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Obama's Tipping Point

VIDEO | The Post's Dan Balz and Shailagh Murray Describe Obama's Last Rally Before Primary

By Dan Balz

CONCORD, N.H. -- Barack Obama closed out his New Hampshire campaign late Monday the way he began it early Friday, with a display of energy, jubilation and powerful rhetoric that captured what could be a profoundly important transitional moment in Democratic politics and perhaps the politics of the country.

What happens after New Hampshire no one can quite tell, but this is Obama's moment and he is driving it and riding it all at the same time. In barely a week, the Illinois senator has transformed the presidential campaign, triggering wholesale reevaluations across the political spectrum.

Republicans, who spent most of the past year preparing to run against Hillary Clinton in the general election, are stumbling over themselves to grasp the mantle of change. From John McCain to Mitt Romney to the rest of the GOP field, there has been a 180-degree reorientation.

The Clinton campaign is reeling and, in the case of Bill Clinton, showing anger and resentment. Democratic politicians around the country are trying to reassess where their interests may lie now and where the future of the party may be heading.

Bipartisan summiteers gathering in Oklahoma at a forum advancing the prospects of an independent candidacy by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had to look and wonder if there is any need or place for that kind of candidacy if Obama becomes the Democratic nominee.

All of this has come on the strength of Obama's victory in the Iowa caucuses and on the outpouring of emotion that has followed him in New Hampshire. That is slender evidence, certainly, of the staying power of what is propelling his candidacy. The coming weeks will offer a fuller answer to the question of how much staying power he has. But rarely have we seen the kind of fervor that has built up around Obama's candidacy.

The scene that awaited Obama at Concord High School has become almost commonplace here -- long lines of people waiting expectantly for the doors to the gymnasium to open, traffic lining side streets, cars tucked along snow banks or parked illegally.

When the doors opened around 10 p.m., his supporters did not just stream into the gymnasium, they hopped and danced and chanted, exchanging high-fives and hugs, swept along by the pounding music and sense of anticipation.

Obama did not arrive until just after 11 p.m., in time for the late newscasts. He was introduced by his wife Michelle, and, his voice still hoarse, launched into a 40-minute speech that repeatedly rocked the gymnasium with cheering and applause and drums beating and chants of "O-Bam-A! O-Bam-A."

Toward the end, as midnight approached, there was new language from the candidate, powerful in its sentiment, that may have been a taste of what he will say Tuesday night at what he and his team expect to be a victory party in Nashua.

"People are confused about why we are generating this energy," he said, "And it has exactly to do with this, the notion that somehow we have been locked in these constraints. People telling us what we cannot do."

The words on paper convey little of the rhetorical power that the audience clearly felt as Obama talked about breaking out of those constraints, challenging his followers to meet the test now before them.

"There is a moment in the life of every generation," he said, "if it's to make its mark on history, when that spirit -- spirit -- has to shine through, spirit that says we are casting aside our fears, and our doubts and our cynicism... when we embrace the difficult, daunting task of remaking a nation..."

To the Clinton campaign, this is all easy speech-making, but not a substitute for what it takes to be an effective president. It is what Mario Cuomo, the former New York governor and once the party's greatest orator, used to describe as the difference between the poetry of campaigning versus the prose of governing.

Clinton desperately wants Democratic voters to think about the hard work of governing, and who is best suited to succeed at that. Hers is an important and legitimate argument, and come Wednesday, she will begin trying with even more determination to make it stick.

The leadership she offers is of competence and expertise. There is barely a subject she doesn't know, barely an issue she hasn't studied, barely a topic for which she is not prepared. But is it inspirational? Rarely. Lyndon Johnson, the master of the Senate, is her model, not John F. Kennedy and the soaring hopes of Camelot.

Obama comes out of a different tradition. His leadership seeks not to master the existing system but to offer the possibility of something new, as is evident in the audiences now flocking to see him.

There is clearly a yearning for that, for a break with the past however defined -- whether a break with the policies of the Bush administration, with two families, Bushes and Clintons, atop the political system, or with the gridlocked partisanship of Washington.

Obama and Clinton are now operating at different levels. Their messages pass one another but do not intersect. Obama has profoundly changed the terms of the debate and now sets the terms. It is Clinton's challenge to force it back in her direction.

By Washington Post editors  |  January 8, 2008; 12:27 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Balz's Take  
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Or Not!

Posted by: slbk | January 9, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

the Empire Struck Back.

The establishment, and special interests and the old hacks who dominate the Democratic Party have poured some water on the fire of the righteous insurgency.

Based on all the exit polling

Hilary Clinton is primarily the candidate of post menapausal women.

This is the change we want in the country?

not I.

as a Republican who backs Obama hell will freeze over before I vote for Hilary.

and if she wins in Nov, nothing will get done because she can only win in a squeaker, bringing along no mandate, no political capital. Nothing.

More hyper partisan gridlock in Washington.

Posted by: bogey666 | January 9, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Interesting results. As a caucus goer in Iowa, I realize that the entire story was not told. That is that Clinton's elderly supports did not turn out for the caucuses. That Obama's support came somewhat from indie voters. And that Obama bussed in Illinois students.

The true story was a 30-30-30 tie between the top runners, and the indie voters, with some Biden and Richardson supports joining.

Despite the 30-30-30 true Democratic vote in Iowa, Obama is the media darling, and Clinton is the media devil incarnate. Why? Can pundits in the media look deep down to tell us why they love Obama and hate Clinton.

Second question: how did pollsters blow it so badly?

Posted by: vance23a | January 9, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

and Hillary has the last laugh!!!! HA HA

Posted by: nkivlen | January 9, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Poor Dan balls, and Ann Kornbutt. We tried to warn you guys that Hillary would win, but you and the rest of the media just wouldn't don't you look dumb.

HA HA...bye, bye Obama.

PS. Eugene Robinson cries.

Posted by: devin79 | January 8, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

As I'm watching NH election returns, with Hillary winning, I can only laugh. All you pundits and "Experts" spent the last few days writing Hillary's political epitaph. Thank you to the good, thoughtful, smart people of New Hampshire for not being completely swayed by the media's piling on of Hillary. Shame on all the media for forgetting the basics of Journalism 101--OBJECTIVITY.

Posted by: samrajb | January 8, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm reminded of that scene in 'Cinderella Man' where Braddock hit Max Baer hard and he realized that he had a real fight on his hands. His laughing countenance turned into an angry grimace and the real fight began. This is the same thing. The Clintons are tough and they are mean. Their organization has been in some extremely difficult situations and has prevailed more often than not. The question is, can she beat Obama without alienating the largest, most loyal block of voters in the Democratic Party? Is there a Republican who can attract black voters?

Posted by: skep41 | January 8, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse


They said stay AWAY from the Brown! Seek out the Emergency Centers!

LOL! OK Folks, RAT's here to shine some light!

IF, the establishment fights actual real, and significant "Change",

WHY are they "Coddling" Obama and Edwards?

While treating someone like Mitt Romney like a Leper?

Posted by: rat-the | January 8, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes and good day to you all,and above all enjoy the elections. May the best president win without cheating and lying.

Posted by: jwholtkamp | January 8, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

to JakeD: Last year I heard someone saying "I cant go for a thirth time" would you please do the honeurs for me Mitt. I give you all the support you'll need and tell you how, and you know, I always rewards my friends with plenty of Texas oilshares. And if you dont follow my advice, my vice might invite you for hunting.

Posted by: jwholtkamp | January 8, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

LOL -- seriously, maybe you should post in your native language and then I will understand better?

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

to JakeD: What American Constitution and what amendments are you pointing at? Cause the American Constitution and the amendments do no longer exist (set out of order by the former chief Justice, the one with the spanish name, dictated so by the bushgang) , or do they stil exist ??

Posted by: jwholtkamp | January 8, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

JFK may have been an inspiration but it was LBJ, a John Birch Society man who passed the Civil Rights Act and talked of the great society. Obama is all sizzle but no sausage, and after 8 years of his Presidency I can guarantee there won't be Universal Health Care or a higher minimum wage. Between Edwards and Obama I could choke on the insincerity.

Posted by: nmaskiell | January 8, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

What? I guess I "prefer" Mitt Romney (if you are even referring to the U.S. election). Are you also asking for a list of my friends? My name is James Dort -- all my friends call me Jake -- if that helps shortcut the question of who I am. Again, perhaps it is some language or other barrier . . .

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

to JakeD: Tell me who you prefer and who your friends are and I tell you who you are.

Posted by: jwholtkamp | January 8, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton is a strong candidate, and has been endlessly bashed, put down and condemned by the media. However, Obama hasn't ever been so treated (even when he was well-behind Hillary), and he's been treated like the media's own, dear, rock star. There is no strength to be found in that.

Posted by: Casey6 | January 8, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh, "we've always had terrorists"? Is that what you meant? Thanks for the clarification and book recommendation -- I will definitely put it on my reading list, but I can't make any promises -- I prefer Tony Blair myself ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Media-babied Obama gives his rhetoric, and the media continues to condemn H. Clinton and wants her to just give up.

Posted by: Casey6 | January 8, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

to JakeD: What I mean is: "Kain terrorized Jacob",and from that time on there were terrorists. Look in wiki for the definition of terrorist. Its for free. And if you have any questions about streams then read the book written by Gordon Brown, the new british PM, "The New Worldorder". Well, good night then to you, although other people will probably go to work in your timezone.

Posted by: jwholtkamp | January 8, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, guess you would know your wife better than I.

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I lived for years in a foreign country and would glady do so again... it's my Republican wife who won't leave with me. But she's starting to come around. Be careful what you wish for JakeD. If all that are left are the Republicans, you won't like living here either. It will turn into a facist state faster than you can say, Nazi!

Posted by: BigDadddySteve | January 8, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse


Did you mean "types" instead of "times"?

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"Streams"? I'm still trying to understand what "Terrorists are of all times" means . . .

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

to sarah.mclellan: In these days countries were led by governments and leaders with good speeches. Today it is different. Countries are led by economic streams and no longer by governments. International Corporates play a major role in shaping those streams. When you ignore these streams, you have to be very wealthy, or you get broke and that counts for countries as well. SO NO SPEECHES BUT STREAMS DICTATES COUNTRIES AND THE PROSPERITY FOR THE PEOPLE IN THAT COUNTRY.

Posted by: jwholtkamp | January 8, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse


Sorry to break this to you, but Barack Hussein Obama will not be sworn in as President on January 20, 2009.

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse


She was also involved as First Lady of Arkansas in children's and women's issues. Before that, she did pro bono work in child advocacy at the Rose Law Firm and co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, a state-level alliance with the Children's Defense Fund, in 1977. Later tha year, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the board of directors of the Legal Services Corporation, and she served in that capacity from 1978 through the end of 1981. For much of that time[70] she served as the chair of that board, the first woman to do so.

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I haven't felt this good since 1968 when I was a "flower child" working for RFK.
I swear I could hear strains of "this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius....." while reading Obama's closing remarks last night.

Posted by: carolinwoodstock | January 8, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

to foulkes52: So you have money !! What sort of money is that what you have ?? Dollars ?? You better get rid of them, because in one month they'll just worth a dim.

Posted by: jwholtkamp | January 8, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton's "I've been making change happen for 35 years" claim should be questioned. After all, the only attempt at change for which she is widely known was her commission to reform the healthcare system during Bill Clinton's first term, in which she famously failed.

Posted by: m.hoffman | January 8, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I am a US/UK citzen, who has grown up in Europe and still lives there, I have watched from the sidelines as in 2004 my sole argument to US critcs disappeared when the US re-elected Bush. We have a chance to put things right internationally with Obama and move forward. I love my country but I am getting sick of defending it every day from people who think Bush & Clinton represent the US people when Obama represents the very best of what America has to offer. For those of you who say that Obama's inspirational words are not enough to make the change that he talks about happen, let me point at Queen Elizabeth II, she was young when she became Queen, but she was able to inspire Britain through her speeches, she was assisted by the greatest orator of the 20th century when she became leader, Winston Churchill, whose very words inspired a terrified nation to belive in their ability to defeat Nazi Germany (and in those two years before the US joined in 1941 and Hitler foolishly marched in to the Soviet Union) we were increasingly isolated, his very words gave us the strength to go on. Yes he may have been around a while, but he knew the power of speeches and taught the young Queen how to inspire the nation. If Obama surrounds himself with experience (not of the Cheney and Rumsfeld variety) and holds onto his listening ability then the US has nothing to fear and can begin the process of restoring the US's damaged reputation in the rest of the world and thus neutralizing the threat of terror, through the pursuit of true justice and real freedom, which I believe Obama embodies far more than any other candidate (Republican or Democrat) in the running.

Posted by: sarah.mclellan | January 8, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

to BigDadddySteve: America, sir, never heard of...

Posted by: jwholtkamp | January 8, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Well, jwholtkamp, thanks for the advice, but I am retired, so I'm not moving any where -- I do remember 9/11 and Building 7 -- I just don't think Bush planted demolitions on any such buildings. As for "Terrorists are of all times" I am not sure what you mean. Goede nacht!

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

to JakeD: Terrorists are of all times, but this time it is different in a way that fear is set in the hearts of americans by their on government (you remember 9/11 building 7) to serve big corporates to get cheap labor to stay competitive with India and China. When a government is acting that way, then believe me or not, THAT COUNTRY IS IN DEEP TROUBLE. When I saw this happening, I was deeply shocked myself and it took many years to get over it. My point is that this election is not about safety or bringing people together. No, America has to realize that even with its strong army it will lose because of lawless behavior, nationally and internationally and therefor levels with economies like russia, the arab countries,china and india. It also has to except that other economies have taken the lead. And last but not least, your national and personal debts have raised to unacceptable levels, with severe consequences as you can see at all the foreclosures around you. But this is only a start of the misery. Start to think small and start local economies. And if that doesnt work emigrate to a country with enough jobs, i.e. learn a foreign language for a start and forget america for a while. MY POINT IS, IT IS NOT THE GOVERNMENT OR PRESIDENT THAT MAKES YOUR FUTURE, YOU HAVE GOT TO DO IT YOURSELF!!!!!

Posted by: jwholtkamp | January 8, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how long it will take for Obammy to receive THE HOLY SACRAMENTS from Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire!

Who's yo' daddy, Barack?

Posted by: DaTourist | January 8, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

No need to be ashamed, BigDadddySteve -- I am happy to answer your question -- at least the alleged "terrorist" is still alive. Let me guess: you are FOR abortion on demand, right?

If the GOP candidate wins in November, will you promise to leave America and never look back? Helpful hint: wherever you end up, go to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate office and formally renounce your citizenship as well.

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Ol' John Edwards is sucking A HIND TITTY in New Hampshire, just like at home!

Suck! Suck! Suck!

Suck harder, John!

Posted by: DaTourist | January 8, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

New Hampshire voters
to the Clintons:

BYE - BYE !!!

Posted by: gandalfthegrey | January 8, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Really, I was hoping for a Republican to turn up the heat on the Ice Mammy ON-STAGE in the Presidential debates, for a big meltdown on television!

Unless the Clintons can scam Obammy for the nomination, I'll be so disappointed!

Posted by: DaTourist | January 8, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

How is torturing an unidicted, unconvicted, unarmed, "supposed" terrorist better than killing someone in mutual combat? That's not my America. You can have it. I'm ashamed of it.

Posted by: BigDadddySteve | January 8, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

How is it that a United States Senator is somehow called "an outsider" ? How is it that Barak Obama is never pressed on his record (yes he has one) nor is he pressed to answer one single question directly? Although he may be an excellent speaker, he hasn't put forth any kind of specific agenda about the really tough issues this country faces. He speaks in platitudes and this somehow qualifies him to be President?

I think the press bears a great deal of responsibility in giving this guy a free pass. It's nice to feel inspired and all, but this country needs someone who can hit the ground running on day one.

Posted by: jbcoh | January 8, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ListenUpPeople | January 8, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'd just like to say that I do not think PRESIDENT OBAMA would lech for interns with a fox like Michelle lounging over there in the First Lady's boudoir!

Posted by: DaTourist | January 8, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

As a Republican, it's hard not to be happy when Clean Gene McCarthy-in-blackface humiliates the would-be MADAM PRESIDENT and the FIRST PIMP!

Was that A GOLDEN SHOWER or what?

Posted by: DaTourist | January 8, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse


If you agree it is not un-American to kill terrorists before they kill us, then how on earth could the lesser-included offense of torture be un-American? Look, if it can save American lives, I'm all for lesser and necessary evils. You've heard of FDR's Japanese-American camps and Truman's dropping nukes of women and children, right?

I'm glad to make you happy, though, so I will cut my losses and simply point out that the Constitution is not a suicide pact, and we don't know enough about Barack Hussein Obama to determine whether standing up for First Amendment is all he was referring to in that quote.

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Hellzapoppin among the Demmyquacks!

I'm still trying to figure out just who Obammy is!

Is this Clean Gene McCarthy from Cooke County, Illinois?

Is that an oxymoron?

Posted by: DaTourist | January 8, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

So is it safe to say that only a white male will ever be President of the USA? Can you say yet another fear tatic???

Posted by: Beingsensible | January 8, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, as the Clinton Meltdown continues to flood New Hampshire, Ol' Hillary does THE BLACKSNAKE MOAN!

Posted by: DaTourist | January 8, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

**Obama cheated Iowans of thier votes. Senator Barack Obama won the Iowa Caucuses. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson placed fourth. But did they really earn their finishing positions? The answer may be surprising. In the now past ABC New Hampshire debate before the January 8th first-in-the-nation primary, the rules were that only the candidates who finish in the top four slots in Iowa could participate, meaning that second-tier candidates who placed fourth could live on to continue their campaign another day. In the last hours before the Iowa caucuses Obama, who wanted to pad his victory and hedge his bets, approached Joe Biden with this, proposal: In precincts where Biden had a local official loyal to him, and if Biden wasn't viable, then Senator Biden would tell his organizers to move his supporters over to Obama en mass. Conversely, in precincts where Obama had more than enough supporters, he would lend people to Biden to ensure Biden a fourth place finish so that he could,continue Joe Biden actually considered the proposal. Biden told the Washington Post that the strategy could be "viability for victory."When the media found out, Obama's camp admitted that the conversation took place. Biden, who when asked about the proposal at a campaign event said that the deal could "probably" help both campaigns; however he later rejected the deal on "moral grounds," a source in Biden's Iowa organization told the Rev. Rob Times on condition of anonymity. History recorded that Joe Biden placed fifth in Iowa , and subsequently dropped out of the race. On January 4, the day after the caucus, the New York Times reported Obama made the same deal to Bill Richardson that he previously offered to Biden, only this time the deal was accepted.The Times article gives eye-witness account and confession of an Obama official telling Richardson supporters that a pact had indeed been made between the two candidates. "That's what the leadership has said," admitted Deb Copeland, an Obama volunteer reported to the New York Times. "What we're concerned about is we heard of a few people going to Hillary. And we want to keep you together," she told the Richardson supporters at the 64th precinct. ( Clinton would have won in Iowa) Volunteers for the Biden campaign told the Rev. Rob Times that Obama organizers used the same speech about a "pact" to lure supporters in at least two precincts where Biden was only a few supporters shy of viability. Testimonies clearly paint a far different picture. The Effect in the end, the effect of backdoor wheeling and dealing between campaigns is that Richardson 's fourth place finish could be artificial, and Obama's victory margin is larger than it would have been in a democratic system. Our democracy is based, in part, on the concept of "one man, one vote," and a vote by a secret ballot, free from the judging eyes of neighbors and the media, free from bribery, and free from the influence of political activists. Had the Iowa contest been based on a ballot, and had caucus voters cast a single vote for the candidate of their choice as is the most fair method of picking a president, then Obama may have come in second and Richardson in fifth. The dynamic of the race would have changed drastically. Edwards, Clinton, and even Biden may have all come out of Iowa in stronger positions than any of them have.In part, the system is to blame, but those who took advantage of it and exploited it for their own purposes, namely Barack Obama and Bill Richardson, are not without culpability and their misdeeds should be remembered in the minds of voters.

Posted by: dyck21005 | January 8, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Lawd have mussy!

Oprah and Obammy put the double-whammy on de Ice Mammy!

Lawd have mussy!!!

Posted by: DaTourist | January 8, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I thought you liberals wanted someone with
military experience?

I thought you liberals wanted someone with foreign service experience?

I thought you liberals wanted someone with any kid of experience, so why are you backing inexperienced B.HUSSEIN Obama?

If you vote for Obama, you are putting the safety America in the hands of teenagers. This isn't a vote for a winner in American Idol or Survivor.

It's for the president of the United States.

Posted by: BuffaloJim57 | January 8, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA IS NOTHING BUT A PHONEY! **CNN last night Lou Dodds said they polled the young voters supporting obama (which is how he is winning the recent caucuses) NOT ONE knew where he stood on any issue?? With the country at odds with so many foreign countries, it is horrifying to think of Barrack " Hussein" Obama ( Muslim) running our country. You think we are in trouble with bush/Chaney!
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Obama campaign violating NH state law by placing automated phone calls to numbers on the Do Not Call list. Former State Rep. Sandy Keans, a from Rochester, said she received a call."This afternoon, I received a pre-recorded phone message from the Obama campaign attacking Senator Clinton even though I am on the Do-Not-Call List," Keans said.

2. Obama did not show up to vote in the senate often in his short time there, missed 130 votes out of 153! bashes ALL the other 72 senators who voted for the war based on the intelligence they were provided by OUR PRESIDENT, but he will not answer any reporter on how we would voted at the time. But his record after fact shows he supports the war, voted twice in 2006 against bringing America 's troops back home. He votes for war appropriations giving our money to Halliburton and Blackwater. His latest bit of posturing S 433 allows the Bush Administration to suspend any troop withdrawal!!!!Which if not suspended, still keeps the troops in Iraq for a long time to come? Obama when faced with tough choices always gave in to pressure from the Bush administration or corporate lobbyists. Such as Obama voted for Bush's energy bill, sending more than $13 billion in subsidies and tax breaks to oil, coal, and nuclear companies. Obama voted with Republicans to allow credit card companies to raise interest rates over 30 percent, increasing hardship for families. Obama voted for one of Bush's top priorities - expanding Nafta to South America - even as President Bush obstructed all the top Democratic priorities. Obama voted with Bush to make it harder for ordinary people to hold big corporations accountable when they do things like sell toxic toys, poisonous pet food, or just plain rip you off. Obama was the Senate's biggest Democratic advocate of subsidies for liquid coal, even though liquid coal produces twice the global warming pollution of the crude oil it's meant to replace (Obama was pummeled by environmentalists for several months, but still voted for increased subsidies, albeit with conditions)Obama, a Hamiltonian believer in free trade and supporters of globalization has lent his support to the "Hamilton Project formed by corporate-neoliberal Citigroup chair Robert Rubin and other 'Wall Street Democrats' to counter populist rebellion against corporate tendencies within the Democratic Party. Obama provided assistance to pro-war candidates (such as Joe Lieberman). Obama voted for "business-friendly 'tort reform' bill that rolls back working peoples' ability to obtain reasonable redress and compensation...from corporations!!! Obama considers single payer universal health care too socialist and has stated that he prefers voluntary solutions. He wants to raise social security age to 72. Wants to decrease Civillain Federal employees work force. He has no substance. He has provided no solution to any problem until Hillary, Edwards or even Mitt Romey publically expresses theirs, then he copies, He's been constantly negative with everyone. He has already made an enemey with China leaders!

Posted by: dyck21005 | January 8, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

How could we have thought that the Clinton campaign was running perfectly? Look at the video of Bill over the last two days in NH as an example. He has been snippy and vitriolic as he spoke of Obama with disgust. He is tarnishing whatever positive image he had after his Presidency by the minute. The Clinton team is setting up either of two situations afterh they finish third in South Carolina: (1) they resentfully withdraw during the general election, and are viewed as disloyal to the party or (2) they regroup over the next couple of weeks and begin a quiet apology tour. Let's just say that in the dictionary after "Presidential" you won't see a picture of Bill.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 8, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

JakeD said, "It is not un-American to kill terrorists before they kill us."

But it is unAmerican (not to mention inhumane) to torture captives; and it is unAmerican to hold "suspects" without a trial or benefit of counsel.

JakeD also wrote: "Here's something Barack Hussein Obama wrote then (does that make you happy?)."

From "Audacity of Hope":

I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.

The answer is YES. If we (America) try to take away their freedom based solely on their race or religion, then we've become our own worst enemy. I will stand with anyone who loves and fights for freedom.

Posted by: BigDadddySteve | January 8, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Especially since Dan never answered the REAL question which is whether anyone LEFT while Obama was speaking (see multiple Clinton threads below ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

to julieds: Patriotact!! I would say: PoorMansAct, because poor people are fighting for the big american corporates abroad like in Iraq etc. they are the ones that get killed, not the rich american people. And when these poor soldiers come back, they are not even properly taken care of. You rich yankees should be ashamed. And then something about the role of the president. It is never a president that remakes a country but the circumstances the country is in. Now your country is in deep trouble, heading for a recession as deep as that of the 1930's, mainly caused by the fact that you americans lie about almost everything. Last year, moneylenders found that out, and that is where your recession started. Non of your national statistics tells us the truth about the state of america. But we simply sought it out by looking at prices of gold en oil and looking at the main economic indices. At this moment everybody that has a little bit sence is selling whatever value he or she has in dollars. You will find out that within a month or so, the dolar is just worth a dim. No Japanees or American will show up in the eurozone, because their dollar is worthless. So we in the eurozone can see clearly what is about to change in your country. And no president will be able to change that.

Posted by: jwholtkamp | January 8, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz - You are doing a bad service for our country.

Posted by: henryvu | January 8, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I just hope all of you railing against Hillary Clinton now that she seems to be losing ("I will never vote for her!") remember that if she gets the Democratic nomination.

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"Democratic politicians around the country are trying to reassess where their interests may lie now and where the future of the party may be heading."

The waves of younger voters and the tentative interest of independents and some Republicans in voting Democratic this time obviously lend themselves to the urgency of this reassessment.

It would be interesting to learn how individual members of the Democratic establishment are adapting just now. Is there buyer's remorse on the part of some who were pressed to endorse Hillary early? If so, is there movement on their part?

Posted by: FirstMouse | January 8, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse


"We're using too much oil," Romney said. "We have an answer. We can use alternative sources of energy . . . biodiesel, ethanol, nuclear power . . ."

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Clinton's claim of expertise doesn't hold up because of her record voting for one of the worst foreign policy mistakes in U.S. history. She voted for the invasion of Iraq and continues to support that vote. If she had run in 2004, she would have gone down with Dick Gephardt and Joe Lieberman, two others who were expected to do well but whose campaigns bottomed out in the early primaries because they were the top Democratic supporters of the war.

Clinton has consistely tried to develop a reputation as a hawk. Her first criticism of the conduct of the war came two days after polls showed that Joe Lieberman was going to lose the democratic primary during the Senate campaign in Connecticut in 2006. She is entirely poll-driven, and that is part of what voters are rejecting in 2008.

Posted by: bdmail | January 8, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I shudder at the thought of yet another revolutionary president, can't wait to see how he responds to the challenges of the next 10 months.

Posted by: bobbrown | January 8, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Obama is about to kill the wicked witch of corporate cash and hypocrisy. The real issue is how much money they take from the corps and how beholden they are too them. If they feed to heavily (and shouldn't at all) at the corporate trough, they won't address the biggest problem we have. Corporations control our political process. The are shipping all our jobs overseas, using illegal immigrants to lower wages and smash unions, which is the fundamental problem destroying our middle class way of life.

I prefer Edwards, obviously, because he is willing to go against the 3rd rail the Republicans have established, which is what is good for business is good for all americans. If bash corps, you must be a socialist. Not true of course. Edwards is willing to stick his neck out which makes me think he is most likely to rein the corps.

Obama probably has taken his fair share or corp money, although he has a much higher percentage of money from small individual donations. The question is whether he has been bought and just offering platitudes or will he actually help the average american. I haven't verified, but I read in the paper today that a healthcare lobbyist is his campaign chair in NH? Does anybody know if this is true?

Bottom line. I will vote for Edwards or Obama, never Hillary. She is the epitomy of the status quote, a member of the republicrats. I'm a Green, but I will vote Democrat, if they nominate someone who has not "pre-sold" out.

Posted by: mlb | January 8, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse


Here's something Barack Hussein Obama wrote then (does that make you happy?).

From "Audacity of Hope":

I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama isn't taking questions because his voice is hoarse and he has to save it to be able to say something at these events.

Posted by: Malia2 | January 8, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse


There are technologies that allow nuclear waste to be reused thereby shrinking the amout of total waste to be delt with. How do you think France gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear power? As long as we ignore nuclear power and it's potential to play a significant role in our energy independence there will be no new technologies developed. A president who sees the potential of Nuclear power and will invest political capitol to overcome the concerns associated with it will certainly get my consideration.

Posted by: tnsailorguy | January 8, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

It is not un-American to kill terrorists before they kill us.

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh my! The clowns here who feel it necessary to capitalize Obama's middle name (Hussein) so that we'll all be afraid that he's really a terrorist, just don't get it. You're part of the problem we want to be done with. We're tired of being told we need to be afraid. That is a sorry way to go through life and we're done with it.

Instead we will face our fears, stand nose-to-nose with them and say, "Take your best shot."

We won't be intiimidated into acting unAmerican any longer. We are taking the higher road of freedom. And we will not be turned back by those who preach fear or those who practice terrorism. We ARE Americans!!!

Posted by: BigDadddySteve | January 8, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

A few campaigns ago CSN& Y Teach Your Children How (or the song containing those words) was a campaign theme. This time our children are teaching us how and that their time has come. Hillary and Bill are viewed as over the hill and soon will be just over. Obama had more supporters in our county in Iowa (not an overly youthful one) than showed up for all the candidates in 2004.

Posted by: ejgallagher1 | January 8, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Inspirational leaders, effective managers and fighters for a cause are all needed for success. It's too bad that we must make a choice between three impressive candidates. The only way I know out of this dilemma is to study the situation and select the leader who can cope with the present situation best. The situation demands some radical changes to return the country into its exemplary position in the world. Bush has made such a mess with our state of mind, peace, economy, fairness, environment, national pride and purpose that only inspiration can help us imagine a brighter world. We must risk going with less experience and less feistiness for the sake of a new dawn of fearlessness to gain the common good. We can no longer make it with ragged individualism, the devil-may-care selfishness and punch-when-in-doubt foreign policy. The best candidate for that is Obama. He is also the only candidate who, I think, wouldn't mind taking advice from Clinton and Edwards and turn it into policy . Let us hope we chose right.

Posted by: akizilos | January 8, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

This is deja vu. Some pseudo intellectual comes out and starts saying words like "hope", "courage", "dignity", and "change" and numerous other abstract platitudes and liberals high and low come out of the woodwork to fawn. The last two "intellectuals" turned out to be not-so-bright and subsequently lost. It must help your fragile freudian egos to feel like you are part of the "solution" and not the problem (global warming anyone?). Here's some advice libs: It's a tough world out there and only someone who is a realist should be President. Obama is not the guy. He may be dangerous to the unborn (see his Illinois record), but I doubt he strikes fear in the heart of terrorists. If he wins the nomination Democrats will lose a third election in a row. Etch it in stone.

Posted by: dmorris | January 8, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

How sad. America is being hypnothized by a man who knows how to give beautiful speeches.

He promises "change" and "hope" -- That doesn't mean anything!!!

Posted by: avadecatur | January 8, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

infantry11b4faus: "i have not heard one word of substance from barack HUSSEIN obama."

Oh my, you've been listening to Rush haven't you? This is not what America is clamoring for right now, petty name calling and insinuation. That's 20th century politicking. Americans are immune to it now. Try something else, like taking something he actually said and disputing it with facts.

infantry11b4faus: "he did not say how he will pay for that massive free health care system - which means i will have to pay for you to get health care in addition to paying for me."

Hey, Bush said Iraq would cost nothing, then says the trillion dollar cost of Iraq has left our economy "strong". If we can afford to spend a trillion dollars killing people we can afford a few hundred billion to guarantee healthcare. And if you think universal healthcare means a government run system you have no idea what you are talking about.

infantry11b4faus: "billary tried this - nationalizing 1/6th of the US economy and it failed and will fail again."

It didn't fail on merit, it failed politically. Why you think your national highway system can be maintained by the federal government but not your health insurance is beyond me. Just what is so special about health insurance that makes the feds management of it so toxic? Do you not like the way the FAA manages the airports? NASA satallite launchings? The military? Do your parents and grandparents social security checks arrive on time and the right amount? Just what is so bad about government management of these things? Oh, you're probably thinking of republican management of these programs. Well, if that's the case, just remember that republicans consider the government the "problem" and would like see its services go away. These are obviously not the people to manage anything. Its time to put people who care about government in charge of it.

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 8, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"The words on paper convey little of the rhetorical power that the audience clearly felt...."

I'm not sure it's just words on paper that fail. I watched on television Senator Obama's 2004 convention address and his recent Jefferson Jackson speech, and I found them OK but certainly not remarkable. There is so little substance in his speeches that crowd emotion has to carry them. It will be fascinating to see whether this will work when the campaign moves to larger states and must rely on television.

My guess is that as the campaign goes forward, Senator Obama will make heavy use of large public rallies, the bigger, the better, and his broadcast advertising will be based on footage of those rallies.

Posted by: WylieD | January 8, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Julieds- you use all the funny false facts that people who support Obama do. He said he would vote against the Partriot Act he didn't. He voted "present" 130 times and Planned Parenthood and NARAL endorsed Hillary. He tries to distinguish between state and federal lobbyists- what a joke- he took money for his PAC from federal lobbyists and took money from all the lawyers whose firms lobby for clients and then hires a state lobbyist for the drug companies- funny how you make that sound OK

I actually like Obama but let's be honest about him and then see how he responds to being looked at in depth. It actually would be good for him to be vetted in a serious way because if the press doesn't do it- certainly the Republicans will. For us Democrats that may be too late.

I will vote for him if he is the candidate but that doesn't mean he has the experience or gravitas to be a President.

I wish his supporters would at least be honest about him. I understand their supporting him but please don't try to make us believe he has experience he doesn't or is telling us the truth all the time.

It's time for a reality check and then if you still think he is so great go for it. But face reality and his flaws. I have always urged Clinton and Edwards people to do the same.

Posted by: peterdc | January 8, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Ha! The funny thing is that the misogynists and racists in this country have George Dumbass Bush to thank for this apparently seismic shift in who is capable of running a country.

I mean, after all the damage that this white-boy country club silver-spooner has done to this country, I think most americans are quite afraid of another "WASP" in the white house. **SHUDDER**

Posted by: vze2r3k5 | January 8, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats may need to do some serious re-thinking of their strategy after tonight. If Mrs. Clinton cannot even convince the voters of her OWN party now, she will hardly convince anyone from the opposite party in the general election next November.

Posted by: dunnhaupt | January 8, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Staying power? Why does everyone forget Obama-mania from a year ago? Of course he's got staying power! We (those who have been behind Obama for a year now) have seen this coming since day 1 and now the press just stands around dumbfounded (emphasis on the dumb.) Wake up! It wasn't his Iowa victory that changed New Hampshire, it was his victory speech. It gave the rest of the country a true example of what he stands for and now people are finally seeing what his supporters have seen all along.

Posted by: evan2 | January 8, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Johnson left an enduring legacy (civil rights, universal health care for elderly, etc). If Hillary can emulate that we would do well to elect her.

Kennedy was a fresh face and new beginning but accomplished little. And nearly started a nuclear war. The most chilling thing I've seen was a documentary interview of McNamara describing the Cuban Missile Crisis from the White House point of view. I was age three at the time brash confidence nearly ended life as we know it.

Posted by: michael1977 | January 8, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama talks a lot about people telling us what we can't do, instead of focusing on what we can do.

Okay, then, what is Obama proposing that other people say we can't do?

Single payer health care? No, can't do that. In fact, Obama's health care plan does NOT cover everyone and is objectively less ambitious than that of Edwards and Clinton?

Gay marriage? No, won't support that. Will allow an anti-gay singer to talk at his events though.

He has good Democratic views on a lot of issues, but so do most Democrats. All of this talk about grand ideas and greatness--well, what on earth are they?

Posted by: orange2299 | January 8, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I think the messages here are conveying what I'm hearing. The status quo is not going to be tolerated anymore. If you have any stench of the past political process, you're gone. If you come across as even a little devisive, like Huckabee's famous cross in the background speech, well, people are fed up with it. You ain't goin to no whitehouse. Hillary has experience yet can't say what she did, just what she will do. As someone else said, the dynasties are over.

This is mostly being driven by the young, as most revolutions are, but with those older behind them. K street and Wall street will do a lot to try to stop it. Dirty tricks are coming. But Americans have seen them before and have learned to be skeptical. We'll see just how the news media reacts to what is coming and whether they are tired of non-reporting, not checking sources and not verifying facts. The days of reading news media which is just talking point from politicians are over and people will turn away from them. I predict the Washington Post will be in big financial trouble come 2010 unless it begins doing more real reporting like it used to. I am finding way more news at the site than here, and good writing with analysis to boot.

rat-the, I looked at Romney. He's just more of the past plus lot of smiles. What did he do in MA that qualifies him for this important job? What qualifies him for making change we will all feel? Next to Obama, Romney hasn't a chance. No republican does. Their party is over. They were given many chances and they squandered them along with American fiscal future, its morality, its once greatness, and has caused a decline in the middle class.

Today Bush is saying that extending the tax cuts, that will expire in 3 years, is how we should prevent the coming recession. What an idiot! Just who does he think he is talking to, idiots as stupid as he is? And where is Romney on this? Where was Romney for the past 7 years as the Bush administration began its destruction of America? I know where Obama was, in the right place with the right ideas. The ice age is coming to the republican party. All they can do is hunker down and wait for America to be looking the other way and try a comeback as they did in 1980 and 2000. Maybe in 2020 we'll all be fooled again and vote them in, but now is not the time. Americans are awake, paying attention and listening and analysing what is being said. They will have their country back. You ain't seen nothing yet.

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 8, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

This is an inside look at Barack Obama's New Hampshire operation. It has some very telling sequences. Spend a few minutes, get a feel for what's happening in New Hampshire!

Posted by: harried | January 8, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama did not create the desperate climate of change - George Bush did that. Bush did that so well that any politician that presents as polished on polling and cataloging issues is seen as suspect. Obama brings that aura of freshness that seems mature but innocent. He happens to be in the right place at the right time.

Posted by: glclark4750 | January 8, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

i have not heard one word of substance from barack HUSSEIN obama. he did not say how he will pay for that massive free health care system - which means i will have to pay for you to get health care in addition to paying for me.
billary tried this - nationalizing 1/6th of the US economy and it failed and will fail again.

Posted by: infantry11b4faus | January 8, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Correction: The only BAD part of the Bush-Clinton-Bush legacy has been the Bush part.

Posted by: Rob6 | January 8, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

To the Obama supporter who will leave the top of the ticket blank if Hillary is the nominee. If Obama is the nominee, I will leave the top of the ticket blank. He is not qualified. The only part of the Bush-Clinton-Bush legacy has been the Bush part.

Posted by: Rob6 | January 8, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? Iowa and New Hampshire have like 6 people living in them, and only 2 go out to vote! Hardly a revolution!!!

Perhaps the Washington Post could try some non-partisan reporting for those meager little 48 states to go.

All I can say is- good job dems- its looking more and more like Mondale/Ferarro every day now.

Posted by: slomiamg | January 8, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

My name Ven Parameswaran, Scarsdale, NY. Dan, excellent analysis. Obama represents real "CHANGE". Americans like change and innovation. He is appealing to all ages and colors. "CHANGE" is a revolution. We all have to change every day to do better.Politics must change. Obama has the electricity to attract new voters. He is attracting independents and republicans. Clinton is unable to substantiate her 35 years experience. She is unable to list what she has done for the people as senator. She has been in washington for 16 years. Can she list what she has done to the people?When asked she rationalizes saying because of republican majority could not.Obama says both parties must work together to get things done. Clinton failed. Also do not forget that Bill Clinton got elected with 43%of vote thanks to Perot who took 20%. What is startling today lack of ballot papers for NH voters generated by Obama. The establishment can create obstacles for Obama. The media should be alert to report promptly. How long a voter in NH can wait if there is no ballot paper. Are we in a third world?
Americans are tired of Clintons and Bushes. They need change.

Posted by: vpwaren | January 8, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Bevjims1-What you are feeling is the frustration of a Stagnated Wage, combined with exploding costs!
Another factor, is the communities we live in, no longer being American "Rockwellian" Communities!

It has led to an alienated, frustrated, dissillusioned, and stressed out Middle Class!

WE Liked our Country once! We used to cherish what we had. Our family's ties with all the other families we used to all be so close too. Our Churches, Schools, Fraternal Organizations, and our ROOTS in general!

What happened?

WE, got SOLD! WE got fed PC. WE got Ussurped by special Interests! WE got Invaded, while our Protectors welcomed them with open arms, and OUR Lifestyles!

Republicans Fault? And the Democrats as well!

Look to Mitt Romney for the solutions I will not share with his opponents! He is the one who I believe will actually DO anything to correct the problems, NOT PANDER about them!

Barack has PROMISED too much already! I would not want to put too much on his tiny Plate!

Posted by: rat-the | January 8, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Dan, for me the issue boils down to this:
Bush>Clinton>Bush>??Clinton?? We don't live in an oligarchy. We are not a banana republic in which the mantle of leadership passes between "ruling" families. I have been a Democrat since 1970 and have never cast a vote for a Republican. I will NOT vote for a Democrat this year at the presidential level if Hillary is the nominee. Dynasticism is a disqualifier.
Since Republicans offer no viable alternative for me, I am willing to skip the top of the ballot or write in a name.

Obama offers the possibility of significant change. I'm not a teary eyed optimist about his chances of recasting the workings of the US government, but the hope and possibility and vision are there.

For now, that's enough for me.

Posted by: sgoetz | January 8, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

it's like this:
it's been so long since the country has known the pure joy and thrill of a REAL leader that people -ESPECIALLY in the media - do not know how to react.
it's all a game. who can knock out who so who can be the next to take on who for what reason.
calculations, machinations, the gender card, the tear factor.'s about a leader who has the ability to lift the country right out of the rubble of 911 where they've been living for six cold, dark, miserable years - and let everyone breathe again.

Posted by: postal1 | January 8, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse


Obama is not qualified to be president.

The Republicans will eat him alive.

His administration -- if he can get elected -- will be an unmitigated disaster.

He'll have to hand off responsibility for everything -- just like Bush -- because he's a naive neophyte.


Posted by: DickeyFuller | January 8, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I'd just settle for the press stopping the assumption that as a Democratic woman my vote is Hillary's for the taking. It never was and won't be. The experience she has to off is the same ol', same ol' - the reason I reluctantly ended up voting for Gore and Kerry. They were better than the guy on the other side, but they weren't the best we could get. This old lady thinks the way to go is new blood.

Posted by: Annie-Jazzy | January 8, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Obama is gonna' blow em out of the water!!!!!-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Obama is gonna blow em out of the water!!!!---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Obama is gonna blow em out of the water!!!!---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Obama is gonna blow em out of the water!!!!---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Obama is gonna blow em out of the water!!!!---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Obama is gonna blow em out of the water!!!!---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Obama is gonna blow em out of the water!!!!---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Obama is gonna blow em out of the water!!!!---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Obama is gonna blow em out of the water!!!!---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Obama is gonna blow em out of the water!!!!---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted by: ListenUpPeople | January 8, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

What bothers me the most about the Hillary supporters is that they don't seem to understand that Obama is a legitimate alternative that has a very good chance of prevailing in the general election. I believe in Hillary's competence, her experience, the team presidency. I think we have a better alternative in the vision of Obama and the message his election will send to Washington. The party is over. We need to face our demons and as a nation come together to find hard, acceptable solutions. Many of which may come with a price. Another Clinton gridlocked presidency could be too little too late and we just don't have the time to find out. Any candidate is a gamble. My money is on Barack!
By the way does anyone happen to notice how competent Michelle has been. She was a force at the University of Chicago Medical Center and her understanding of health care is second to none. She has this unbeatable ability to get things done that seem beyond resolution and we will have a team presidency in Barack and Michelle!

Posted by: foulkes52 | January 8, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Something that got no discussion in the press I thought was very diagnostic of how much people are willing to sacrifice in the presence of a fresh face.
In one of the debates Wolf Blitzer asked Obama about his support of nuclear power and what he thought should be done with the nuclear waste. Obama answered that new technologies could be created to make the waste safe. Blitzer pressed that there is no technology now however. Obama's answer was that we need to not say that something can not be done but to be optimistic that we can figure out a way TO DEAL WITH NUCLEAR WASTE. Did this fly past my fellow democrats who have fought nuclear power for years? I guess so. As long as they have Obama's magical hope, they can forget about reality and hope nuclear waste away.
Obama is going to be a disaster. Whether democrats figure it out in time to keep him from being nominated, or everyone finds it out after he is president; our country will pay the price. Because we have either a George McGovern or a Jimmy Carter on our hands..whether unelectable or electable... idealism fails when it confronts reality.

Posted by: Rob6 | January 8, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The Repubs didnt see Obama coming? Come on! Are they that disconnected?? Didnt they think people have had about enough of the Clintons and Bush's? Travelgate? Monica fiasco? Iraq? Haliburton? Hello!! is anyone in there alive??

Posted by: davethewave1 | January 8, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Check out the you tube video of Obamas Alexandria va rally for Jim Webb in 2006

You will see the "change" and "had enough"
themes. anybody claiming it now is just whistling past the grave

Posted by: pvogel88 | January 8, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

How could anyone make a comment about Hillary such as "There is barely a subject she doesn't know, barely an issue she hasn't studied, barely a topic for which she is not prepared."

For those of you who may have forgotten:

Hillary Clinton did not read the 90-page, classified "National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq".

Posted by: sphughes | January 8, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

who'da thunk it? in retrospect the Clinton emphasis on experience in a nation that's so sour on Washington is a growing puzzler. that said, if you accept that construct, it is surprising, interesting, (and generally ignored) that Obama has had so much strength within the Washington political community from the start.

Posted by: jimjaf | January 8, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

This is very interesting. The Democrats are doing the Republicans dirty work for them. They wanted/needed Hilary out of the way to get the Whitehouse...and now they may have it. Listen, I like Obama. I think he is very good, but neither the Dems nor the national media have truly "vetted" him. Then, if he does win the nomination, they( media) will turn on him like a crazy wild animal, and the Dems will be left saying " why do they trash such a good, bright man like him?".
The media are givbing Obama the "Bush" treatment like they did in 2000 and 2004.Question Bush? How dare you! they trashed Gore, while giving Bush a free ride...oh yes you did!then you trashed Kerry, agian giving W a free ride.Now, the only villain in this race has been that" evil witch".
I don't agree with all her votes, but I look at Obama, and wonder what he has done to get so much great press. Want to know the answer? He isn't Hilary. such a sad thing when the Dems and the press get together to sabatoge a good woman simply because she is who you and the Republicans want us to believe she is.

Posted by: bake201 | January 8, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

WaPo wrote: "The Clinton campaign is reeling and, in the case of Bill Clinton, showing anger and resentment. Democratic politicians around the country are trying to reassess where their interests may lie now and where the future of the party may be heading."

Hahahahaha. The democratic grass roots is speaking and the democratic leadership doesn't know what to do. Maybe instead of leading the flock the democratic leadership should get used to the flock leading them, as the system was set up to do.

That goes for you too Bill. Your wife's experience in government is quite limited and frankly I have not liked her trumpeting her "experience" in your White House Bill. It seems like she is trying to accept resposibility for what you did. Her one real endeavor, health care, was shot down by republicans like a F14 shooting down a twin prop. She admits that she "learned" from that experience. What I learned is that you do not give to a president's wife responsibility for this nation. Had you given that job to someone competent we might have real national healthcare by now. INstead Hillary got some on the job training and we have a healthcare crisis.

If November 2006 taught us anything it is that the tide is turning. The democrats thought it was simply turning against the republicans, but in by 50 years on this planet I have never seen this nation sink so low economically, morally and politically. People are not just worried about healthcare, they are worried about food on the table and their homes. People of all stripes are clamoring for a change and the democratic party is not going to be spared from that change. You either go with the flow or you get stampeded by the millions of Americans hoping for a true leader, one who listens to their concerns and does not tell them what they should be interested in. Its over for the neocons, for the evangelical republicans and for the conservative democrats. They'll shake your windows and rattle your walls, for the times they are a changin'. The status quo is about to go, and I do not see anything stopping it.

I predict Hillary will get less than 30% tonight. Expect a Obama/Edwards ticket this fall. A proper north/south strategy for the democrats. It does not matter what the republicans do. They would lose if Jesus himself were running. That's how much they have put off the majority of Americans. Good riddance to them as a democratic presidency takes over with a vast majority of democrats in the house and Senate. The pendulum is not just swinging, its crashing into everything we thought was the status quo. Nothing will be considered fixed in this race or in this country after tonight. And once the democrats take control, they had better meet the expectations of the people. Polosi! Reid! I'm talking to you!

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 8, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"Swept along by the pounding music"

I can hardly wait!

"Ding Ding Dong, Ring Ding A Ding Ding Ding Dong, Keep Their Heads Ringing" blairing from the oval office.

I bet they even change the solid white lights shining on the White House to strobes to go along with the beat.

Posted by: Ciap | January 8, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The pro-Hillary stooges and Barack haters are obviously panicking. How sweet it is!

Posted by: shovetheplanet | January 8, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: forjarigirlonly | January 8, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama & Edwards has tapped into the seething middle and working class anger that is currently being felt in this country ( it is not just young people). Obama is exciting but I do want hard ,tough questions given to this man. We cannot afford to be let down if he is elected.Republicans beware -- this country is like a simmering volcano that is about to erupt! Sooner or later,if things don't change, the peasants will storm the Bastille!

Posted by: eskieville | January 8, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

As usual, Dan Balz gracefully and expertly captured the moment in New Hampshire in a way tht gives this reader a feeling of a shared experience. MOre than anyone other reporter, he has defined the difference between the Obama and the Clinton message and campaign. Can't wait to read more! (No, I am not related to Dan, just an appreciative subscriber from the prairie.)

Posted by: ksusan | January 8, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh Pahlease! Barack Hussein, has not gotten a single measure passed in Congress.

NOW, he is supposed to save the World?!

That is about as Funny as the Cartoon Charactors of the old Beat up Last Year, always passing the Buck to the hopefull Wet-Behind-The-Ears, newborn New Year-So quick to learn!

Barack Hussein-The hopefull New Born child entering into the Direst of Political Challenges with "Hope"!

He should have packed a Gun!

Hear Lions: Fresh Meat!

Posted by: rat-the | January 8, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Heaven help us (America and the World) if Obama is all talk, because that's what we are getting swayed by. Remember that orator who caused World War II? I'm not against Obama: he talks the talk we need to hear. But I hope to goodness the media does not join the "ra-ra" bandwagon. Now, more than ever before we need them to tell us all they can about the man, the leader and the human being behind the grand talk.

Posted by: madhulikag | January 8, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Vote for Hillary Clinton.

We need to back the strongest Democrats we can in every primary and general election.

We've got to pick candidates that are willing and able and eager to fight for our rights because the Republicans are going to fight us tooth and nail.

Make no mistake about it.

Getting our rights and our money back from the Republicans is going to be like going up against the Germans on "D" day.

Americans are going to have to fight for every inch.

Republicans are going to do everything they can to block universal health care.

Republicans are going to do everything they can to prevent Democrats from passing a middle class tax cut and making hedge fund managers and other ultra-rich pay their fair share.

America has the worst income disparity in its history.

Our incredibly slanted tax code is a big part of the reason.

We tax working people at a much higher rate than we do the rich, because we tax unearned income at a much lower rate than earned income.

That's the exact reverse of what it should be.

We need to bring back the inheritance tax.

Give people an exemption for their primary home, have the tax kick in once the rest of the estate passes $1M, and tax the rest of it at the rate of ordinary income, or worst case, capital gains, which should be taxed as ordinary income anyway.

Bush, Cheney, and the Republican party have taken money from the middle class and given it to the top 1/2 of 1%.

We want our money back.

The middle class wants its money back, and we have a right to it.

But its not going to be easy to get it.

Republicans aren't going to just hand it over.

Democrats are going to have to fight for it.

We need a strong Democratic President and a strong Democratic majority in congress.

Republicans are the political equivalent of the "Borg" or the "Terminator", They vote as a single block, like a giant political organism. You cannot reason with the Republicans, you cannot change their minds, you can only beat them in elections then out-vote them in congress.

We need Hillary Clinton.

She's got the ideas, plans, smarts, street-smarts, savvy, dedication, and fire in her gut to make change happen.

Good intentions aren't enough. Republicans don't sing kumbiya. Repubicans fight to win.
Democrats have to learn to fight, and to fight to win, to beat them, and to ever have a chance at true bi-partisanship.

Vote for Hillary Clinton.

The best person for the job of President.

Posted by: svreader | January 8, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama's next challenge is to sho a tight link rhetoric and reality.

Past Repubs were masterful with gimmicks like pledges and Contracts with America.

Such gimmicks had the nice sideline of being effective in winning elections.

Obama should create a Future of Hope e-mail database...millions of people he can readily mail, and they of course e-mail their congress folk in turn.

And he should explain to his young masses that, just as Reagan did, as President he will talk directly to them and enlist their help in driving congress.

In which case, Congress might well be in his hand.

With some simple steps, it seems that Hillary's (and, downstream, the Repubs') charges of pretty but useless poetry would be stopped cold.

It's only a little after noon, and Drudge says they're running out of ballots in NH due to massive turnout.

The Pied Piper thing seems to be afoot.

Obama must soon build a bridge to connect the brimming avenue of campaign poetry to the island of governing reality -- or risk that his wooed masses march into the toxic river of doubt that rivals are sensibly, and lovingly, brewing.

Posted by: tdn0024 | January 8, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Hillary knows how to play the game. Obama knows how to change the game! No contest.

Posted by: pminges | January 8, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Any blogger with good writing skills can write what Balz offers above. Perhaps Balz should consider the MSM's occasional role of asking the questions that others won't ask rather than simply being the PR dept for various campaigns.

Has Balz - even just once - ever asked a politician a question designed to reveal flaws in their policies? Perhaps he should just go start his own blog instead.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | January 8, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse


Go to and find the answers yourself. They're all there on his website.

...or are you like so many Hillary supporters who don't WANT to see any substance in Obama?

Posted by: julieds | January 8, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse


Obama actually fillabustered the patriot act until it was changed, and he found it acceptable.

In 2004 in the quote YOU site, Obama also said that in his view, the case for war had not been made.

Obama was against the Iraq war, and spoke out against it, showing leadership. Hillary VOTED FOR WAR.

After Obama entered the senate, the Iraq war was already being waged, and Obama said he would not cut off funds while the soldiers needed equipment. When he did finally vote to cut funds, it was after new vehicles and armor had been supplied to the soldiers, and after Bush vetoed a BINDING resolution requiring a timetable for withdrawal.

Hillary has never even tried to push through ethics reform, so where do you get off criticizing Obama's efforts at reform? Obama is also the only other sponsor of a campaign finance reform bill (kucinich is the other) that all the other senators- including Clinton- have killed in the senate.

The campaign worker you are referring to doesn't lobby federal lawmakers, is a state level lobbyist, who is not currently lobbying anyone, and who is certainly not lobbying Obama.

The 130 votes you referred to were in coordination with planned parenthood, who gave Obama a 100% rating, and coordinated with other candidates as strategic maneuvers. It was also 130 "present" votes out of MORE THAN 4000 votes he cast.

This distortion of someone's record is exactly the old politics Obama has railed against.

If Hillary can't win this race by her own merits, and without such tactics, she deserves to lose.

Posted by: julieds | January 8, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"...barely an issue she hasn't studied"

...except the classified version of the Iraq WMD national intelligence estimate (the one with the caveats and agency dissenting opinions), which she didn't bother reading, though it had been made available to her, before voting to invade Iraq.

A basic homework failure for which she refuses to apologise, even though hundreds of thousands of innocent people are now dead.

Posted by: bourassa1 | January 8, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"Obama is saying what everyone wants to hear, but he doesn't have a clue about how to accomplish the goal."

Hillary is saying what nobody wants to hear--bomb Iran--and unfortunately is just nuts enough to be likely to do it!

Posted by: thrh | January 8, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how many people believe in Obama and want a second JFK/MLK/Messiah out of him. I, personally, would like some more information about him before I give him my vote. What's he going to do about Africa? New Orleans? Gas prices? Energy prices? The housing market? Lead paint in toys? Upgrading our nation's infrastructure and at what expense? Iraq, if it turns into a true civil war once we drawdown? His reaction to a terrorist attack. He has said very little specifics about anything and he's already getting tagged as a far-left liberal in the conservative hate machine.

Bill, unfortunately, hit it on the head when he said the media is treating Obama like a 'Fairytale'. I guess most of the people here forgets the finer details of 2000 when Bush was the "Unifier" and the 'guy I want a beer with' and "the one who'll bring dignity back to the White House'. When, approached with the 11th-hour coke DUI, Bush claimed, " I don't play the Gotcha game." And the media then, like now, gave a free pass.

Bush/Clinton/Reagan etc.... all promise 'change'. After 4(8) years of whoever, I can understand why. But by God, if there was any other time when it was more important to find out what change means, and how it will be defined, it's this election

And should Hillary bow out, which I expect, then this nation's greatest villian will forever be destroyed; hopefully then, everyone who has hated her from Rush to Anne, Hannity to Drudge, and even bloggers on this and others forum can all be raptured, for there will be no reason for them to exist any longer. If this did happen, I would vote against Hillary, just to clear out the meaningless hate toward a woman because of her name that clutter these blogs and the airwaves.

Is Hillary an angel? Of course not. Will Obama change the world? Of course he could. Could he go power crazy, just like Hillary or Bush or McCain or, or, or etc...? Absolutely.

Posted by: eternal9 | January 8, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

So Bill is "angry and resentful." He expected a coronation? The more I see of Hillary's campaign, the less likely I am to vote for her if she does get the nomination. Mike Bloomberg should keep his options open, just in case.

Posted by: thrh | January 8, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

peterdc: "We elected Kennedy and in short order had the Bay of Pigs, The Cuban missile crisis...We are facing life and death situations in the world today. We really can't afford a neophyte no matter how charismatic he is. The world is just too dangerous."

What a weird argument, given that it was Hillary who supported starting the insane war in Iraq, and Obama who opposed it.

Hillary has never regretted attacking Iraq and now votes for crazy resolutions against Iran.

Then you follow up with a line taken straight from the mouth of Dick Cheney, that the evil foreigners will get us if we vote for the other guy.

I'd been wondering when the bottom-feeding Clintonites would resort to GOP-style fearmongering.
That's the third time I've heard this approach since Hillary lost Iowa.


Posted by: bourassa1 | January 8, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama is saying what everyone wants to hear, but he doesn't have a clue about how to accomplish the goal. The harsh reality is that real change, real leadership doesn't come from rhetoric.

Posted by: nbts | January 8, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"There is barely a subject she doesn't know, barely an issue she hasn't studied, barely a topic for which she is not prepared."

I beg to differ; Clinton showed her ignorance of something as important as Pakistan's parliamentary election on two clear occasions (she thought Mussharaf was on the the ballot, among other incorrect details) and then over-obviously tried to cover up in campaign statements and then during the debate (thanks for the info, Hillary--we already know that the elections were for the parliament). Yet hardly anyone jumped on something so shockingly ignorant.

I hear little of Obama's legitimate experience, only crowing about her so-called 35 years. So it's not a surprise that comments like that of "madhulikag" abound--the press is not giving us fair coverage of the substance of Obama's policies and experience--but it's all there in his blue book, if anyone cares to check it out for themselves.

Posted by: looklikelucy | January 8, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The fundamental question of this years election is, Is the country ready to let go of the conflicts of the Vietnam Generation? Obama and Huckabee represent a departure from Clinton and Bush. Unfortunately for Romney and Edwards, they do not capture the desire for a change from the past as much as represent a continuation of themes from the past. Time to let go of the 60's and create a new future for the country in the 21st century.

Posted by: Kris.Chatrathi | January 8, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse


OBAMA: 12 years in office.
Clinton: 8 years in office.

Posted by: julieds | January 8, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Bow out now, Hillary. Before the embarrassment of being crushed two-votes-to-one in S. Carolina.

Obama should spend his warchest against real Republicans, not waste it on Neocon wannabes like HRC.

Remaining in the race will just be hurting the Democratic party, chasing a lost dream of personal (and dynastic) ambition.

Posted by: Bud0 | January 8, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the hope of a generation and has all the experience (and the vales) we need in the White House.

- The Rev. Chuck Currie

Posted by: chuck.currie | January 8, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The word "Obama" is on the main page of six times. "Clinton", seven times. "Edwards", none.

I strongly support Obama, but that is just wrong. Does Edwards have a shot at beating Clinton in NH as he did in Iowa? Why or why not? How does the race change if it becomes an Obama-Edwards race? Is a presumption that Edwards' support, were he to drop out, would go to Obama, accurate? A real newspaper would be on these angles.

Posted by: gbooksdc | January 8, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

My God. Heaven help this country and the world if Obama cannot deliver what he promises or holds out as a hope. What do we know about this man as a human being, a legislator or as a leader? Remember all those leaders who held out dreams that turned into worldwide nightmares and World Wars? I'm not saying I'm against Obama: indeed what he's promising is what we need - but I do hope that the media does not join the bandwagon and DOES spend time between now and the general elections to investigate more about Obama the man, the leader and the candidate.

Posted by: madhulikag | January 8, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz as usual misses the point.

Obama is charismatic and intelligent. But it is the newsmedia that is fanning the flames for him and making him operate at a different level than Clinton.

It is only the New York Times today that mentions that it is Obama that now won't take questions at his events. That Obama is trying to play the safe candidate. Why is it that when Hillary Clinton did that Balz felt free to criticize and inject his opinions but now it is OK for Obama.

I hope that after New Hampshire the nation takes a moment to think about what we are doing. That the press moves away from giving Barack Obama a free ride and asks the hard questions that need to be asked if they really think he will be the next President. That Obama be asked to explain his record, no matter how small it is, and what it says about his promise to tell the truth to the people of the United States.

Obama promised to oppose the Patriot Act when he ran for the Senate then voted for it. In 2002 Obama opposed the war. In 2004 he said he would maybe have voted for it had he been in the Senate. When he arrived in the Senate he voted for every funding bill for the war. Obama claims as his greatest achievement campaign reform. But as Charlie Gibson said at the NH debate all he really did was force members of Congress to stand and eat rather than sit and eat. He rails against the lobbyists but then hires one for his NH campaign. He voted "present" 130 times in the Illinois State Legislature on issues such as abortion rights and gun control.

His rhetoric is reminisent of the Kennedy/Johnson campaign in 1960. Kennedy the young charismatic Senator against Johnson the experienced war horse. But the world was generally at peace in that election. We elected Kennedy and in short order had the Bay of Pigs, The Cuban missile crisis and Kennedy unable to pass any of his legislation. It was only after he was assassinated that we built up this image of him as a Saint but it was Lyndon Johnson that got Civil Rights legislation passed and all the national health care programs we have.

Some say Kennedy may not have led us into Viet Nam but that is something we will never know. And Kennedy had something Obama doesn't he was a war hero and actually served his nation while Obama has basically served himself till now.

We are facing life and death situations in the world today. We really can't afford a neophyte no matter how charismatic he is. The world is just too dangerous.

Posted by: peterdc | January 8, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Correctly - or not - the nation sees Obama as a leader for a new approach to national determination and direction. Both Clinton and Bush are PART OF THE PROBLEM. They generate mindless hate and sincere distrust....the country is tired of the partisan division....witness the meeting in Oklahoma.

Obama offers a new playing field...he offers something besides the zero-sum game politics that Clinton and Edwards and Romney and Giuliani have been espousing.

Can Obama do it? Who knows....but he's going to get the chance because we are sick and tired of the angry rhetoric and the senseless personal attacks between the oldguard of BOTH parties.

Posted by: gandalfthegrey | January 8, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Edwards is the ONLY Democrat who can beat any candidate the Repukes throw at us.

Hillary and Obama would lose.

I've seen the polls on this and it's true.

Hillary and Obama cannot win in a sexist, racist America. But Edwards can.

Edwards wants to kick corporate butt too.

Hillary and Obama would rather kiss corporate butt.

Posted by: TomIII | January 8, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

But, Dan, the real question is whether anyone LEFT while Obama was speaking (see mulitple Clinton threads below)?

Posted by: JakeD | January 8, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

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