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"Trivialities"

Kevin Drum discusses Andrew Sullivan' reaction to the Obama kids doing an Access Hollywood interview. Personally, I have a hard enough time being a father to my own girls without taking time off to critique how anyone else is raising their own. But I was struck how Sullivan rates this and others issues in terms of importance:

A few things have unsettled me these past couple of weeks about the Obama campaign. It is not the small adjustments to previously-held positions - FISA, the Second Amendment, Iraq. It's a sense that Obama's ample self-regard is lapsing into hubris. The signs of this are pretty trivial on the surface, but they are troubling nonetheless.

That simulated faux-presidential seal was both tacky, silly and presumptive - a small version of "Mission Accomplished" Obama could well do without. The decision to give his acceptance speech in a stadium, rather than the traditional convention hall is also an unnecessary over-reach. . . . Lastly, I was gob-smacked by the Obamas' decision to include their children in a soft-focus TV interview.

(Emphasis supplied.) More . .

So Obama's "small adjustments" (like utterly flip flopping on FISA Capitulation) on actual issues that actually affect actual people do not concern Sullivan, it is stuff like giving a speech in a stadium instead of an indoor arena. I must admit I did not expect such a clear confession of not caring about issues and instead actually caring about the appearances from Sully. But there you have it. There never seemed to be much rhyme or reason to his Hillary Hate (or Obama support for that matter). This makes it all easier to understand.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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  • This is the line that caught my eye... (5.00 / 11) (#2)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:45:48 PM EST
    "It's a sense that Obama's ample self-regard is lapsing into hubris."  Lapsing, huh?  M'kay.

    Sullivan just noticing Obama's HUBRIS?!? (5.00 / 11) (#31)
    by Josey on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:58:23 PM EST
    LOL


    Parent
    but for the wrong reasons (4.80 / 5) (#56)
    by Salo on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:09:43 PM EST
    the kids are trivial, the stadium is trivial.

    Parent
    Well there is the point (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by talex26 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:11:07 PM EST
    of the Sullivan critique in this diary. Sullivan was writing about one thing - hubris - and not what someone else felt like they should be writing about.

    A quick look at Sullivan's site shows he has addressed issues in the past and will probably do so in the future.

    Writing about Obama's hubris is a legitimate topic and probably not one we will find front paged on this blog anytime soon, although the comments are rightfully usually full of such hubris comments.

    Parent

    I'd have tough questions.... (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:49:08 PM EST
    for anyone who plasters their kids on the boob tube...#1 question being "what the hell are you thinking?"

    Obama even flip flopped on his kids! (5.00 / 4) (#192)
    by Josey on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:31:04 PM EST
    Obama's numerous flip flops go straight to his credibility.
    And worse - when he flip flops, he declares it's not a flip flop, but rather the electorate hasn't been listening.
    Well, activists have been listening and know a flip flop when we see one!
    Obama's condescending remarks insult our intelligence. We've already had 8 years of Bush's up is down, black is white, war is peace, etc.
    And now Obama offers us another 4 years of craziness.
    No thanks!


    Parent
    Well then you must have that question (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:50:57 PM EST
    for anyone who runs for President and has young kids.

    Nothing will change their lives more than that will. Certainly not appearing in a short interview on Access Hollywood.

    Parent

    It's crossing a line (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:00:27 PM EST
    Children are traditionally used as props in Presidential campaigns, but the rule is generally "hands off" in terms of actually having them campaign in adult venues. I'm not agreeing that having the kids being interviewed is worse than anything else - but it's creepy. In the last two administrations, young kids were pretty much kept out of reach of the press, except in a few instances where they appeared in campaign photos.

    Parent
    Kids off limits (5.00 / 9) (#48)
    by Emma on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:06:09 PM EST
    Yeah, I really admired the way the Clintons did it.  I also admired how Hillary went to the mat for Chelsea against Shuster and MSNBC.  That looks like integrity and family values to me.

    Parent
    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by dk on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:11:28 PM EST
    The media were basically forced into keeping their hands off Chelsea, and it pissed them off to no end.

    It looks like Obama may have learned his lesson too with his recent stunt....though how much do you want to bet that, during his speech in that football stadium or whatever, his handlers will have arranged for the cameras to do a few ooh so cute closeups of the kids at some point.

    Parent

    Also the Edwards kids (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:14:31 PM EST
    While they were in photos, often because of being on stage with their parents at one event or another, I do not recall the Edwards ever putting their children on an interview show.

    Parent
    Ha! I didn't even remember the Edwards had kids (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:17:38 PM EST
    Just a clarification... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Pol C on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:19:31 PM EST
    Shuster wasn't suspended for the "pimping out" comment per se. He was suspended for insubordination. Phil Griffin ordered him to unequivocally apologize for that remark, and Shuster half-assed it, saying he was sorry if anyone was offended, while misrepresenting what he said in the first place. You don't play games with Griffin if he gives you an order. He was loaded for bear when Shuster came off the Morning Joe set that day. Shuster would have been out of the job if he hadn't gotten Tim Russert on a conference call to talk Griffin out of firing him. I'll say one thing for Russert; he always treated subordinates well.


    Parent
    That's an interesting tidbit (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:18:57 PM EST
    Where'd you hear about that?  I was impressed, I must say, by the difference between Shuster's first and second apologies and wondered what had happened in the interim.


    Parent
    Jackie Kennedy (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Little Fish on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:29:15 PM EST
    Didn't Jackie Kennedy give Hillary advice on keeping Chelsea out of the media spotlight?

    This is a different media environment too with the internet, gossip sites and digital cameras. There's entire blogs dedicated to celebrity children paparazzi pics, its uber creepy.

    The Obama girls are super cute and I'd hope the press gives them space, but seeing how common the babyrazzi pics are these days I doubt it.  

    Parent

    Chelsea is not a child (none / 0) (#76)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:18:39 PM EST
    She is an adult. Adult children of politicians fit into a totally different category. We're talking here about two young children. The Bush twins were also off limits until they came of age, but became more politically involved when they were out of college.

    Parent
    The Clinton's (5.00 / 4) (#86)
    by americanincanada on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:25:19 PM EST
    also kept Chelsea out of the public eye before and during the presidency and even her Senate run.

    Everyone in Washington admires the way they raise Chelsea and shielded her.

    Parent

    The media didn't. (5.00 / 6) (#101)
    by dk on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:32:19 PM EST
    They were so angry.  They would talk about how the Clintons bullied and threatened them to stay away from Chelsea.

    It was great.  In fact, it was probably one of the best examples of sticking it to the MSM ever.  I only wish more politicians would do it, and not just w/r/t their kids.

    Parent

    Chelsea, Romney Sons, Mary Cheney, Chris Gephardt (5.00 / 2) (#203)
    by Ellie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:17:38 PM EST
    ... the impressive Kerry Daughters -- all adults who clearly chose their way onto campaigns and were, also in their way, eloquent spokescritters from the standpoint of what mattered to them the most.

    Okay, I'm being generous towards the hilariously goofy Romney Sons.

    On and off the stump, the Bush Twits were a train wreck.

    I know the apple doesn't fall face down and lie in a pool of its own puke far from the tree, but the creativity "high" society media used to sugar coat yet another incident of rotten behavior at a club was rivaled only by their collusion to present the entire family as a paragon of conservative Christian values.

    Parent

    Meh (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:12:56 PM EST
    This is hardly having them campaign. It was a little fluff interview.

    Parent
    It reflected on his judgement. (5.00 / 0) (#69)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:15:50 PM EST
    Were the children real (cute, yes), were they coached. Were they told things not to say, like Daddy is "stinky" in the morning as Michelle first informed us about Barack?

    Parent
    They didn't sound coached to me (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:21:18 PM EST
    They sounded like very, very healthy little kids, totally natural, bright as heck, spontaneous, free and comfortably well-behaved, just the way you'd want kids to be.

    I saw no harm in the interview with them at all, but he's certainly right that he should never do it again.

    Parent

    No the kids (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Emma on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:22:15 PM EST
    weren't campaigning.  They were being used as part of their father's campaign at an age when they're not old enough to really understand what they're doing or the possible ramifications as to their future privacy and personal space to grow up in.

    Maybe there will be no blowback from this.  But I just remember the crap that both Chelsea and Amy Carter got simply because they were the children of presidents.  And John and Caroline Kennedy ended up like American royalty.  And none of them were used to campaign for their parents and a great effort was made to allow them privacy and personal space by, among other things, not making them part of their parents' job aspirations.  

    It seems that Obama has stepped over a line and I can't help but wonder if there will be consequences for the kids.

    I know it seems like I have a hard and fast position on this, but I don't.  I'm just wary of possible consequences and am "waiting and seeing" without condemning but while expressing doubts that this was a good or neutral idea.

    Parent

    Well, the situation was a little (5.00 / 0) (#125)
    by brodie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:46:18 PM EST
    more complicated with  JFK-Jackie and their kids.

    Jackie was horrified at all the swarming photographers who wanted to get closer to her kids.  Generally she drew a firm line against.

    But when she was out of town, JFK in the WH tended to relax the anti-photog rules and allowed a few sessions when Jackie wasn't around.

    During the 60 election, I don't recall the kids being used as campaign props at all.  Nor was Jackie trotted out to campaign in the fall.  She was pregnant and back home with the two youngsters.

    But other Dems of more recent vintage have handled the young children situation differently.  The Edwards, for instance, in this cycle.   Ditto the Dodds, who moved their entire family of youngsters to IA.

    Parent

    Yep (5.00 / 2) (#181)
    by ruffian on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:46:08 PM EST
    I'll let Kevin Drum speak for me on this one:

    Now, sure: of course young kids should be generally off limits from the campaign press. But does that mean they should literally never be seen on TV? What's the harm? Families are a staple of American politics, people are legitimately curious about what Obama's family is like, and a few minutes with Maria Menounos is the safest, least toxic interview imaginable. It's the 21st century equivalent of one of those carefully staged Life photo spreads from the 50s. Shouldn't we all calm down about this?



    Parent
    Problem is (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by talex26 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:05:08 PM EST
    that Obama now has less of a case for the press to 'lay off my family' when he is trotting them out voluntarily on a well watched gossip show.

    Even Bush didn't do that. And after the election, where his girls we obligingly on stage, he kept them under wraps.

    A big mistake by Obama IMO. A bit of overreach at best.

    Parent

    Good point (5.00 / 0) (#70)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:16:00 PM EST
    He never had a "lay off my wife" case, because his wife was making political speeches on his behalf and therefore is fair game.

    But the children?  Does he want them to be fair game, too?  Yeesh.  

    Parent

    But how can they be? (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:19:33 PM EST
    They are very young children. They will never be fair game no matter what their parents do or don't do.

    Parent
    I agree that they should not (5.00 / 0) (#103)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:33:57 PM EST
    be fair game, no matter what.  They are not of the age of consent yet.  

    It's just that putting them out there (dare I say "pimping" them?) is a really lousy idea, IMO.  It opens extra cans of worms that were better off staying shut.

    Parent

    Possibly (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:06:21 PM EST
    Big, big difference between (none / 0) (#158)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:24:49 PM EST
    little kids and teenagers, IMHO.

    Also worth remembering that Chelsea was very shy and ungainly, Amy Carter painfully so, and the Bush twins perhaps not shy enough.  All good reasons to protect them from the spotlight.  Little kids, not so much, in my opinion, as long as it doesn't go any farther than this one interview.

    Parent

    Point taken.... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:55:21 PM EST
    a presidential candidate for a parent has gotta be rough no matter how you slice it.

    Still....Access Hollywood interviews are a bit much, in my knuckleheaded opinion.  

    Parent

    First Obama said the (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:49:27 PM EST
    children are off limits, then he allowed the interview (a mistake imo), now he's flipped again with it won't happen again. If "he" is your guy, then there is always room to excuse the vote, or the gesture, or the behavior..if he's not, there is always room for dissention. Which is real, which is forced and which will win out in the end. It's only July.

    I'm just wondering (5.00 / 0) (#71)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:16:43 PM EST
    who gets the blame for this error.  Obama never takes the blame himself; he always finds someone to plaster it on.

    Parent
    The kids (5.00 / 4) (#82)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:20:46 PM EST
    as he said the interviewed happened because they wanted to do the interview.  That's who.

    Parent
    I should poll girls (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by Fabian on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:35:16 PM EST
    "Would you like to be on television?"

    I wonder how many would say "No." in that age group.

    Parent

    This is why we have the concept (5.00 / 4) (#120)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:43:28 PM EST
    of "parents."  It is the job of parents to look out for little children who aren't savvy enough to look out for themselves yet.

    My nephews also want to stand with their toes hanging over the edge of a cliff in Yosemite but their dad won't let them.

    Parent

    Well (none / 0) (#126)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:46:20 PM EST
    The point is that he wouldn't have done it if they had said they would feel uncomfortable.  Some kids are shy.

    Parent
    Agreed (none / 0) (#129)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:49:19 PM EST
    My own thought is he shouldn't have done it under any circumstances, at least not during a campaign. I mean, yeah, he doesn't need my permission to make hare-brained mistakes, but I really think the kid-interview thing isn't helpful.  Then again, Bill Clinton talked about his underwear to MTV before he got elected....

    Parent
    As a parent myself, I know (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by brodie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:59:36 PM EST
    all about "hare-brained" mistakes in parenting.  You don't want to know ...

    Trust me, the Obamas letting their kids be interviewed the one time by a friendly softballing media lady was not a hare-brained parenting mistake.

    Though, as you note, Bill Clinton actually responding to that silly questioner on MTV about his underwear was hare-brained ...\

    Ditto for his other too-frank by half disclosure about smoking marijuana ...

    Parent

    Ah yes, the dope comment (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:08:39 PM EST
    Ranks right up there with admitting to doing a little blow.

    Fact is, all politicians make hare-brained mistakes, including Obama.  I think it was more of a political mistake than a parenting mistake, so my apologies if I was unclear on that point.

    Parent

    Again (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:30:08 PM EST
    Bill Clinton did not make any disclosures about MJ, he was asked a question and answered it. And for the record, all of us in that era knew more than a few folks who took a toke when it was passed around in order not to seem like a wet blanket by refusing but didn't inhale, particularly folks with mild asthma, like Bill Clinton at the time, who would be totally insane to inhale.

    Parent
    Actually I meant in a political (none / 0) (#182)
    by brodie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:46:13 PM EST
    sense BC gave too much information on his one or two tries.  Though I'm not aware of the asthma angle, which is interesting, what I've read elsewhere from his close friends at the time was that what he ended up saying, incredible as it sounded to the press, was the actual truth to those who were there and knew him.  

    But politically he should have known it would be an answer met with great skepticism and derision, which only added to his "Slick Willy"/can't give a straight or honest answer rep.

    He would have been better off just leaving it at "I tried it once or twice, and it didn't agree with me."

    Similarly, in the underwear situation, he would have been better off declining to answer -- "There are certain things the public has no reasonable or decent right to know, and that's one of 'em I'm going to have to invoke executive privilege on."

    Parent

    I agree with you completely (none / 0) (#188)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:00:14 PM EST
    on both those points.  Well said.


    Parent
    Correction (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:26:54 PM EST
    Bill Clinton answered a question about his underwear on MTV.  Don't make it sound like he brought the issue up and rambled on about it unasked.  He was asked the rude question, gave a one-word answer and moved on.

    Parent
    I didn't actually watch it (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:55:33 PM EST
    Thanks for the clarification.  I agree it was a rude (and dumb) question.  I have to say if I'd been Clinton I would have said "none of your business" but again, it's hard to be a politician.  You want to be friendly and open, and then people ask some dumb questions.  It's all part of the process of running for prez.  It's why I don't have any desire to do it!

    Parent
    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:41:42 PM EST
    The interview itself was trivial but (5.00 / 5) (#130)
    by tree on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:49:35 PM EST
    the whole episode totally undermines his campaign's meme that he has superior "judgment". He said his children were going to be off limits, then he does a whole set piece on Access Hollywood with the kids, then the next day he says the interview with his kids was a mistake and he won't let it happen again.
    Its another flip-flop, although on a more politically trivial scale, that just reinforces the idea that his "judgment" is not something his campaign should run on.

    Parent
    You have made the key point (5.00 / 4) (#144)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:10:40 PM EST
    He is undermining himself by being contradictory.  It looks foolish.  Of course his stance on issues is more important than an interview of his children, but both relate to the same issue of whether his judgement is reliable and wise.

    Parent
    Wow (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:49:36 PM EST
    Sully, the issueless blogger.

    I see I'm not missing anything.

    Maybe we need to give up the illusion that (5.00 / 6) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:51:00 PM EST
    elections have anything to do with issues that effect the lives of real people. Might as well just go to an American Idol type format since for all appearances a large swatch of population is more than willing to select their president based on who looks the most presidential, more fund to drink with and who runs the best mass marketing campaign.

    My proof skills get worse each day Arrrrr (none / 0) (#41)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:02:44 PM EST
    Don't think I've posted an error free comment for a while. Should read:

    more fun to drink with


    Parent
    You're not alone. (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by tree on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:13:52 PM EST
     Personally, I believe that no one has done more for error-laden comments than I!

     I follow a policy of benign neglect. Mostly I ignore them unless they make the comment totally unintelligible or accidentally say the opposite of what I meant. Like Blanche, I depend on the kindness of strangers to not judge me too harshly on my typos and misspeaks.

    Parent

    We all do it (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:32:21 PM EST
    and we all can see the poster's cringe when he/she realizes it after the fact.  There's no need for corrections unless, as you say, the meaning is unclear.  Just takes up bandwidth unnecessarily, IMHO.

    Parent
    Freudian, tho! (none / 0) (#79)
    by Landulph on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:20:25 PM EST
    FUNDS do have a lot to do with elections, as well.

    Parent
    That is definitely true (none / 0) (#99)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:32:05 PM EST
    Also, maybe I need to stop posting corrections since I messed the correction up as well. Getting my eyesight checked soon. Don't know if new glasses will help, but I'm going to stick with that excuse for the time being.

    Parent
    Honestly, who cares about this interview? (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:53:41 PM EST
    I didn't even see it.  I don't understand why any political blogger would have much to say except "cute kids".

    Who pays people like (5.00 / 6) (#23)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:54:58 PM EST
    Andrew Sullivan to write?

    Why do they pay them?

    Really, this is the thing that gets me.

    Publications like The Atlantic and The New York Times are always decrying in high moral dudgeon the debasement of our political discourse.

    And they hire the likes of Andrew Sullivan and Maureen Dowd.

    The fish rots at the head, fellows.

    Which is worse (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by chopper on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:00:45 PM EST

    I think subjecting his children to years of hate, racism, and anti-Americanism in that awful church of Black Liberation Theology was much worse than any TV interview.

    Bad judgement all around.

    Sullivan is an Idiot (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by This from a broad on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:01:01 PM EST
    Why mention anything that Sullivan writes. He gets everything wrong.  Outside of his very shallow self, he thinks everything is trivial.  

    the worst part (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Josey on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:08:36 PM EST
    is Obama realizing the mistake immediately after it aired.


    Not to make light of it (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by cmugirl on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:39:24 PM EST
    I could care less if the girls were on TV or not -who cares?  They are cute and did not ask to be a part of the circus that is a campaign.  But Obama has said for months that the girls (rightfully) were off limits.  Now he lets them be on TV. Is this another example of his fine judgment?  I don't even know what was said in the interview that is causing such a ruckus - if he would have said nothing, would we be talking about it?

    Parent
    Towards the end of the primary, (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:32:33 PM EST
    didn't he trump them out for the circus, or carnival, which purpose was to show him as a "good family guy," "see, he's just like you and me." So, altho' in the scheme of things, this isn't important on the whole, it's another flip-flop. My guess is the girls were told stuff not to say in one form or fashion. What's his excuse, if this was just a "fluff" piece as BTD says above, for not doing this again?

    Parent
    Speaking only for me (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by LatinoVoter on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:20:39 PM EST
    it is a non-issue. I only caught a peek of the interview; it was the part of getting a dog and I could relate.

    The thing we'll probably see regarding Obama and his kids is karma biting him in the ass. How many times have we seen him bloviate on how other people (mostly African-Americans) were raising their kids and doing it wrong?

    Then there was the silence of these two parents when their 527 on cable accused Hillary of pimping out Chelsea. He and Michelle didn't have to speak out against that crap because they were Ds or anything. They should have done it because one day the same claim would be raised against them and I for one would look the other way just like they did.

    Sullivan going after him re: the kids is stupid but he has it coming.

    I will not go so far as to say (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:45:15 PM EST
    he has it coming. What I will say is if Obama and the entire Democratic leadership had slammed the media hard for the pimping out Chelsea comment, the media might be a lot more reluctance to slam Obama on this now.

    Parent
    I don't see the kids thing fitting into (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:40:59 PM EST
    a portrait of hubris - for me that's kind of a "whatever" moment.

    Was it opportunistic?  Sure.  Was it a move calculated to make sure there was plenty of footage of the happy little family, so he would never have to do it again?  Of course.  One might even say that it was a relatively small thing to expose the kids to - they've seen the crowds and the reporters and the cameras - this could not have been that big a deal for them, all things considered.

    Sullivan, if he wanted to write about hubris, had a lot more substantive material available than what he chose to cite, but it might have been a lot harder and taken more research and analysis than using a seal, a stadium and a Hollywood interview to support his opinion.

    The laziness of the media is astounding.

    The cyncial part of me... (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by cmugirl on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:43:33 PM EST
    says this dust-up over the girls and the whole Jesse Jackson thing may be contrived. Look what people are talking about in the media today - guess what is getting moved a bit to the back burner - the FISA vote and all the other Obama mistakes. Hmmmmm......

    I thought so, too. Easy stories for tv (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:47:11 PM EST
    vs. actually explaining the Constitution, which would require some reading up for too many on tv.:-)

    These kerfluffles yesterday did remind me a lot of the propensity for Orange Alerts! by the Bushies whenever bad news was in the offing.

    Parent

    Actually, (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by cmugirl on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:47:06 PM EST
    This whole thing reminded me of "The West Wing" episode where POTUS says something unflattering about his Republican rival when he thinks his microphone is turned off, but it gts out.  The whole episode is how the staff has to deal with this, but it turns out in the end that we are led to believe he planned it.

    Also, doesn't this whole thing with the kids remind people that Obama is young and virile and has a young family while McCain is old?

    I know, I know - I'm so suspicious.

    Parent

    Maybe but events are adding up and like the (5.00 / 0) (#122)
    by Salt on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:43:36 PM EST
    unfortunate comments by Jackson they may end up defining Obama to the electorate.  Not sure if it hurts him or not IMO it did in Ohio turning some males off as his continual Ads also conveyed a "sense that Obama's ample self-regard is lapsing into hubris." and gave Hillary some points.

    boneheaded mistakes (5.00 / 0) (#131)
    by Maribelle on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:50:04 PM EST
    The problem with Sullivan and his ilk is that they are too close to the trees to see the forest.

    The forest of course being Obama's poor judgment - - from the onset of his knock-associates-off-the-ballot political career, his mealy-mouthed descriptions of his associations such as with Rezko, the multifarious people in his books, through the "guns and God bitterness", that Hillary is 'likeable enough', right up to his caving on FISA, and his allowing his "off limits" children to be used as political pawns, the manifestations of Obama's poor judgment are truly classic.    


    Hubris (5.00 / 4) (#132)
    by TheRealFrank on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:58:44 PM EST
    German magazine der Spiegel has been reporting on Obama wanting to give a speech there (during his upcoming trip to Europe), in front of the Brandenburger Tor.

    I find that tasteless. First of all, because the Brandenburger Tor is an important historic symbol, reminding us about bad and difficult parts of German history in particular, and world history in general. A presidential candidate from the US should not be using it as a prop during the campaign. Imagine, say, that Sarkozy, in the run-up to the last French election, had wanted to give a speech at Gettysburg. It's just not appropriate.

    Secondly, presenting yourself as a world leader by using that place, while you're still just a candidate who hasn't achieved anything in the world of foreign policy, is very presumptuous.

    The German government is against it, as it doesn't think it's appropriate. The mayor of Berlin likes the idea, however, because it would present him with a good photo-op.

    This adds to my fears about the grandiose tone that has been coming from the Obama campaign for a while.


    If Sully wanted to complain about O's (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by brodie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:03:47 PM EST
    alleged hubris, he would be on a little firmer ground complaining not about giving his acceptance speech in the outdoor stadium, which is just smart politics, but about  TeamO's one Kennedyesque thing too many attempt, allegedly, to speechify at the Brandenberg Gate.

    He could at least wait until he's elected, as JFK did, to give his version of Ich Bin Ein Berliner ...

    Parent

    Obama is collecting memories for his (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by bridget on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:42:25 PM EST
    Bad History.

    The Brandenburger Tor - the symbol for Freedom - where thousands of Berliners from East and West came together at the spur of the moment and stood on top of the wall at least 5 feet plus deep - celebrated with songs, wine, and dance on November 9, 1989. After being separated by Dictators for over forty years.

    Thousands of Germans united stood on that wall. Obama wants to be part of it.  

    Maybe Obama is there somewhere to be found in the happy masses? Helping to bring about unification to the oppressed with a bottle of Dom Perignon and a banana. I am waiting for the pics to show up ;-)

    P.S. Kennedy family, Reagan, Brandenburger Tor .... what next?

    Parent

    I agree with you 100 percent (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:49:39 PM EST
    I saw the Brandenburg Gate when it was behind the Wall.  It's unconscionable to use it as just a prop for a campaign speech, IMHO.

    Parent
    The German government (none / 0) (#153)
    by CST on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:18:46 PM EST
    Doesn't get to make this call.  The mayor does.  It's a done deal.

    Parent
    Then he's a fool. (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by pie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:20:01 PM EST
    Right (5.00 / 5) (#165)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:32:08 PM EST
    So our nominee is going to annoy the German government in order to pull off a campaign moment?  Gosh, that's good judgment.

    Parent
    Hey (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by tree on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:39:06 PM EST
    At least he didn't request a rally in Nuremberg!

    Parent
    True, but that would have (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:41:53 PM EST
    really made a statement.

    Parent
    ::snort:: (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:43:00 PM EST
    Oh, but the mayor of Berlin (none / 0) (#179)
    by pie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:43:34 PM EST
    is a happy camper.

    Good grief.

    Parent

    Yup (none / 0) (#194)
    by CST on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:32:44 PM EST
    Although he probably didn't know when he planned the campaign stop that they would care, since the article only came out recently.

    And he probably should've checked first whether or not they cared.

    I just hope he doesn't butcher the German language.

    Parent

    Checking stuff apparently is (5.00 / 0) (#196)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:35:57 PM EST
    not his thing. An example is the nationwide contribute $5 and win a chance to come to Denver for the convention. Not legal in all states to have to "purchase" first. Somebodies are not doing their job. He is supposed to lead!

    Parent
    It's not a done deal yet (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by bridget on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:12:05 PM EST
    I just read that the Obama campaign is still looking for other appropriate places- he shouldn't have any problems finding those since there are plenty fine historic spots in Berlin.

    My suggestion: Just be a Mensch and visit Knut in the Berlin Zoo.

    considering that chancellor Merkel is against and the Berlin Mayor for the BTor visit by BO ... BO would be well advised to calm the waters immediately. He can create plenty of hoopla, approval, and photo-ops with Knut. It will be a twofer since Germans put climate change issues on the top of their list.

    My two cents.

    Parent

    Angela Merkel (5.00 / 0) (#137)
    by pie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:04:45 PM EST
    has had her fill of American politicians in the Bush vein, I'm sure.   I hope Obama rethinks this (and doesn't apologize!).

    Not the first show of HUBRIS (5.00 / 0) (#143)
    by fctchekr on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:09:40 PM EST
    What's worrisome is when the major media ignores all these telltale signs. Especially since after you scratch the surface there's very little solidity. You know like change, you can count on..is oxymoronic. Being flexible is important, but to what degree, if no one really knows where you stand on anything?

    Have a tissue (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by pie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:15:49 PM EST
    to wipe your tears.

    Kevin Drum, Sullivan ... who cares? Not me. (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by bridget on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:27:39 PM EST
    Anyone else noticed too that nobody talks about the most wellknown American intellectual, Noam Chomsky, anymore? Tariq Ali? Gore Vidal?

    Now these are some folks we should pay attention, too. And what they are thinking about Obama und McCain?

    Who cares? Not the netroots AFAI can see. When I visited dkos in the last couple years, I never saw  Chomsky's name mentioned by that "progressive" lot. Not once.

    btw. Sullivan went practically wild and totally berserk on the Bill Maher show when Chomsky was on early on the HBO show. But Those are the moments that show you whats really going on with people like Thatcherite Sullivan, the most confused fellow pundit everyone wants to quote because he dishes and has what? a british accent? Why else? Beats me.

    Guess there is noone else to talk about than those leaning to the rightwing these days. Take your pick!  

    Another example: Sean Willentz (5.00 / 3) (#197)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:40:40 PM EST
    who is a remarkable historian wrote a fine analysis of the origins and momentum of the "racist" meme against the Clintons, an analysis that came out soon after the early attacks on them and thus early in the primaries.  Had Willentz' work been read more widely, we -- those attacked as racists, those doing the attacks -- might have been spared a debacle that did great damage to the democratic process.  And even more damage to the discourse on race in this country, now that so many of us have received clear warning that is not possible now.  (See the "black hole" story yesterday; scientists, be warned.)

    I did not see the Willentz piece get much mention at all on the blogs and none in the media.  I also sent the Willentz piece to many people who are voracious readers but could tell, in later conversation, that they did not read a further word when they realized that it would cause them cognitive dissonance with the constructed reality into which they bought in this campaign.

    As I warned them, they will be embarrassed when the studies of this campaign -- I hope Willentz' piece means he is writing one -- come out and show just how many people were duped.  But no, they probably still will deny it rather than realize it and actually have to do something about it, something that would require looking in the mirror  rather than pointing fingers at others.

    Parent

    My brother, who tends to hide (5.00 / 2) (#199)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:48:35 PM EST
    his head in the sand during campaigns, would read this piece by Willentz and say, well, he's doing what he needs to do to win. Period, end of statement. Or, they all do that stuff. Now he won't even listen to me. That, I'm afraid, is what our electorate has come to by the people I speak with. Sad, uninformed mostly, and they just idle along.

    Parent
    God forbid (none / 0) (#1)
    by pie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:45:26 PM EST
    that our democratic nominee do anything tacky.

    At least I haven't seen him scratch his butt on teevee.  :)

    Class and grace.  That's Andrew Sullivan.  Not.

    Ha. Obama does scratch his face (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:54:41 PM EST
    a lot, so I've heard as the reason it got him into some sort of trouble when cameras were running.

    But in general, he carries himself with elegance.  You will not see him scratch his butt on teevee.:-)

    Parent

    However, I would NOT be surprised to (3.66 / 3) (#68)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:15:25 PM EST
    see Sullivan scratch his butt on TV...

    Parent
    My dear, he didn't just scratch.... (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:26:36 PM EST
    ...I would say more like he dug in there. It was gross and I'm sorry for being nasty but it is seared in my memory.

    Parent
    Per James Wolcott... (5.00 / 3) (#113)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:39:31 PM EST
    ...he began squeezing, massaging his own buttocks with his hands. I thought he might be trying to dislodge a thong strap that had run up rather deep, but no, he seemed to be feeling up his own butt.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/wolcott/2004/11/touchy_feely.html

    Parent

    Walcott (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:34:39 PM EST
    is merciless!

    Parent
    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:13:44 PM EST
    And he's awesome, too, in his curmudgeonly way.

    Parent
    Maria.....ROTFLMAO (3.00 / 2) (#90)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:28:21 PM EST
    I think I've tried (none / 0) (#98)
    by pie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:31:56 PM EST
    to erase that video from memory, actually.

    Parent
    Ewwww! (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:33:58 PM EST
    Thanks a LOT for that mental image!

    Parent
    He did (none / 0) (#73)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:17:40 PM EST
    You remember that, right?

    Parent
    It's on YouTube somewhere. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by pie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:20:29 PM EST
    Boy, did the liberal blogs get a laugh out of that...

    before they decided he wasn't so bad because he was on the Obama train, that is.

    Parent

    OMG I was sure laughing (none / 0) (#108)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:35:19 PM EST
    I never EVER take anything Sully says seriously.  He is a total fool, tool and idiot.

    And feeling up his own butt on TV?  Priceless.

    Parent

    Montague....No, musta missed it (1.00 / 1) (#92)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:28:52 PM EST
    For serious? (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:37:52 PM EST
    Read what Wolcott said about it - http://www.vanityfair.com/online/wolcott/2004/11/touchy_feely.html

    Wolcott is one of my favorite writers.  He is SO witty and always right on-target.  And also a Hillary supporter!

    Parent

    video apparently still available (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:40:58 PM EST
    Montague....Thanks for my first official (3.00 / 2) (#164)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:32:00 PM EST
    grossout of the day....I wonder if he found what he was searching for?

    Parent
    *cue music (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by Montague on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:32:21 PM EST
    *singing *

    And I stiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilll  haven't foooouuuuund/
    What I'm looking for.........

    Parent

    Heh (none / 0) (#3)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:46:50 PM EST
    The power of narrative!  Trivia is meaningless right up until you find a narrative to plug it into.

    Well (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:49:53 PM EST
    I did not take any of this as signs of hubris myself. Heck, on the trivial stuff I have nothing to critique as a matter of politics. In terms of the girls on TV, as I said, raising my own is hard enough without getting into the business of telling others folks how to raise their children.

    Parent
    I have found (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:56:39 PM EST
    that since becoming a parent, I take a much greater interest in these non-issues.  For example, I have a favorable impression of Obama because he seems like a good dad.  Until I had a daughter myself, I'm sure I wouldn't have cared one bit about that.

    The interview thing is not an issue for me, in the sense that I don't think it was a bad parenting decision, but I definitely go through the mental process of thinking about it in those terms.  If I thought he was doing something different from what a father should do, it would definitely make an impression on me.

    Parent

    Yes, but will they accuse obama of (4.00 / 4) (#66)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:14:41 PM EST
    pimping out his daughters?

    Parent
    Fair point (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:01:19 PM EST
    But what do we really know about all that?

    The personal is personal. Public issues are public issues.

    I like to stick to what we can and should actually be talking about. In that sense, I guess Sully's discussion of the stadium speech decision is fair enough, but I do not see it his way. I see no hubris in that. Seemed like good politics to me. The TV shots of a huge crowd are going to be pretty darn powerful. The Seal thing, well, he is right in that it is bad politics and has been scuttled almost from its first appearance.

    But the kids? I do not like critiquing someone's parenting.

    Parent

    I heard yesterday that because (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:06:04 PM EST
    Obama is not in Pepsi stadium, and their monies have been put there to set up, the press, who are already hurting moneywise, will have to cut back on some of the convention coverage to realign at the new venue. It was pointed out that this would cut back coverage of Hillary's portion of the convention. BTW, the country is hurting, our soldiers are not yet home, the world is rattling, and importance for Obama is finding a glowering tower to accept the nom? I find that very uppity.

    Parent
    Could you use another word (5.00 / 4) (#57)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:10:37 PM EST
    aside from "uppity."

    Parent
    What would you call it? (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:13:30 PM EST
    You know what (5.00 / 0) (#75)
    by pie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:18:31 PM EST
    the problem is here.  It's that we've been through eight years of the Madison Avenue president and all the pretty marketing that's been used to cover up the nastiness, dirt and incompetence.  Any time Obama does something that reminds us of that, we get uneasy, naturally.

    I want Bush to go far far away and this country to get back on track and headed in a more positive direction.

    Parent

    MKS....uppity is the perfect word, fits the (3.00 / 2) (#74)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:18:09 PM EST
    bill and the word has even been applied to whites over the years.  Let's not go there please.

    Parent
    Then don't go there (none / 0) (#105)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:34:55 PM EST
    As you know, "uppity" has terrible connotations.....

    Parent
    MKS....only if you are constantly looking (3.00 / 2) (#168)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:33:36 PM EST
    to call out people on everything you apparently find offensive.  

    Parent
    How about "elitist" or (none / 0) (#87)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:25:49 PM EST
    "egotistical" or "pompus."

    Parent
    Or "hubris" (none / 0) (#95)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:29:40 PM EST
    All fit the bill--not that I agree with them.  

    Parent
    Don't use uppity (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:47:04 PM EST
    here. Ever.

    Parent
    That's on the networks (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:07:58 PM EST
    Not Obama.

    Parent
    It was not Obama's choice (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:11:08 PM EST
    to change his venue?

    Parent
    You're right. It was really, really awful. . . (5.00 / 4) (#51)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:07:39 PM EST
    when those MSNBC commenters attacked the Obamas for "pimping" Malia and Sasha on national TV.

    Parent
    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:08:43 PM EST
    What is David Shuster doing these days?

    Parent
    Streetwalking? n/t (none / 0) (#186)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:55:03 PM EST
    Ouch. (5.00 / 0) (#84)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:23:24 PM EST
    I had missed that parallel.  The Obama campaign must have missed it, too.

    Parent
    Obama campaign not responsible. . . (none / 0) (#85)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:25:10 PM EST
    for MSNBC's disgraceful behavior.

    Parent
    Of course not. But (5.00 / 0) (#119)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:43:19 PM EST
    the Clintons were not, either.  The parallel is there.

    Parent
    Personal is (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Emma on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:12:44 PM EST
    public if you make it public.  Obama made the personal public by agreeing to let his kids be interviewed.  I don't know if it's a bad parenting decision (I tend to think probably b/c of the kids' ages) but it does open a whole can of worms by blurring the line between public and private.

    Parent
    No one is critiquing his parenting (5.00 / 4) (#91)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:28:46 PM EST
    That is not what concerns people.

    According to the reporter who did the story, the Obama campaign approached them about the family interview/puff piece.

    Then, after it was done, Obama said he had no idea it would attract so much attention -- which, sorry, strains credulity -- and wouldn't do it again.

    The part that creeps people out is it seems perfectly plausible that he put his kids out there as a cynical move to up his ratings -- vote for me because I'm a good dad! -- and then tried to squish away from the backlash/cynical move by saying he made a "mistake" and "didn't realize" and that it wouldn't happen again.  Thus scoring points (again) for being such a concerned parent.

    I'm not saying any of this is true or there is great evidence for it, but that it's the (plausible) reading of his actions that people are reacting to.

    Personally, I didn't really care one way or another until I heard him say he had no idea it would attract so much attention.  There's just no way that's not a disingenuous comment.

    Parent

    The Obamas initiated it? (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:44:58 PM EST
    I hadn't read that.  (I haven't paid a lot of attention to this, just what goes by with the tv on as background.)  That does make this even more odd.

    Parent
    Maria Menounos (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by indy in sc on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:05:52 PM EST
    (the interviewer) said that the interview was scheduled to be just Barack and Michelle and the girls were around because it was Malia's birthday and the girls kind jumped into the interview after their parents were already miked.  Apparently, they did not set this up to be a family interview--it ended up that way.  I guess they didn't say no when the girls wanted to be on.

    I personally do not think it was a big deal to do the interview.  It's not like he put them on Meet the Press to be grilled.  It was a puff piece and most candidates introduce their families to the public at some point.  I was more troubled by Obama expressing public regret over the interview.  Sure, there were some critics, but he was getting mostly positive reviews of the interview because his girls are so charming.  If he didn't think it was a good idea, he could have just decided not to grant any more interviews.

    Parent

    The problem with this is (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by pie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:12:27 PM EST
    that Obama has had over a year and traveled all over the country.  But those low-info voters need a fluff piece on Access Hollwood that says nothing about his policies or why he would make a better president than John McCain.

    This isn't a personality contest.  I know the media want to make it one, but many voters want a serious, knowledgeable candidate.

    He's trying to be the former without doing enough as the latter.

    Parent

    Unfortunately, (none / 0) (#157)
    by indy in sc on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:21:23 PM EST
    this is a personality contest to some degree.  Just look at Gore--good policies but his personality featured all the excitement of a rock (then--he's slightly better now).  

    You have to do both--fluff pieces and hard news interviews.  Granted, real hard news organizations are hard to find these days.  He does both kinds of interviews imo.

    Parent

    Cream City--- I need to get a hold of you. (none / 0) (#148)
    by GeekLove08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:13:10 PM EST
    Drop me a message on by blog- actually, the first post is for you.

    Parent
    Disingenuous, indeed. (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:12:04 PM EST
    We all know, don;t we, that the geniuses behind Obama identified a demographic they thought had not seen enough of Obama, and - voila! - Access Hollywood.

    At least it wasn't TMZ - those people are just mean...

    Parent

    I agree with you (none / 0) (#67)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:15:02 PM EST
    That's the thing, though, that even though I know it's about issues and not about personalities at all, I still can't help but make these judgments.

    If I felt differently about Obama, if I thought he was a bad parent, does that mean I wouldn't vote for him?  Unlikely.  But it would definitely factor into the impression I have of him.  I think I'm like most other people in this regard.

    Should people care about John McCain's divorce?  Should they care about Mitt Romney's dog on the roof of the car?  I guess not.  But the reason the liberal blogs go on about this sort of stuff is that we know, for better or for worse, it does matter to people!

    I am also, btw, much quicker to form a favorable impression of someone as a person than I am to form a negative impression.  I also don't like to judge other people's parenting.

    Parent

    "Like most other people...?" (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by oldpro on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:29:14 PM EST
    I dunno.

    The arguably 'worst parent' with the lousiest family values got elected overwhelmingly by people who said they cared about those things but either DIDN'T care, lied, or voted in ignorance.

    Nevertheless, somehow, Ronald Reagan got elected.

    Twice.

    Parent

    Parenting is a tough job. (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by pie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:29:47 PM EST
    Parenting while you're the president and First Lady must be ten times tougher (unless you're the Worst President Ever.)

    As we've seen, it can be done well, and I expect that the Obamas, if they get to the White House, will continue to be good parents.

    Parent

    I love the story (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:31:47 PM EST
    about the time Chelsea got sick at school, and the nurse wanted to send her home, and she said "call my dad, my mom is too busy."

    Parent
    HA! (none / 0) (#104)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:34:15 PM EST
    That sounds a bit like my family, actually. . .

    Parent
    I think that Mitt (none / 0) (#114)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:40:08 PM EST
    got a little too much grief for the dog on the roof stuff....He built a windshield for the pooch....Not a good choice but he wasn't like Michael Vick

    As to pets and cats, medical salesperson Judy Giuliani was much, much worse...

    Parent

    What the Mittster (5.00 / 0) (#178)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:43:27 PM EST
    happily did to that dog was beyond outrageous and disqualifying for membership in the human race, IMHO, I don't care how many windshields he "built" for it.

    You don't put the luggage in the car and a family member of any species on the roof for an X-hour drive at highway speeds particularly.

    Parent

    Perhaps you have figured out here (5.00 / 8) (#34)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:59:59 PM EST
    why this is being made an issue -- because Obama has spent a lot of speech time lately in telling other folks how to raise their chidren?  I.e., the speech that irked Jesse Jackson Sr. about bad parenting in the community of color, the speech about teaching our children Spanish, and I have read of others by Obama along these lines.  Maybe they're irking more people than just Jackson.  So this offers opportunity to talk back to the know-it-all who admits (I don't think so) his own parenting mistake?

    Parent
    I haven not read that speech (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:02:38 PM EST
    Though I understood Jackson's argument. His discussion of course was off color but he did not expect it to air publically.

    Frankly, Fox's actions were pretty unethical if you ask me.

    Parent

    Comments on an open mike (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:36:44 PM EST
    are fair game and always have been.  Remember Bush's little exchange with Tony Blair with his mouth full of dinner roll?

    Parent
    I agree (5.00 / 5) (#53)
    by ccpup on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:08:13 PM EST
    But I think what made this issue an Issue was the case of Obama hitting the airwaves to apologize AGAIN for (fill in the blank).

    There were probably a lot of voters like me who weren't even aware of the interview until Obama apologized for it.  Now we -- as in the possible collective We of voters -- assume he did something wrong, otherwise why would he be apologizing?

    If you're paying even a cursory interest in this campaign, it'll seem as if all Obama has done is correct "inartful" statements, "refine" what he really meant and apologize.  Not exactly looking like Leadership Material so far.

    I get the sense that all McCain will have to do for the next two or three months is stand back and allow Barack to continue shooting himself in the foot!

    Parent

    Trivialities are the MSM comfort zone..... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:48:04 PM EST
    I'll admit that I am probably guilty of being over critical when it comes to Obama, but I saw absolutely nothing wrong with that interview and I thought the kids were adorable. In fact, it left me with a much more favorable impression of Michelle Obama than her appearance on The View. I really liked her interactions with her daughters.

    Agree (none / 0) (#138)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:05:25 PM EST
    I totally agree. There's more than ample ammo against Obama. This is a total non issue to me. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, he might have thought it was a good idea because he realizes that if he's elected their world is going to be dramaticly changed. He probably thought this might be a way of easing the change.

    Parent
    Speaking of trivialities (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:48:09 PM EST
    I was surveyed last night for the first time in my life. Asked who I will vote for President. And was I likely to vote. Nothing else.

    Demo-wise, they only asked my age. Knew my name so I guess that gave them their ethnicity answer. Is that common? I expected more questions.

    Are you sure it was legit? (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by pie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:50:34 PM EST
    And not an Obama supporter making sure you're voting for Obama?

    :)

    Parent

    Heh (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:51:57 PM EST
    Sometimes (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:51:51 PM EST
    I think it depends on whether the pollster is looking for a large sample size, or a small one.  It's real tough to get a whole ton of people to sit there and answer 10 minutes of questions.

    That's a mighty scientific likely voter screen, by the way!  I hope you told them that asking how you will vote is against the site rules.

    Parent

    Heh (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:52:22 PM EST
    Oh (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:52:48 PM EST
    And do not expect me to tell you what my answer was.

    Parent
    Gee (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:58:11 PM EST
    The suspense is killing me.

    Parent
    Heh (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:05:16 PM EST
    Hey, I will tell you that I voted for Jerry Brown in the 1992 NY Democratic primary. A protest vote against the execution of Ricky Ray Rector.

    Parent
    Fair enough (5.00 / 0) (#160)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:28:44 PM EST
    I was a Clinton man myself, which may come as no surprise.  Frankly, as we slog through this endless parade of incremental moves to the center by Obama, complete with statements about how he's saddened and disappointed that anyone could think he's moving to the center, more than once I've wished that he would just execute someone and get it over with.

    Parent
    Wouldn't work (5.00 / 0) (#170)
    by tree on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:34:14 PM EST
    more than once I've wished that he would just execute someone and get it over with.

    But then we'd have to hear how he regretted it after he did it.


    Parent

    I hate to nitpick, but (5.00 / 4) (#175)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:42:27 PM EST
    if the center is where the majority of Americans are now, on the war and abortion and religion and privacy rights, then that is the center.  Obama's not moving to the center from the left, he's moving out of the center to the right.

    Why he would want to move away from where most Americans are is beyond me, and if he thinks the center is going to move with him, well, I think he's mistaken.


    Parent

    Maybe he's moving away from (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by angie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:09:42 PM EST
    the majority of Americans because he doesn't much like them -- you know, those buffoons who only speak English and can't speak French or Spanish?
    I happen to speak two other languages in addition to English, so I guess I rate -- goody goody for me (rolls eyes)

    Parent
    I know that its not McCain. ;-) (none / 0) (#33)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:59:12 PM EST
    We all know it's Cynthia McKinney! (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    Sounds like a candidate doing a phone canvas (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:50:30 PM EST
    Did you ask who they were calling for?

    Parent
    No (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:51:43 PM EST
    Do they have to tell me? He told me the name of his company. I do not think they have to say who hired the company.

    Parent
    Do you remember the name of the company? (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:54:03 PM EST
    No (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:58:03 PM EST
    And I had not heard of it. But that does not mean anything.

    Parent
    Well, if it's a real and scientific poll, (none / 0) (#39)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:01:32 PM EST
    they're supposed to ask Demo info. The fact that they had your name is a little interesting and suggests that they were working off the registration list, which anyone can buy. If you're in a VRA state, they should know race in addition to gender and age.

    Parent
    I am registered in Florida now (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:03:51 PM EST
    And that is where I got the call.

    So they do have the demos, except for age apparently. So that makes some sense.

    Parent

    I think they are actually supposed to have age (none / 0) (#63)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:13:29 PM EST
    But it seems sloppy not to ask these questions anyway. Did they ask you party too? They should, because real pollsters understand that party ID is an attitude, not a demographic category.

    Parent
    Huh. I get surveyed a lot in a swing state (none / 0) (#27)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:56:38 PM EST
    and never get off that easy.  I have learned to ask first for an estimated time length before agreeing.  Any estimate over 10 minutes, no way.  And on some days, even more than a couple of questions is too many, when surveyed over and over as we are here.

    Parent
    Name's aren't enough for ethnicity (none / 0) (#42)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:03:34 PM EST
    I'm betting they weren't looking at ethnicity in this poll. It would be beyond irresponsible to assume ethnicity from a name. My husband's name sounds Hispanic, but it's actually French.

    Parent
    I got asked about all sorts of things (none / 0) (#50)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:06:59 PM EST
    including the death penalty and whether I more feared spiders or snakes....

    It was a big name poll....could have been Gallup or maybe Zogby. It was last election cycle.

    Parent

    I don't get the to-do about this (none / 0) (#16)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:51:54 PM EST
    interview incident, either, but it does seem to be spawning attacks from others with a different view -- and then, as in your links, using it to list other wrongdoings.  But Sullivan's list is limited compared to this guy's piece in the Atlanta media.  He makes Obama sound like Miss Otis.  I.e., "Miss Otis regrets.":-)

    Ouch. (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by pie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:55:40 PM EST
    (Googling "Obama" and "regrets" yields more than a million hits.)

    Parent
    a million, (none / 0) (#200)
    by Amiss on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:06:39 PM EST
    huh, LOL.

    Parent
    ack I should be reprimanded (none / 0) (#89)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:26:56 PM EST
    for nitpicking, but when one is strung up on the ol' willow and one regrets only  that one will not be able to lunch that day, then one may conclude that one is  ironizing on trivial society and does not regret shooting her unfaithful lover down one bit.

    Any comparison between miss Otis and our presumptive nominee is a deep insult to miss Otis.  I think.

    And besides, god knows theres an over-sensitive obama supporter lurking behind every corner just waiting to pounce so we should be careful about comparing obama to anyone real or otherwise who is known to have been "strung up" by the mob.

    P.s.  I think its a great song.  And I would highly recommend the trascendent version of this cole porter classic on the red hot and blue compilation.

    Parent

    Lordy (5.00 / 0) (#191)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:29:55 PM EST
    I never memorized or even listened closely to the lyrics, clearly.  I just remembered the title and chorus.  May I not awaken the OC (Obamatically Correct) police!

    Parent
    Who is Miss Otis? (none / 0) (#100)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:32:17 PM EST
    look up miss Otis and cole porter (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:35:07 PM EST
    its a fun song.

    Parent
    Ahhh...albumn of the year (none / 0) (#133)
    by oldpro on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:58:45 PM EST
    and one of the first big AIDS fundraisers.

    Just great.

    Personally, tho, I prefer Ella's version...but who could argue with ANYONE singing Cole Porter?!?

    Parent

    But but BTD (none / 0) (#25)
    by GOPmurderedconscience on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:55:34 PM EST
    "Bell Curve" Andrew hates all of our positions on issues.
    He is focusing on exactly what he should be focusing on: The idea of Obama. Humble, elegant speaker, likable, not Clinton and so fort.

    It was never about issues. You know the history of Sullivan vs Dems on issue after issue. Even some of his now colleagues such as James Fallows used to write in worst possible terms about this guy.

    Sullivan is a conservative (none / 0) (#32)
    by s5 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:58:29 PM EST
    And at the end of the day, they care more about character and appearances than actual issues.

    I personally never had FISA anywhere near the top of my priority list, but at least it's an actual issue!

    Actually, no.... (none / 0) (#135)
    by oldpro on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:03:28 PM EST
    I doubt it.

    Oh, well, SOME conservatives may care about character and appearances but none I know do unless it's about their own...which is true of Sully.  And they get to define the words!

    It's ALL about HIM!

    HIS likes.  HIS feelings.  HIS thoughts.  HIS wants and needs.  HIS beliefs.

    Got that?

    OK, then.  Now we're in business.

    Parent

    oh man (none / 0) (#102)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:33:14 PM EST
    "It's a sense that Obama's ample self-regard is lapsing into hubris."

    say what you want about fat Sully, he can have a way with words.
     

    may I also say (none / 0) (#109)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:36:58 PM EST
    far be it from me to defend the O but I really dont see anything wrong with the kids "interview".
    I thought they were cute and showed that whatever else the Obamas are the are probably great parents.

    sour grapes! (none / 0) (#152)
    by Molly Pitcher on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:17:59 PM EST
    The kids were cute?  And we can assume the Obamas are great parents?  I'm not turning on the TV to see someone's cute kids, especially as evidence that the parents are doing a great job.

    I live in the real world--where there's a cute baby in Alaska that may not always fit typical definitions of 'cute.' And where parents who try hard to raise good kids may not quite succeed or even fail.

    Poor kids!  In my day, it was the Dionne Quintuplets who  had the bright light of fame shining on them.  I remember how well that fairy tale turned out.  And FDR's kids and grandkids--I think the US was durn lucky that people voted on FDR's policies, not his family or his health.

    Parent

    please (5.00 / 0) (#163)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:31:20 PM EST
    do not let me stand in the way of your bashing of Obama.
    I stand corrected.

    Parent
    Not bashing him! (none / 0) (#177)
    by Molly Pitcher on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:43:04 PM EST
    Main thrust was really that parents who advertise their lovely families may eventually rue the day.  Realize I am speaking as an old grouch--one who has lived thru kids that look peculiar and act 'dumb.' kids who 'cut off their noses to spite their faces,' kids who do dumb things, kids who are gay or divorced or go to the wrong church or no church, kids who have no jobs or bad jobs.  Even kids who wind up in jail may have had proud parents at one time.  If you are a parent, keep your head down and be ready to duck: whatever comes, it will come when you least expect it.  Don't brag too much--you may have to eat your words one day.

    Parent
    well (none / 0) (#180)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:45:25 PM EST
    I am not a parent, do not plan to be one or play one on TV so unlike Sully, I defer.


    Parent
    just one other thing (none / 0) (#117)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:41:39 PM EST
    "Fame is a toxin. Children deserve to be protected from it as much as they would from lead paint."

    I have absolutely no doubt that every parent in america is on the edge of their seat waiting for the next pearl of wisdom from Sully on child rearing.


    Heh. Funny but.... (none / 0) (#146)
    by oldpro on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:12:08 PM EST
    yes and no.

    I DO think fame is toxic.  Celebrity is toxic.  It has gone viral, in fact.

    I think most parents in America would be thrilled to see their kiddies in front of a camera..preferably themselves, of course, but second choice...their kids.  Even better if they rake in big dough for it.

    It's a sickness in our culture now.  My niece, whose job is counseling high schoolers re their future choices, relates that among the top choices of students is 'to be famous.'

    Arggghhh...

    Parent

    I think the top choices (none / 0) (#162)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:30:15 PM EST
    more reflects the state of public education.
    when I was in high school people wanted to be famous but at least we knew that you had to, you know, actually DO something to become famous.  which unfortunately required things like reading and writing.

    Parent
    Neither agree nor disagree... (none / 0) (#195)
    by oldpro on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:33:03 PM EST
    maybe some of both.  After all, as Hillary has pointed out, "It Takes a Village."

    As to needin' readin' and writin' to DO somethin' to become famous for...not any more.  Now all they need is a gun and a black overcoat and a ride to school....no skill or talent required.  Just show up and make a mess and you'll be on the evening news....maybe even in a movie...

    Parent

    It's gendered????????? (none / 0) (#151)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:16:32 PM EST


    Let's Face Some Facts (none / 0) (#204)
    by WakeLtd on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 06:32:55 PM EST
    This has been an ugly campaign from  the start. I am not pointing the finger at anyone, or anyone's campaign. There is enough blame to go around I am sure. But one thing is clear, this is not a venue to bring children into. No good can really come of it. We all love our children. We love other people's children. It is enough for me to know they exist, maybe see a picture of them now and then. I am sure Senator Obama and his wife were responding to media requests to know more about their daughters. And they ARE adorable. And they belong in the background. Protected and shielded from the media glare. And I am glad that Senator Obama has come to his senses and said there will be no more "interviews" with his children. This election is NOT about who has the cutest kids. And this election is no place to bring a kid.

    laura bush (none / 0) (#205)
    by tek on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:31:29 PM EST
    told the media straight out as soon as he was elected:  "Our children's privacy must be respected."

    What Do You Expect? (none / 0) (#206)
    by bmc on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 06:49:06 AM EST
    Barack Obama will exploit anything and anyone to win the White House, including his two daughters. They're cute. He's using them as an emotional appeal. It's tacky and inappropriate. But then, Obama is tacky and inappropriate. This is the same man who did his best JayZ imitation of the brush-off, complete with middle finger, the day after he screwed the pooch in a public debate with Sen. Clinton. He looked like an adolescent trying to pump himself up in front of friends because he'd just been embarrassed by a girl who put him down with wit and style.

    Obama's immature; he's tacky; he's arrogant.