Dampening Enthusiasm

Democracy Corps:

It is important to note that this progress [for Obama] has been accompanied by some diminished enthusiasm and few gains among independent voters. . . . Obama’s campaign has only just begun to engage with the big issues before the country and to define the choice boldly in a way that engages voters, fully consolidates Democrats and wins over independents – though he clearly has the opportunity to do all three. . . . The Obama campaign clearly understands that it will have to be seen as leading the change in this change election.

. . . Not surprising is the drop in intense positives among liberals, liberal Democrats and white young voters, as we can see in the graph below. More worrisome is the broader drop in intense responses on key attributes –“on your side” (describes “very well” dropped from 27 to 21 percent), “strong leader” (dropped from 31 to 26 percent), and “will bring the right kind of change” (dropped from 28 to 24 percent). Overall, only 51 percent say Obama is “on your side” (down 4 points) and only 52 percent say he will “will bring the right kind of change” (unchanged). Obama seems to have lost some definition in this transition, and he has only just begun to articulate the change in ways that engage voters.

(Emphasis supplied.) [More...]

I believe Obama has made a terrible mistake in these two weeks or so, damaging his "new politics" brand in ways he will not recover from. He'll win imo, but he has done some inexcusable things which not only do not help him politically but actually hurt him. Instead of "defining the choice boldly," Obama has blurred the differences. It is a political error.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< Obama's Constitutional Shift: 1st, 2nd, 4th and 8th Amendments | What Obama Can Do Now On FISA >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I could be wrong (5.00 / 9) (#1)
    by Dave B on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 06:45:59 AM EST
    But I see this as just a continuation of the slide that started early spring when Hillary started beating him on a consistent basis.

    March (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by creeper on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:21:53 AM EST
    was when the information about Rev. Wright came out.  That's when the slide started.  It doesn't show any signs of stopping, either.

    no, March was when he said in a debate (none / 0) (#121)
    by dotcommodity on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 12:45:48 AM EST
    that, {how like Bush}, he would have people deal with that policy stuff for him. Actual policy was a trivial matter that only women bothered with...

    And March, that he Harry-Louised singlepayer. Untill then I thought he was as much a Democrat as HRC and Edwards. But when he got so pigheaed about demanding the feebler health policy, that when I looked more carefully at his environmental policy....feebler too.

    So: feebler FISA: no surprise.


    I see it that way (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:22:43 AM EST
    too. Obama has been on a downward slide since losing OH. It was obvious that he was an extremely weak candidate by the end of the primaries. I also don't buy into the "he'll win" mindset. While McCain has the albatross of an unpopular president around his neck, Obama has the albatross of an even more unpopular congress around his neck.

    It need not have been an albatross ... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:04:50 AM EST
    had he not been so eager to cast his lot so strongly with the policies and positions of the Congressional leadership.

    It's one thing to be a 'team player', which I think is a point of pride underlying the post-partisan Unity Schtick. But if you're not going to challenge CW and business as usual on any policy point, it's hard to lay claim to being a candidate of change.


    Oh, (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:07:10 AM EST
    I agree. But perhaps he did have to throw his lot in with people like Pelosi in order to win the nomination? It was people like her after all who decided who the nominee was going to be.

    Contrast (5.00 / 5) (#41)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:24:02 AM EST
    I think you're right. The party leadership certainly closed ranks around him.

    This whole campaign has been a series of disappointments. There has not been a better chance to run a strong campaign on contrast with the Republicans since '76, and if, as I still think likely, we win the White House this year, who knows when the next chance will be.

    But at the national party level, the Democrats seem locked into a strategy of winning through Republican default. The only ray of hope is in some of the challengers coming up in Congressional and local races.


    i was on another blog yesterday (5.00 / 0) (#49)
    by hellothere on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:48:17 AM EST
    and saw some stats on the number of hits on obama's web site. it was surprising to me to see just how far down the visits had fallen. also the fund raising numbers are down. maybe that is what is behind some of his donor's comments about paying hillary's debt.

    Have (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:50:49 AM EST
    the fundraising numbers for June been released. I do know that they were down for Apr and May right?

    i hate quoting from memory as i see (none / 0) (#70)
    by hellothere on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:06:03 AM EST
    different quotes and articles. but i believe i saw a number like 21 million. it's true i don't think i have read the final numbers are out because it would most like be posted on here.

    I think it is just that (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by DFLer on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:20:58 AM EST
    the primary was over, therefore $$ numbers would go down, doncha think?

    no, actually i don't. (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by hellothere on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:23:49 AM EST
    sure some of the small donors might be out of play, but the big donors? also they still haven't paid for the democratic convention. there was an article in my local paper this past weekend indicating financial problems for the dems and said it didn't bode well.

    All we've heard about is the big money numbers (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by DFLer on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 10:44:38 AM EST
    that the Obama campaign has raised....they have often bragged about it. For a dem like me, I would say, well I need that 50 bucks more than you seem to, so I'll just keep it, or donate locally.

    yup,make the money count for something. (none / 0) (#116)
    by hellothere on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:45:10 PM EST
    What's a good web site for this sort of data? (none / 0) (#82)
    by EL seattle on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:28:02 AM EST
    Is there a Nielsen site, or somewhere else that you can go to  to track the ups and downs of web traffic to various sites?  That information might be as valuable as polling data this year, or even more so.

    I use (none / 0) (#91)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:46:08 AM EST

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#97)
    by EL seattle on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 10:21:08 AM EST
    That might be just what I've been looking for.

    i believe that was the one i was (none / 0) (#117)
    by hellothere on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:46:34 PM EST
    referred to on another blog. i was quite surprised at how much the traffic is down.

    All the special delegates raced on (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jpete on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:29:11 AM EST
    board to save a sinking ship.  That's a very odd strategy and the result may be that they'll all go down together.

    which also (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by ribbon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:18:21 AM EST
    coincided with the last of the a long string of Red State Caucuses from which Obama drew disproportionately large number of pledged delegates from.  He's a goner in November.  It'll be great.

    Good point, too. n/t (none / 0) (#3)
    by Lil on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 06:53:10 AM EST
    I'm glad you wrote this (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Lil on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 06:52:34 AM EST
    I've been thinking lately that things feel way off mark with Obama. Admittedly, I haven't paid as much attention in the last month, but the info that seeps in to me seems like non winners for him. Besides his "damaging his "new politics" brand", there have just been other things like Clark, Webb, Jessie Jackson, and Obama's flip flop on whether his family should have done the tv thing. I happen to think he should not have said anything about letting his kids go on TV. I thought that made him look weak and unsure about his decisions. Ironically, I think he needs to find his "own voice"; he's lost it; I hope not permanently. Fortunately McCain is so ridiculous, none of this may matter.

    I agree, the kid thing baffled me... (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:40:15 AM EST
    ...I didn't see anything that he had to apologize for and I guess I missed the initial criticism that caused him to back track. It must have come from Republicans or the media since he seems to feel the need to stay on their good side. Did anyone on the Dem side see a problem with it? If so, I missed it.

    As for the Jackson thing, Obama handled it well but that smackdown that Jesse Jr. gave his daddy does very little to bolster the point that Obama was trying to make. Jesse Jackson has been there for Jr. all the way, and there was no love at all in Jr.s smackdown. It was as if he couldn't stand his father. Frankly, I think the campaign should apologize for that, but I doubt they will.


    Given historical context... (none / 0) (#21)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:43:58 AM EST
    I think Obama ought not have said black men were "acting like boys".  I think he should have apologized for that, but what do I know?

    As a black man, this comment coming from (none / 0) (#112)
    by vicndabx on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:13:14 PM EST
    a black man in and of itself isn't an issue.  What's gonna piss some folks off more (not me cuz I take care of mine) I think is the tough talk period.  When you say historical context if you mean first black person w/a real shot as becoming president and many are proud of that so let's not point our shortcomings right now, then yeah.  If you mean, "boy" in the segregated past historical context than I don't think a lot of folks are really concerned w/that.

    when repubs campaign they are not (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by hellothere on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:50:19 AM EST
    ridicdulous. what they are is organized and ruthless. don't make assumptions about them like kerry did in 2004. that is a very big mistake.

    It bodes well for us (none / 0) (#50)
    by Lahdee on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:50:11 AM EST
    that McCain is so ridiculous. BO's retreat on exposing his children to the limelight made him look like such a rookie, so inexperienced. He'll want to stay away from those moments so that the ridiculous doesn't become the sublime.

    It reminded me of McCaskill (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:25:52 AM EST
    voting as her teenage daughter told her to do.

    Obama's daughters aren't even teenagers yet but, he said, they wanted to be on tv.  So they got their way.  And now he rethinks it?  (Doesn't Secret Service get to weigh in on this, btw, if asked?  If so, did he not get good advice or ignore it?  All very odd.)


    He would have us believe he's (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Lahdee on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:33:16 AM EST
    the decision maker, but anyone with children knows that isn't always the case. What I find difficult about this is the naivete. How could he not know what he was about to open his family up to? And what does that say about his judgment? Will a deer in the headlights become the new Democratic Party symbol?

    What is (none / 0) (#88)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:35:46 AM EST
    the story behind this? I missed this one.

    Cheesy media (none / 0) (#95)
    by waldenpond on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 10:10:22 AM EST
    Obama's children were interviewed by a rather tabloid teebee media show.  He was mildly criticized for 'using' his children but criticized for the medium more.  (recommended he had used 60 minutes or something similar)

    Wow, that was it? (4.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 10:22:23 AM EST
    So it was all really just the political media sending a message to Obama that they own him?

    Well, what do liberal Democrats expect? (5.00 / 8) (#4)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 06:53:21 AM EST
    What did they think he meant by post-partisan?  Did they think the entire country would go Left with someone who believes in a unified, post-partisan political world?

    Not turning on his base (5.00 / 8) (#6)
    by BernieO on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 06:58:52 AM EST
    Ever notice how everyone takes it for granted that Republicans must pander to their base but Obama is praised for turning his back on his base? Considering that the American people are closer to Democrats than Republicans on issues, this is just bizarre and reflects the media's disdain for Democrats.

    Obama promised not only to be post partisan, but also to be someone whose word you could trust. He has clearly proven that is not the case. He is way too overconfident. Reminds me of our current president in that way.


    The media are generally big fans (4.20 / 5) (#10)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:15:57 AM EST
    of post-partisanship.  They believe in it.  From my perspective, Obama promised to find consensus on the issues(odd for a time when we are looking at a Dem President with Dem majorities in both chambers of Congress), so I feel little sympathy for the recently less enthused.

    What struck me as a difference (none / 0) (#123)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 06:58:32 AM EST
    between Hillary & Obama was Hillary's capacity for deep friendships and loyalty--even loyalty to a fault, i.e., Penn, etc.  But I do think it's telling that she has many long-term friends from her childhood and college days.  Obama -- never heard about friends before his Chicago days or even during law school days.  

    Clearly they expected something different (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:00:57 AM EST
    Purely as strategy the gamble was ill-considered (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Ellie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:23:51 AM EST
    ... as Obama and Team will have to spend vital resources dialing back his Righward Ho! Pony Ride, and freshly re-define the numerous big issues on which he tanked. It was an empty intellectual exercise in wasted resources that endears Obama to no one. (Any positive feeling this generated in Repugs / right wingers are from the huge armory the campaign handed them for the GE.)  

    Straight up on principle, he misfired on core values all the way down the line. Standing up to "The Left"? Oh please, that was slapping the center in the face for no conceivable political gains in return. If anything, the shape-shifting isn't likely to please or garner trust from any stripe in the spectrum.

    I doubt that the Clap Louder message from Obama Dems -- even exorting discarded ones to do so -- will hold much sway when it's hard to clap along at all with his inexplicable stances.

    (eg, Women can have "our" turn to be treated like fully fleged human beings someday -- just not in the present and not by Obama -- perhaps when Obama's girls are grown up? Um, no thanks, I'll keep being People right now.)


    This liberal Democrat did not expect (5.00 / 11) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:42:40 AM EST
    much support from Obama on my issues based on his words and his positions during the primary. That is why he did not get my vote. He has proven to me that I made the right assessment. What has he taken firm positions on since he became the nominee? He stood firm against his Democratic supporters and voted against their wishes on the Bush Cover Up and Elimination of Rights bill. He will definitely IMO stand firm on his expanded faith based initiative program and go even further than Bush in blurring the lines between church and state. On every issue that is important to me, he has willingly adopted the Republican agenda or Republican talking points that put these issues in jeopardy.  

    The current and consistent theme coming from Obama and the New Democratic Party is "You Have No Where Else To Go." This to me is just one big "F@ck You, we do not need to listen to you on your issues or your concerns." Well they have, in fact. convinced me that they will not listen to Democratic voters when establishing their agenda. But let me tell them loudly and clearly, I do have some where else to go.


    He lost a big chunk of the old base in January (5.00 / 6) (#100)
    by ruffian on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 10:41:09 AM EST
    with his tilt to the right then - the 'Republicans are party of ideas' and 'Reagan sure knew how to get things done' comments.  That's when he lost me anyway.  I knew at that point that I would never have any enthusiasm for him.  I wrote at the time that if he was already tilting right in the Dem primary, I could not imagine where he would be come the GE.  Now we know.

    Some people were enamored enough of the new, or so afflicted with CDS,  that they gave him the benefit of slim doubt on that one.

    His recent rightward movements are just a continuation of that.  

    The party is leaving us, and there are other places to go.


    Same here (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 10:54:25 AM EST
    To me this whole thing about Obama moving to the center now that he is the nominee is tunnel vision. Obama IMO ran to the right all during the primary. He had the least progressive domestic agenda of the top three. He continually propped up the Republicans throughout the primary and adopted or approved of Republican ideas. Throughout he used Republican talking points when discussing Democratic issues.  And NO he is not moving to the CENTER now. He is moving farther to the RIGHT.

    And yes, there is ALWAYS another place to go.


    We now see the true face of Obama (5.00 / 6) (#7)
    by COgator95 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 06:59:02 AM EST
    and it's not pretty. He and other Democrats (my senator Ken Salazar and my congressman Mark Udall) capitulated to a president at 28% approval rating is DISGUSTING. I was an avid supporter of Obama giving him $500 of my hard earned money but after yesterday's disgraceful vote I can not bring myself to vote for him or any other Democrat and will probably throw my mail in ballot in the garbage when I receive it this October. So, I'd say that my enthusiasm is a lot more than dampened.

    enthusiasm comes from true believers (5.00 / 6) (#14)
    by kempis on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:26:14 AM EST
    Increasingly, Obama is making it harder for them to remain attached to him while he pivots and fumbles.

    A good many voters really do value "a foolish consistency" in their leaders. Many would prefer to vote for someone they clearly disagreed with on some issues as long as he/she takes a firm stance (see Bush in 04) rather than to vote for a slippery eel who may make them feel like fools at some point. Politically, Obama is making the mistake of being "eelish." When a segment of your base, rightly or wrongly, believe you've snookered them with a bait-and-switch, that's not good.

    Because Obama has no long history to define him, it's especially dangerous for him to be sketched in soft, shifting lines. It's going to be that much easier for the GOP to superimpose the sharper image of Obama-as-scary-guy.

    it may not even have to be (5.00 / 6) (#24)
    by ccpup on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:45:44 AM EST
    Obama-as-scary-guy.  It could easily -- and more devastatingly -- be Obama-as-ineffectual-dope-who-can't-make-up-his-mind.

    That would contrast nicely (for the GOP) against McCain and his (in)famous "Straight Talk Express".

    As I've said often in these threads, with McCain's "cultural shorthand" already helping people to decide "who" he is (POW, Straight Talk, Moderate), it may just be easier at the end of the day to vote for the guy you kinda disagree with on some things rather than the new guy who keeps apologizing, refining and can't seem to pick a position and stick with it ... other than he wants to be President.


    though jackson sr spoke in rather (5.00 / 0) (#53)
    by hellothere on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:53:25 AM EST
    crude terms i am beginning to think that his comments might indicate some unhappiness or lack of satisfaction among some of the aa voters.

    I never doubted for a second that (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by MsExPat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:56:52 AM EST
    Obama was going to throw the AA agenda under the bus. Indeed, his Father's Day speech (what Jesse J. was responding to) indicates he already is, in order to look "tough" on AA issues, just like he's "standing up" to the Left.

    Go read The Black Agenda Report (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 10:58:39 AM EST
    Definitely a lack of approval among a small group in the AA community. In fact, Glenn Ford has recommended voting 3rd Party.

    His leadership (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Lahdee on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:56:47 AM EST
    number is this poll indicate that the eel is out of the bag. If the perception of his "leadership" continues to slide or is isolated as a weakness by the republicans we could be in for a bad time.

    BTD could you explain your thinking/gut on this (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by Ellie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:38:21 AM EST
    He'll win imo, but he has done some inexcusable things

    I'm puzzled and curious at how you came to this personal opinion.

    I haven't seen a head to head profile up against McCain that very far outside the MOE. After all the worshipful hype, I thought Obama should be further ahead than the numbers posted here have shown.

    No need to crunch numbers on this to make a stats-based, poll-based case, but do use whatever performance or presentation aids explain your sense of the GE here.

    (I'm not asking about your vote and wasn't asking long before it became cool not to ask.)

    Because it's the worst time in decades (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:40:54 AM EST
    to be a Republican.  

    assuming McCain will lose though (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by ribbon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:45:50 AM EST
    otherwise, supporting a hurting party can oftentimes produce the best results, because the incentive favours the voters. The Dems seem to me to be full of themselves. For these past two years, Dems seem to have taken their majority for granted and now they seem to view potential gains in the Congressional and Executive branches in 2008 as inevitable.

    It's always a bad sign when a party starts to think and act this way.

    Personally, I'd prefer McCain for a balance - which would BE a change. I don't think we need an equal and opposite extreme to Bush.

    We need a balance.


    If this were true (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:47:44 AM EST
    Why would the Democrat feel such a need to tack right? (aka tack 'wrong,' as I call it).

    It's a magic circle kinda thing. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Lahdee on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:04:38 AM EST
    You see in the post-partisan world it's necessary to be pre-media. That is, you have to get there before they get you. After all the moguls of the media, those who matter the most, must be paid homage. The political tithe due is a prostration to their narrative, their perception of how it should be done.
    The message is not the campaign. "Tack to the right Barry," he hears, "so you can stay the course later. Then and only then will you find a safe port, good in any storm."
    "The buck stops here," he responds, "and don't call me Barry."

    The Dem leaders listened (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:33:06 AM EST
    to the media, and panicked at the claims that the long primary would work against them (I never saw that, but I won't get into the counterargument again).

    The Dem leaders forgot that their job is to make the media listen to them.  Or the leaders were incapable of doing so.  Either way, they got managed by the media, rather than the other way around.


    I have no fricken idea. (none / 0) (#54)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:53:34 AM EST
    Following Obama's lead?

    Meanwhile, Hillary is talking right now.... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:43:59 AM EST
    ...on MSNBC, and my enthusiasm for her hasn't dampened a bit.

    she's an amazing woman (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by ccpup on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:52:41 AM EST
    and will make a fantastic President.  :-)

    agreed. (none / 0) (#39)
    by ribbon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:19:53 AM EST
    What did she say? (none / 0) (#124)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 07:01:49 AM EST

    I think that it's certainly true (5.00 / 10) (#27)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:53:48 AM EST
    that Obama would profit by sticking to principles, and demonstrating that there are bright lines beyond which he won't go.

    But what I don't think that people get is that strength of conviction simply isn't a tactic one can adopt for political purposes. I don't think it really can be faked -- any more than a real interest in people's lives, or in the points of view of those you disagree with, or than the common touch.

    If Obama doesn't really have strong convictions, he's not going to be able to pretend over extended periods of time, and in the teeth of trying circumstances, that he has them. And I see no evidence that he has such convictions.

    Well said. (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:56:32 AM EST
    I think you're onto something (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:29:32 AM EST
    as Obama too often seems to be studying the American people, analyzing us, all so dispassionately that I'm reminded of colleagues in sociology and psychology.  A gift in those fields.  In politics, maybe not so much.

    The problem (none / 0) (#125)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 07:04:15 AM EST
    with Obama's studies, imo, is that he never skims the surface.  He says a lot of things that don't quite get it right, e.g., he statements that PTSD is more common among women in the military -- I searched the literature & could not find this. If he was trying to say we need to pay attention to the fact that sexual harrassment in the military is something that can trigger PTSD or exascerbate it, fine.  But that's not what he said.

    One of the things I so admire about Hillary was how well-researched her policy positions were during and since the primaries.


    I don't think he feels the need to pretend (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by g8grl on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 10:31:28 AM EST
    The whole point of his last couple of chats with the reporters is that he hasn't moved, softened or flip-flopped at all.  In his mind (and I do believe he believes this) he has been consistent all along.  In his mind, he's everything he advertised, no hype or exaggeration, just a man of deep conviction who is true to himself.

    Scary what no self awareness and/or an incredible arrogance can get you.


    Exactly Right. (none / 0) (#93)
    by Landulph on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:57:01 AM EST
    'Nuff said.

    Perhaps he'll win in November (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by Lysis on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:01:48 AM EST
    But yesterday, democracy itself lost the race.

    Couple things (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:19:42 AM EST
    One is that the observation is a stunning rebuke of the Primary process.  To observe that the Obama campaign is just now beginning to engage real issues only reinforces the conclusion that Democrats failed to discuss issues during the primary.  But, on the other hand, if that is not the right conclusion, then it's tantamount to saying that issues were engaged but by false representation on the part of the Obama campaign.  That such issues were discussed, Obama stated his positions on such issues, and then flip flopped the second he was put to the test.

    The other thing is what's fast becoming the same old thing with respect to these discussions.   Obama's not going to care because he knows he won't have to run against someone 6 years from now who advertises "I was against FISA from the beginning."

    Now.  He can live with dampened enthusiasm.  I am sure he's asked himself.  "Can I live with dapened enthusiasm?"

    "Yes.  I can live with dampened enthusiasm."

    dampened enthusiasm (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by ccpup on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:37:17 AM EST
    could be the hole in the boat that sinks him.  If he had WON the Nomination by a healthy margin -- and not crawled over the finish line with an assist from Brazile and Dean --, he could probably weather a temporary period of dampened enthusiasm.

    But enthusiasm for Obama has been dampened since late-February!  To be the probably Nominee, making missteps, apologizing, refining and listing about with no clear center and STILL be dealing with a Base that's not solidly behind you is not good no matter how one slices and dices it.

    This dampened enthusiasm could easily turn into "ah, who cares" and then into votes for McCain or finding something better to do on Election Day than pull the lever for someone you just don't "get" and don't care about.


    There'll be three candidates on election day. (5.00 / 9) (#90)
    by EL seattle on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:45:48 AM EST
    In November, Americans will basically vote for one of the following:

    1.) Obama
    2.) McCain
    3.) The couch

    I don't think that the couch's poll numbers are tracked, but I'd bet they might have risen a bit over the past couple of weeks.


    The couch is mighty comfy. (5.00 / 4) (#96)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 10:20:57 AM EST
    plus the couch doesn't waffle (5.00 / 5) (#102)
    by ccpup on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 10:51:52 AM EST
    it will change it's position a bit, but you always know how much and why

    plus we know our couches, but do we really know Obama?  

    Although I must admit that sometimes listening to Obama speak can put me to sleep faster than my couch, but that's not necessarily a good thing in a Presidential Candidate.


    The Jackson/Obama and Obama Family Follies (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by SunnyLC on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:20:54 AM EST

    The Jackson/Obama and Obama Family Follies on O'Reilly: I Can't Believe I'm Seeing What I'm Seeing

    Backtracking galore......Really, this is getting ridiculous...Jackson's gaffe was the most honest thing of this entire primary season...Obama on his family's "overexposure" was not...

    I don't have to backtrack on Obama--I knew he was not "The One" as soon as his book was reported to be full of composite/fictional characters. Wasn't that the first clue?? And hats off to Shelby Steele, who predicted a lot of disappointed Obama fans when the mask started falling off....

    Great link thx-Fugg Jackson ROTFL (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by laurie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:44:14 AM EST
    The only strategy I can think of is... (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Exeter on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:12:23 AM EST
    ...one of base politics. Maybe Obama is thinking that if he goes to the middle and blurs the distinctions between him and McCain, disgruntled rightwingers will stay home or vote for Barr.  The idea being that the left base will turn out in record numbers, while the right stays home.  Plus he won't lose indies and moderates who might be scared away from far-left wing attack ads.

    Maybe this is just what he (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:15:21 AM EST
    meant by post-partisan.  Maybe it's as simple as that.

    He hasn't gone to the middle (none / 0) (#120)
    by sallywally on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 11:56:07 PM EST
    Trashing the constitution is not a moderate stance, and neither are his other strange changes since he became presumptive (not actual) nominee....

    He has moved to the right, not the middle.

    I don't know where breaking the Constitution stands in a post-partisan sense, I guess I think of it as a post-American stance.


    post partisan = diktatorship (none / 0) (#122)
    by dotcommodity on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 12:55:45 AM EST
    partisans represent sides. If everyone agrees, why have parties. No parties are like the 99% votes for Saddam. So, yeah, post - democracy.

    BTD (3.33 / 3) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:41:31 AM EST
    I'm surprised that you ever bought into the hopium. I consider you one of the more politically astute bloggers out there.

    Yeah, he's damaged himself but he's realistically been damaging himself for over 4 months now. Playing the voters for chumps certainly isn't a winning strategy. It's one of the reasons Bush has been a disaster as a president.

    Hey now (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Burned on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:58:36 AM EST
    I'm not all that frequent a guest here and even I know BTD NEVER took the hopium.
    Not that he needs the defending...but still.

    Well (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:02:50 AM EST
    I think my comment really didn't say what it was meant to say. Hopefully, BTD will just delete it.

    What did I buy into? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:52:39 AM EST
    For gawd's sake, it is like I never wrote a damn thing for some of you.

    Your comment pisses me off no end.


    I apologize (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:02:06 AM EST
    then and maybe you should delete the comment.

    Agree with your (none / 0) (#105)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 11:00:38 AM EST
    second graph, but you got the first part wrong.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#118)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:34:28 PM EST
    well I flubbed that comment. It didn't come out the way I meant it.

    Why? (2.50 / 2) (#17)
    by greenscott on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:39:39 AM EST
    Do we on the left feel the need to attack Obama now that he is the presumptive nominee and is not showing himself to be perfect in every way? Some may say this is constructive dialogue, but the constant drumbeat of negative comments is only helping out McCain.

    Obama (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:44:31 AM EST
    has been handing the GOP clubs to beat beat him over the head with for months now. The fact that we are talking about said clubs makes no difference. Pretending that "Obama is the greatest" won't change the fact that he's continually screwing up.

    Two things (5.00 / 9) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:58:50 AM EST
    I am not Left, I am a Centrist. And I have been criticizing Obama for years now. Because I criticize everyone who does the wrong thing, imo.

    The need to attack Obama now seems pretty obvious to me. Especially if you are of the Left, his actions on FISA are inexcusable.

    If it hurts Obama, he has only himself to blame for acting inecusably.


    Then lets see (1.80 / 5) (#59)
    by greenscott on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:56:00 AM EST
    Some criticism of McCain in this blog. I am relatively new to it, but have not seen any. And if you are centrist, why is the blog named what it is? I think all you are doing is playing into the conservatives hands

    Heh (5.00 / 13) (#65)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:00:58 AM EST
    "I'm new, but here's my list of demands for what you should blog about!"

    TChris is your main man for dutifully repeating the same criticisms of McCain you can find at 824 other liberal blogs.


    That's pretty unfair to Chris (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 11:26:36 AM EST
    It is because he does cover McCain that I feel free to spend a good deal of time on Obama and issues.

    If not for Chris, I would find myself having to deal with McCain's foibles a good deal.

    I think there is a real synergy to Chris and J's political work and my own.

    Of course on crime issues, I do nothing. they carry the complete load.


    Make no mistake (5.00 / 6) (#110)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 11:47:29 AM EST
    I am a fan of TChris and his McCain posts as well as his crime posts.

    I think my statement was factual and that there is more value added to the blogosphere by the typical BTD post than by yet another post focusing on McCain's latest gaffe.  That doesn't mean I want blogs to stop talking about McCain's latest gaffe.  Of course they should.

    The thing about blogs is that there are not a limited number of column inches.  It's not like talking about McCain's gaffes prevents you guys from talking about something else as well.  In fact, as you say, it's actually helpful in that regard.

    So please do not take me as a TChris critic in any way.


    Really (none / 0) (#106)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 11:03:17 AM EST
    i highly recommend that you (5.00 / 6) (#75)
    by hellothere on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:12:45 AM EST
    might appreciate that this is a blog for discussion on the issues rather than a bash the repubs all day club like you might find elsewhere. the bloggers here take both sides to account for their actions and not laud them all day like some. maybe you are in the wrong place.

    If you do not fight for your rights (5.00 / 8) (#86)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:34:33 AM EST
    and mine against attacks on the Constitution, as we saw Obama do yesterday and many more in recent days -- then you are the one playing into the conservatives' hands.

    um, if you are a centrist... (none / 0) (#43)
    by ribbon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:32:21 AM EST
    ...and you support Obama...

    do you actually believe a McCain Presidency would be a continuation of Bush's policies!?

    If not, then what exactly is the basis of your (assumed) opposition to McCain?


    I do believe McCain would be a conitnuation (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:55:03 AM EST
    of Bush's policies in every respect.

    I will never vote for McCain.


    Then why (1.50 / 2) (#66)
    by greenscott on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:00:59 AM EST
    do you not address this on your blog rather than just attacking obama? or is it that you are just a disgruntled hillary supporter?

    No, BTD has long been a tepid Obama supporter. (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:03:17 AM EST
    He's not "attacking" anyone.  Criticism doesn't equal attack.  He's trying to help Obama, try to wrap your brain around that.

    that is judgemental. (5.00 / 6) (#77)
    by hellothere on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:19:48 AM EST
    if you had a history of blogging here, you would see that btd is a well known obama supporter but doesn't do fan club. what he does is address different issues with both the good and bad. frankly you should be grateful someone actually does that instead of complaining.

    This is an issues-oriented blog (5.00 / 6) (#87)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:35:37 AM EST
    and you appear to be looking for a personality-oriented politics blog.  There are many.

    Oh good gosh... (5.00 / 5) (#94)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 10:03:29 AM EST
    would ya grow up, already?

    Support|=genuflecting and apologist behaviour.


    BTD Doesn't Need My Defense (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by daring grace on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:11:40 PM EST
    And indeed, this isn't precisely a defense in any case, because I, as an Obama supporter, get tired of seeing repetitive diaries on Hillary as Veep or Obama and FISA.

    Having said that what I see BTD doing is criticizing, not attacking. He's blunt and unapologetic. But what BTD does is generally a substantive, constructive calling out on issues or strategy.

    Not saying I always agree with him. I often do not. But if Obama is going to be the Dem nominee and eventually (I hope) the president he's going to have to face and handle these tough questions and opposing opinions. Especially from those he would be supported by (if only by their votes).


    Who's attacking him for 'not being perfect' ... ? (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by Ellie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:00:40 AM EST
    ... "in every way"?

    This is the campaign's talking point, and Obama's lame deflection for avoiding substantial explanation of his words and deeds.

    Jeez, I wish he were even passable in a few categories but he's scraping bottom on too many of them.

    This fraudulently attributed quality of a "need to attck" as a characteristic of "the left" is ridiculous.

    Obama's own actions and deeds deserve to be criticized.

    Voters left, center and right deserve to be taken seriously and given an explanation -- not another steaming crock of this patronizing self-help hooey that TeamO dispenses from an apparently endless supply. (No, I don't say this from a need "to heal".)


    Why do you find it acceptable that Obama (5.00 / 5) (#57)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:55:27 AM EST
    just voted to eliminate 4th Amendment rights and cover up Bush's illegal activities? When Democrats willingly support Republican agendas they IMO become no better than Republicans.

    I do not find the FISA vote acceptable at all (3.00 / 3) (#63)
    by greenscott on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:58:22 AM EST
    But you folks seem to act like he was the deciding vote....our congress overwhelming voted for this bill.

    Do you honestly believe that if Obama came (5.00 / 7) (#71)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:06:59 AM EST
    out firmly against this bill coming up for a vote and stated that he would very publicly and loudly campaign against it and lead a filibuster, that Dem leadership and Obama congressional supporters would be willing to embarrass their nominee?  

    Yes (none / 0) (#113)
    by daring grace on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:26:43 PM EST
    I really do. Because many (most?) of them voting for this bill had some stake in the outcome that superceded party unity.

    You give the Dems in Congress a lot more credit for docilely falling in line behind 'their nominee' than I do. I see them as career pols with an ever-vigilant eye on their bottom line with some energy expended for ideals occasionally.

    Not to let Obama off the hook. He should have honored his previous commitment and led a filibuster. He acted no better than his go along/get along colleagues on this one.


    He's supposed to be a leader (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by Lahdee on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:07:33 AM EST
    he didn't appear as one here.

    But the majority of our party (Dems) (none / 0) (#107)
    by DFLer on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 11:06:59 AM EST
    voted against it, in both the House and the Senate.

    tell you what, why don't you write (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by hellothere on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:57:18 AM EST
    the obama campaign about that. i mean take it up with them that they are making mistakes instead of faulting us for having the nerve to point that out.

    I have (none / 0) (#64)
    by greenscott on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:59:03 AM EST
    Maybe you need to send him more sternly (5.00 / 7) (#73)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:10:56 AM EST
    written letters because he is not listening. In fact, his campaign telling Democrats that they "Have No Where Else To Go" clearly indicates that they feel absolutely no need to listen.

    LOL, MO Blue -- snaps on the 'Sternly' (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by Ellie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:06:15 PM EST
    Ah yes, that deadly weapon in the Dems' armory that they pull out only after being smacked around repeatedly:

    The Sternly Worded Letter!

    ::: ear piercing shriek :::

    Recipients are warned not to look directly at it! The sharp wording might impale you and if you get a papercut from the edges, well let's just see you attend to THAT without decent health care, hmmm?


    Wrong. (1.00 / 0) (#115)
    by halstoon on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:05:30 PM EST

    Hobsons Choice (none / 0) (#5)
    by This from a broad on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 06:55:33 AM EST
    Obama or McBush -- Hobsons Choice.  At this moment in time, we only have one political party, so we don't have options.  Perhaps someday, we'll have two political parties that represent two different points of view.

    A Free People Always Have Options (5.00 / 5) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:47:40 AM EST
    It is only when you willing give away your options that you are powerless.

    we have choices. (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by hellothere on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:55:56 AM EST
    maybe it is time the dem leadership understand that instead of arrogantly assuming we have no where else to go. it is that type of thinking that helped put us in this terrible situation.

    Perhaps the money situation (none / 0) (#126)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 07:12:47 AM EST
    is already beginning to tell the Dems their campaign is lacking?  Aren't Obama's $ numbers way down and didn't McCain raise more $ in june?

    BTD, I agree, but (none / 0) (#55)
    by esmense on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:54:50 AM EST
    I think if the campaign continues this way -- with Obama trying repeatedly to define himself as "typical" and "mainstream" (in terms that apply to the white, affluent male voters who "typically" elude Democratic candidates, and in ways designed to meet the approval of the mainstream media that pretty exclusively represents their voice and viewpoint) he places himself in real danger of creating apathy among the voting populations Democrats must energize in order to overcome their disadvantage with affluent white males and win; young people, women, the workikng class,etc. In other words, all those groups who feel least respresented by "typical," "mainstream" politics and politicians -- and therefore, unless they do feel that the candidate in question is uniquely "on their side" may not vote at all.

    As promising as this year is for Democrats, and as flawed a candidate as McCain is, Obama's victory is going to depend on WHO turns out and in how large numbers.

    If he continues to spend all his time courting those voters who while they do turn out most consistently, also vote most consistently for Republicans, rather than genuinely energizing those voters who turn out less consistently but are much more likely to vote Democratic when they do, he could, even in a "Democratic" year, still lose.

    Apathy and low voter turnout is never a Democratic candidate's friend.

    Axelrod and GE campaign (none / 0) (#60)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:56:27 AM EST
    Well, I am of the mind that he knew what to do in the primary and now, they are winging it.  The "narrative" worked for the primary, now he has "to be somebody" and they are changing their minds.  

    well a number of us stated over and over (5.00 / 4) (#67)
    by hellothere on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:02:17 AM EST
    the manner of the primary contest didn't bode well for the general.

    Voting for the FISA amendments bill (none / 0) (#81)
    by blueaura on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:26:42 AM EST
    Obama took a big dump on my enthusiasm by voting for the FISA Amendments bill, including retroactive immunity and broadened powers of spying (despite claims that this bill will reign in executive spying power, it actually makes it easier to do bulk taps and allows the taps to go on for 7 days--versus 3--without getting FIS Court approval, and more). Civil liberties is Issue #1 for me right now, and I just lost a great deal of confidence in Senator Obama.

    BTD, I almost. agree (none / 0) (#108)
    by fctchekr on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 11:16:41 AM EST
    I think he'll win with HRC, otherwise he won't.


    I think he's lurching right to (none / 0) (#119)
    by WillBFair on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:24:14 PM EST
    shock his far left worshippers out of their trance. I wrote nonstop, on huffpost and kos, that the media was working them, until huffpost banned me. They didn't listen, of course, because the media was also telling them how educated they are. What a joke.
    Once the lesson's been learned by his booter club, he should take a more measured approach to bipartisanship, and the rest of the Clinton policies he swiped: healthcare, fiscal restarint, strategic investment, green energy, etc...
    It just ticks me off that the folk who designed all this will not be the ones to implement.