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The big question about Barack Obama from the very beginning has been, Is he safe?” said Peter D. Hart, a Democratic pollster not affiliated with any campaign. “Safe in terms of both the cultural values that he has, and about whether he is strong enough to be commander in chief.”

No, that hasn't been the question at all. At least among uncreative, class-less types like myself, the big question has always been this:

Is he real?

Is he asking for my vote on the basis of policy?

For many of us, after consideration, the answer has been no. (And for many of us, the conversion narrative-based appeals of the OFB, online and in person, were a real turn-off).

That's why grass roots, bottom up riffs like the Unity Pony and W.O.R.M. resonate with people and propagate:

They play on the feeling that many of us have that Obama's not "real," not in a trivial, character-based way, though of course we play on that to get the point across, but not real in the sense that we really don't know where he would take the country if elected, beyond a general sense that when it happens its gonna be awesome.

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myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

Can he win?

But Lambert's question is really more important. Sometimes people focus too much on my question and not enough on Lambert's.

Who give's a shit if he can win if he is bad for the country?

------------------------------------------------
"McGovern - Mondale - Dukakis - Obama

The few, the lame, the losers

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

The belief that Obama's most fervid supporters hold is that US politics is held back by meta issues and that any discussion of policy is irrelevant so long as those meta issues continue to stand. Consequently, a victory by Obama, as the Meta Leader, supported by people who are most concerned with meta issues, IS the change itself. The victory, itself. The Gate, Crashed.

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

It is a long campaign. I don't have many question unanswered about Obama; most of the real questions have an answer and not an encouraging one.

- Obama is not a progressive: based on his iffy stance on health care and attitude towards blue collar workers.

- Obama is an excellent orator but an average mind: he is quite lost in debates and not very fast on his feet. (A critical ability for a US president.)

- Obama is arrogant, has racial and sexist attitudes: arrogance is evident in his exchanges, he helped develop hate towards lower classes and everything Hillary, he is as sexist as they come

Summary: he may be smarter than Bush but not by much, he disdains other as Bush does, he way more racist than Bush is.

RedSox04's picture
Submitted by RedSox04 on

Look I agree with point 1, and I also agree that Obama's oratory skills outweigh other facets of his political skills. That being said, I don't think I'd call the President of the Harvard Law Review an "average mind" or "smarter than Bush but not by much".

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

"Is someone incapable of organizing the papers on his own desk ready to be president?"

I forget which debate it was, but the candidates were asked about their greatest failing or something.

Obama's was that he had to have a clear desk -- that he couldn't deal with piles of papers on his desk, and when he needed to read some, a staffer would hand it to him, and when he was done he'd give it back to the staffer, and get the next thing to read.

I remember going "WTF!?!?!"

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... but that, indeed, he needed the staffers to keep him organized.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/jan...

OBAMA: ...as I indicated before, my greatest weakness, I think, is when it comes to — I’ll give you a very good example.

I ask my staff member to hand me paper until two seconds before I need it because I will lose it. You know, the —- you know…

(LAUGHTER)

And my desk and my office doesn’t look good. I’ve got to have somebody around me who is keeping track of that stuff.

RedSox04's picture
Submitted by RedSox04 on

And he increasingly buys into the notion (I guess it was first propagated by Mark Penn; both he and I dislike Penn, but we find this point salient) that for voters who are struggling economically, they vote based on policy. For voters who are economically well-off, they vote based on personality.

This to me explains both the election and reelection of GW Bush (vs Gore and Kerry), AND the current popularity of Obama among the leisure class (students, bloggers, wealthy).

Ya, it's "refreshing" to hear your candidate talk about changing the tone in Washington, about post-partisanship and unity, if none of the decisions coming out of Washington matter much to you personally. On the other hand, if you're struggling, then you care about getting stuff like universal health care passed.

I think this idea, to me, more than anything else, explains the Hillary/Obama divide.

wasabi's picture
Submitted by wasabi on

Bush is plenty smart, in that "street smart" kind of way. He just comes off to us as incoherent and smarmy. Obama is smart in an ethereal way, but not much of a fighter, which is what our coutry needs at this time. Bipartisanship... pthooey.

tedraicer's picture
Submitted by tedraicer on

Obama struck me as a fake the first time I saw/heard him (his AWESOME 2004 Convention speech, which was exactly NOT the speech I wanted to hear, and essentially the same speech he has given ever since).

He's Professor Harold Hill urging his followers to believe in "the Think System" of politics, but unlike the play this isn't going to have a happy ending.

whaleshaman's picture
Submitted by whaleshaman on

fucking Tort Reform?

The Precious DID!

Clinton VOTED AGAINST IT!!!

It puts profits over people, and blocks civil justive. It is GWB's big payoff to corporations.

Why the fuck would Barry cooperate -- would actually show up to vote for a change -- is he a collaborator? Is this why the MSM is giving him the magic carpet ride, because of the financial structure of "media," just a fancy name for multinational corporations?

Oh, I wish I had a formal education at times like this, so I could be more coherent. I hope you get what I was trying to lay out above.

ARGHHHHH!!!

If Edwards ever supports him, it goes against everything he's worked for, fought for.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Here is a good link I like to throw out, it documents a lot of the not progressive things Obama has done, including the tort reform. It also includes his refusing to cap credit card interest rates, his vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act, and his horrid energy policy.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

whaleshaman's picture
Submitted by whaleshaman on

Sorry I screwed up on the links, they weren't supposed to be all the same.

Let's do this one over [1st sentence]:

...TORT REFORM?

And Aeryl, thanks. I'' save it to my "to read" folder. Also I basically just posted my comment over at dkos. Let's see if I get hounded out of the village by torchlight, arf.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

He hasn't been offering red meat to the base at all--he's been avoiding it, and when he does, it's weaker and less helpful than Hillary's. And we're the party that does vote our pocketbooks and on govt actively --and practically --helping us.