on about great American women, their eyes will glaze over or they'll laugh at him.  It wouldn't be smart for Obama to hand them more material right now.  If he speaks to us on this issue while talking about patriotism, Faux news and talk shows will select the parts that we like (what I would say make him seem a truly strong man) and use the quotes to disparage him compared to tough guy McCain who jokes about wife beating and dumped his "damaged goods" wife for a younger, sexier, richer model.

    I think one of the reasons we lose as Democrats is because we have a whole heck of a lot of stupid voters who are easily swayed by image.  Sad, but that's the country we life in.


    The latter (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:58:46 PM EST
    And if you're right, it's even worse.  You're saying that he is willing to risk the votes of women more than those of sexist men. Which says that he is taking for granted that we will just fall in line when the time comes. Do you have any idea how insulting that is? I hope you're wrong because that would be cold and calculating on Obama's part instead just boneheadedly stupid.

    I don't think it's boneheaded to go after the righ (none / 0) (#216)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:14:08 PM EST
    voters first.  Once he has them, Faux News slanders and dishonest misrepresentations won't work.  In fact, if they're convinced of Obama's patriotism/manliness/Americanism, etc., they'll just turn off Fox and head on over to the sports channel.  Not to be too stereotyping, but IMO, as a group they're much more easily misled by symbolism and false displays of patriotism, machoism, and the likes.  There's always time after the convention to get back to Hillary supporters, after he's the nominee that is.  As long as PUMA is still out there, no amount of pandering will work, and if he does it now, he'll lose the right wing, Reagan Dems and Independent voters.  And I don't think anyone's saying Hillary supporters need to fall in line.  This speech wasn't directed at you, last week's unity speech was.  There are vast differences in the demographics that a Dem candidate must reach in order to win.  Feminist women and guys with "Rush is Right" on their truck bumpers are both on the list.   That means we're likely to hear speeches directed to very different minded constituencies.  When Obama talks to young evangelicals, it's not going to be the same speech as when he talks to Reagan Dems, nor should it be.  

    If he's our candidate, why would you want him to risk losing middle American votes just so we can feel good about something he says in a speech on patriotism?  I'd rather he won, and I don't need him to tell me about strong women in American history.  This speech wasn't for me, it was for the guys who Dems keep losing to.


    Even if this speech wasn't "for me", (5.00 / 2) (#223)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:39:55 PM EST
    I heard it. If Obama is going to go soft on reproductive rights, personal freedoms, etc, in a speech to young evangelicals to court their votes, I'm going to hear that speech, too.  For those Obama supporters who have already pledged to vote for him no matter what, that strategy might work, but for those of us who are not pledged, this makes Obama look like the ultimate panderer and makes us just take what he says with such a grain of salt that he loses all credibility.  You want us to believe that Obama would be the best choice for women? But you give him a pass on speaking about patriotism from an almost entirely male prospective? See that makes me think that when he finally gets to the "woman speech", he'll only be telling me what he thinks I want to hear, not what he really believes. This is not a winning strategy with undecided female voters. But maybe he doesn't think we matter enough to be an issue. That's the message he continues to send, and we're hearing it loud and clear.

    MyLeftMind, McCain has been (none / 0) (#194)
    by zfran on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:35:38 PM EST
    courting this "waiting women voters" and if he gets enough of them, he stands a good chance of winning. Obama doesn't have to "court" us, but just like you, I want to feel wanted in this party and that he cares something, anything, about my support other than, "get over it!"

    Not 1 But 2 Speeches? (5.00 / 0) (#118)
    by JimWash08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:36:23 PM EST
    I was expecting the last sentence to continue:

    He'll spend the 4th of July in Butte, Montana ... and give a speech on how Americans need to commemorate our nation's independence.

    He's given, and plans to give so many speeches, I think he's looking to publish his third book before the GE is over.

    Enough already, please!

    He apparently is taking lessons (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by zfran on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:37:35 PM EST
    from KO!

    I think Obama has been watching (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by zfran on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:25:31 PM EST
    too much KO....and feels compelled to lecture! I don't listen.

    Read the speech - It was good but ... (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by davnee on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:36:11 PM EST
    ... like the race speech it sounds like Obama is running for Sociologist-in-chief not POTUS.  Maybe it's because Obama hits the rootless mixed race cultural alien theme himself so hard, that he just comes off to me as a keen observer of American life rather than an actual part of it.  And like the race speech, the analysis portion dwarfed the action portion.  He is watching and measuring America, but what exactly is this change he is measuring us all for?  I feel like an insect under his microscope.  And I admit it is a troubling feeling.

    I believe the theme of Obama's campaign (none / 0) (#202)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:52:02 PM EST
    as well as his race speech is that we need to make changes, we need to step up to the plate to fix our country.  I'm not looking for a leader who says he'll take care of everything for me.  I've had enough of big daddy taking advantage of voters and ruining our country.

    Obama's race speech included a piece about blacks not receiving equal justice under the law, which I would think people on this list agree with.  He also said whites are angry about not getting jobs their qualified for because Affirmative Action forces or encourages hiring of less qualified candidates.  

    He said we need an honest discussion of race to find solutions to our problem.  

    Personally, I'm glad he's not saying he has all the answers.  Because some of us have them, and it's about time we started solving our countries problems.


    Oh great, another President who (5.00 / 2) (#204)
    by MarkL on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:58:27 PM EST
    tries to cover up his failing with dreadful "major speeches".

    Sweeping concept speeches are his specialty. (4.00 / 1) (#17)
    by tokin librul on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:04:14 AM EST
    you mean, drining, endless strings of empty generalizations pandering to white working-class voters' uneasiness about being ruled by a black man?

    Yeah he RAWKS with those...

    Hey tben....all the "1's" in the world (none / 0) (#128)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:42:37 PM EST
    won't change people's opinions on obama...

    Queue... (none / 0) (#1)
    by anydemwilldo on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:51:28 AM EST
    ... complaints about insincerity in 4, 3, 2, 1... and we're live!

    Good to see (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by standingup on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:01:37 AM EST
    you to have moved on from the Unity speech.  Anything to add on patriotism?

    heh. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Faust on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:55:42 AM EST
    Hmmmmm (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:55:37 AM EST
    I hope he knows what he's doing.

    I'm sure he'll be fine. (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Faust on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:57:37 AM EST
    Sweeping concept speeches are his specialty.

    and Obama's supporters specialty (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:39:08 AM EST
    is creating Obama in their own image.
    Forget reality - he is whatever they need him to be.

    Conversely (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Faust on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:11:27 PM EST
    for those with ODS, Obama becomes their imagined antithesis.

    Forget reality - Obama is as bad as they need him to be.


    Obama is as bad now as he was last year (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:14:13 PM EST
    No change!

    This is classic.....the trouble for obama (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:34:30 PM EST
    is that more and more the people know he can't be trusted and it is do as I say, not as I do b.s.
    Needless to say, many will not be listening to the drivel that he can't seem to stop from leaking out.

    Not on this issue (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:02:27 AM EST
    If he knew what he was doing, he wouldn't have scored an own goal with his response to that flag pin question.  Gosh, look, he's still trying to make up for it.

    Democrats can lose points on the patriotism issue but they can never, ever win.  The proper response to the flag pin question was "oh, gee, I just didn't happen to put one on today," followed by a two-week period of wearing one constantly.

    Even the most eloquent argument ever about patriotism - and I'm sure I'll agree with everything Obama has to say on the subject - won't do half as much to get him elected as a winning argument on economic policy would.  Patriotism is intangible, amorphous, Republican turf.  The less time we spend playing on it, the better.


    Especially now that, predictably, (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:10:25 AM EST
    I think Pa (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by MichaelGale on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:32:00 AM EST
    will go the way of Georgia.

    I doubt it (none / 0) (#54)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:38:48 AM EST
    turf (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by eric on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:11:30 AM EST
    Patriotism is intangible, amorphous, Republican turf.  The less time we spend playing on it, the better.

    Exactly.  You can't win playing that game.  The people that get off on flags and eagles and fighter planes flying over the stadium don't vote for Democrats.

    Furthermore, giving speeches on patriotism and faith and flags or whatever just ends up validating those things as legitimate topics of discussion.  They aren't.


    But, doesn't it really depend on how (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:15:13 AM EST
    many flags are on the stage?

    Stagecraft works (none / 0) (#96)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:21:25 PM EST
    If you don't play on all fields, you lose.....

    Obama's strengths should be used....


    Does it though? (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:49:13 PM EST
    Bush's speech in New Orleans annoyed many people due to the stagecraft.  I thought all those flags behind Obama when he "clinched" were ridiculous.

    Flags matter (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:05:20 PM EST
    Ask Dukakis--he lost in part because of the Pledge of Allegiance....But he made a mini run at the end to shave a few points off of the loss when he appeared on stages full of flags.....

    The flag is a gimme.  Honor it, display it, and let the candidate tell people what it means to him or her.  There is no reason for a liberal or progressive to mess up on flag issues...

    Obama has managed stagecraft reasonably well....As Peggy Noonan has noted, Obama takes questions on a plane--planting the image of a President in people's minds....He did a press conference a la' a President last week.....

    Substance matters but so does image....The classic is Leslie Stahl's report on Reagan years ago where they did a segment showing how Reagan hid behind the flag, with lots of footage of a smiling Reagan and flags....The Reagan campaign thanked Stahl saying it helped them--the pictures were so pretty.

    Obama's greatest challenge is having people reject him because he is seen as too risky, inexperienced, different, etc.  He has to show voters he knows the words and the songs, and will sing the ritual songs of America....He is not different from them.....

    If you don't fight on the image level, you will lose....like Dukakis....  


    Should I interpret your comment (5.00 / 2) (#172)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:08:06 PM EST
    to mean that you understand what a boneheaded mistake Obama made in his original comments on the flag pin issue?

    Obama got bollixed up (none / 0) (#200)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:45:53 PM EST
    and over-intellectualized on that issue....He totally gets it now....

    Symbols matter.


    Here is the Lesley Stahl (none / 0) (#198)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:44:41 PM EST

    Stahl's piece was so hard-hitting in its criticism of Reagan, she recalled, that she "worried that my sources at the White House would be angry enough to freeze me out." Much to her shock, however, she received a phone call immediately after the broadcast from White House aide Richard Darman. He was calling from the office of Treasury Secretary Jim Baker, who had just watched the piece along with White House press secretary Mike Deaver and Baker's assistant, Margaret Tutwiler. Rather than complaining, they were calling to thank her. "Way to go, kiddo," Darman said. "What a great story! We loved it." "Excuse me?" Stahl replied, thinking he must be joking. "No, no, we really loved it," Darman insisted. "Five minutes of free media. We owe you big time." "Why are you so happy?" Stahl said. "Didn't you hear what I said?" "Nobody heard what you said," Darman replied. "Come again?" "You guys in Televisionland haven't figured it out, have you? When the pictures are powerful and emotional, they override if not completely drown out the sound. Lesley, I mean it, nobody heard you."

    Does this mean (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:50:34 AM EST
    he would have been better off giving his speech at a Nascar event than in Independence?  

    The people that get off on flags and eagles and fighter planes flying over the stadium don't vote for Democrats.

    Re "I didn't happen to put it on today" (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:04:56 PM EST
    I disagree, as then the antis get to ask why he didn't happen to do so, why he doesn't wake up every darn day thinking about his country's flag, blah blah blah.

    How 'bout "gosh, I left it on the other gray suit lapel, because I sure was wearing it on the other suit, but I was so busy thinking about my country this morning. . . ." :-)

    I.e., of course, I do agree with you.  It was an early and awkward flipflop, and over a flag lapel pin, for pity's sake.


    Do you think he will come out dressed (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:36:27 PM EST
    like Uncle Sam?  That should convince everyone once and for all... :)

    For once (none / 0) (#35)
    by Nadai on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:21:41 AM EST
    I actually feel kind of sorry for Obama.  While Dems get hit with this 'unpatriotic' meme all the time, he's going to be hit especially hard, and I do think both racism and xenophobia play a part in it.  No, he didn't help himself with the flag pin thing, but the 'foreign' name and the Kenyan sort-of-Muslim father is going to be a mark against him.  I feel bad that he feels he needs to do this.

    Really, I wish this hadn't come up at all.  I don't enjoy being fair to him.

    Wonder if he has the imagination... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Dadler on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:23:21 AM EST
    Gratuitous insults to Obama (none / 0) (#57)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:44:50 AM EST
    are being deleted. This is about his speech.

    I'm proud of Sen. Obama's tack here. (none / 0) (#63)
    by wurman on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:53:04 AM EST
    Independence Day is about national pride & patriotism & fly the flag & "our country, right or wrong" as in the Stephen Decatur version.

    For myself as a kid, it was great fun to attend the fine political speeches at trade union picnics & grange hall gatherings.  I got to see & hear famous & near-famous representatives, senators, & governors doing their jingoistic best to encourage the raw chauvinism in my tribalistic heart.

    So grab a burger or a dog, get an ice-cold soda pop or beer, relax, & let's enjoy some grand rhetoric about what a wonderful nation we have & what a marvelous people we are.

    Why work at being a cynic on the 232nd anniversary of Independence?

    Then Monday, July 7, 2008, we can go back to being the sardonic curmudgeons who wonder how on Earth this creaky republic ever got this far with the leadership we curse ourselves with all too often.  Bah!

    I'll give my sardonic curmudgeon a rest (none / 0) (#72)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:03:55 PM EST
    on the 4th...can't do it for a whole week though!

    I do have a lot of good 4th memories that I will save for that day.


    Yeah. I'm struggling with it. (none / 0) (#151)
    by wurman on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:53:36 PM EST
    I might be able to get through the weekend as long as I don't inadvertently stumble across some asinine blather promulgated by Bu$h xliii's propaganda mill--you know the "writers in residence" program for Ambassador graduates.

    Then I will instantly become my genuine, hateful, impudent, elite, intellectual snobbish self & a nattering nabob of negativism.  I love it when career criminals throw insults at me & my kind.

    Small club we're in, I guess.

    Sen. McCain's "truth squad" already has me on edge.


    You are not alone (none / 0) (#165)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:02:17 PM EST
    Some days that's the best we can say.

    Best thing about campaign season is that we rarely hear from bush.


    I think many of you here on this list are (none / 0) (#199)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:45:14 PM EST
    forgetting that a huge proportion of Americans think the exact opposite of you.  Being sarcastic about their phony brand of patriotism doesn't make them go away.  And they vote.

    Again, the reasons the Democratic party fails so often.  We ignore, or worse, make fun of those Americans who actually believe and live this rah rah stuff.


    Beg to differ (5.00 / 2) (#206)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:02:20 PM EST
    There's a lot of phony patriotism produced and manipulated by the Republicans (and Democrats on occasion).

    But many people love their country and are proud of it, flaws and all.

    Until the Democrats understand that, and stop looking down their noses and stop patronizing those who believe in patriotism just because they don't admire them, they're never going to understand, nevermind get ahead, on patriotism.


    Exactly my point. (none / 0) (#219)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:23:08 PM EST
    I love my country and I'm left wing.  I'm not fooled by lapel pins, but some people are.  I don't vote on whether or not a candidate uses that symbolism, but neither will I discount it, as some commenters are doing here.

    My point is that many left wing intellectuals don't understand Americans who want and need those symbols and who don't want to hear about the complexities of patriotism, especially such things as women's role in American history.  

    Politicians use phony patriotism.  Obama and Hillary stood in front of the flag with our Red White and Blue colors at the Unity speech.  

    Yet people on this list are discounting Obama for doing exactly what he needs to do to garner votes from right wing and centrist patriots.  


    I agree. (none / 0) (#209)
    by Marco21 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:06:47 PM EST
    Lovely post.

    It's the perfect time for this speech especially considering all the attacks on his patriotism which have been ridiculous.

    I understand the "not another one" grumbles and also want big speeches on policy alone, but I am fine with this and hope it turned out good.


    Whaaaaaat? (none / 0) (#85)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:12:25 PM EST
    You mean he already gave it?  How come they didn't pre-empt regular TV for this like they did the Reverend Wright speech?  

    I've gotta go find a transcript too.  

    It was live on CNN (none / 0) (#149)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:51:46 PM EST
    That's where I saw it

    Did he really say (none / 0) (#100)
    by nell on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:26:09 PM EST
    that his mother used to read him the Constitution as a child?

    I guess it works. (5.00 / 3) (#142)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:48:55 PM EST
    She read him the Declaration of Independence, and he's running for President.  My mom read me "the Pokey Little Puppy", and I'm a dog lover. What can one say?

    My mom read me The Scrawny, Tawny Lion.... (none / 0) (#161)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:57:50 PM EST
    ...and I'm always hungry so go figure.

    I had my doubts (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:57:12 PM EST
    about that particular passage in the speech.  Maybe that wad the experience he got as a child in Indonesia.

    Absolutely. (none / 0) (#153)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:54:17 PM EST
    The Obama campaign so botched the Michelle "first time I'm proud of my country" response this should come as no surprise. Clinton did the right thing. And to think, the people who know how to win elections are left back in the dog house while the losers are pulling the dog sled.

    I guess (none / 0) (#178)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:12:54 PM EST
    Obama's giving a speech on this because a Gallup poll said that only 29% of Americans believe that he is strongly patriotic. The problem Obama has here is a speech isn't going to change this. Part of the problem is that he comes off as an expat to people. His problem is cultural and there's not really much that can be done about it.

    I read the text. It's good. (none / 0) (#215)
    by wurman on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 02:13:55 PM EST
    The demographics of his desirable constituency are not well known to me, so there may be a very clear sense in which Sen. Obama is appealing to the folks that he wants to be volunteers for his get out the vote, neighborhood canvassing, phone bank voices, etc.  The Obama campaign may have polling that indicates a salute to the flag, a reference to AmericaCorps & the PeaceCorp, & several references to the now 5.5 years of Armed Forces members involved in Bu$h's wars will have good results with those groups.

    I can remember in my teens & twenties when other politicians appealed to some relatively simplistic patriotic emotions within me.  And it worked.  I joined the US Marine Corps for what seemed like a larger purpose, at the time.

    My daughter & her guy & my grand-daughter are really attracted to this Obama stuff.

    Oh, god, (none / 0) (#224)
    by tek on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 03:33:08 PM EST
    not more of his Great Speeches.  I guess this will be in lieu of any debates or townhalls, unless, of course, McCain agrees to the Lincoln type debates where Obama gets to talk for an hour with no rebuttals or questions because--no moderators.  Y'know, one moderator asked him some hard questions so we can't risk that happening again.  What a farce!