Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Obama's Ohio Grilling

By Alec MacGillis
CLEVELAND -- The Clinton campaign has sent indication that Barack Obama better be ready for a tough debate here tonight ("Meet me in Ohio," the senator herself warned on Saturday). If he is in for some tough questions, then Obama got a decent tuneup in this city two days ago, when he attended a meeting with about 100 Jewish community leaders.

Those in attendance got right to the point, asking Obama about just about every topic that has so far caused some qualms about him in some quarters of the country's Jewish community, qualms that could pose a real problem for him in the general election in crucial states like Florida: about the outspoken pastor of his church and his link to Louis Farrakhan, about Obama's views on Palestinians, about the e-mails passing the false claim that he is a Muslim, and about his plans for opening greater dialogue with the Muslim world, including with Iran.

Obama's answers were, on several points, more expansive than just about anything he has offered on the subject in the past. He distanced himself somewhat from his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, saying he was "like an old uncle who sometimes will say things that I don't agree with," and he condemned Farrakhan, who received an award from a church publication and last weekend endorsed Obama. He also distanced himself from his informal foreign policy adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former Carter national security adviser, who has upset some Jewish leaders with his endorsement of the authors of a recent book about the "Israel lobby." At the same time, though, Obama lamented some of the limits imposed on the debate over the Israel-Palestine question within the U.S.

"Because of the pressure that Israel is under, I think the U.S. pro-Israel community is sometimes a little more protective or concerned about opening up that conversation," he said. He added at another point: "There is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel, and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel."

Following are excerpts of some of the most revealing parts of the 45-minute discussion.

On Obama's Chicago church, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan:
I am member of the Unity Church of Christ, Trinity United Church of Christ, been there for 20 years. And although this is an improvement because you don't think I am Muslim, which is the other... [laughter] You know, so, slowly we are progressing here. It is a very conventional African American church. If you go to, if you were there at the church, you would be hearing gospel music and people preaching about Jesus. It is very conventional in that sense.

It is true that my pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who will be retiring this month, is somebody who on occasion can say controversial things. Most of them, by the way, are controversial directed at the African American community and calling on them [to] start reading books and turn off the TV set and engage in self-help. And he is very active in prison ministries and so forth. It is also true that he comes out of the '60s -- he is an older man. That is where he cut his teeth. That he has historically been interested in the African roots of the African American experience.

He was very active in the South Africa divestment movement, and you will recall that there was a tension that arose between the African American and the Jewish communities during that period when we were dealing with apartheid in South Africa, because Israel and South Africa had a relationship at that time. And that cause -- that was a source of tension. So there have been a couple of occasions where he made comments with relation, rooted in that. Not necessarily ones that I share. But that is the context within which he has made those comments.

He does not have a close relationship with Louis Farrakhan. Louis Farrakhan is a resident of Chicago, and as a consequence he has been active in a range of community activities, particularly around ex-offenders and dealing with them. I have been a consistent, before I go any further, a consistent denunciator of Louis Farrakhan, nobody challenges that. And what is true is that, recently this is probably, I guess last year. An award was given to Farrakhan for his work on behalf of ex-offenders completely unrelated to his controversial statements. And I believe that was a mistake and showed a lack of sensitivity to the Jewish community, and I said so. But I have never heard an anti-Semitic [remark] made inside of our church. I have never heard anything that would suggest anti-Semitism on part of the pastor.

He is like an old uncle who sometimes will say things that I don't agree with. And I suspect there are some of the people in this room who have heard relatives say some things that they don't agree with. Including, on occasion, directed at African Americans that maybe a possibility that's just -- I am not suggesting that's definitive. So the point I make is this, that I understand the concerns and the sensitivities, and one of my goals constantly in my public career has been to try to bridge what was a historically powerful bond between the African American and Jewish communities that has been frayed in recent years. For a whole variety of reasons. I think that I have served as an effective bridge, and that's the reason I have overwhelming support among the Jewish community that knows me best, which is the Jewish community in Chicago . And I think that anybody who has friends among the Jewish community in Chicago should check out those credentials.

But I do appreciate the opportunity to clarify those concerns. And as I said, that last point I would make is that you know my pastor is going to be retiring over the next month. So my general view, and the reason that I raise this, this is always a sensitive point, what you don't want to do is distance yourself or kick somebody away, because you are now running for president and you are worried about perceptions, particularly when someone is basically winding down their life and their career.

On Brzezinski and e-mails being circulated that question Obama's commitment to Israel:
"There is a spectrum of views in terms of how the U.S. and Israel should be interacting. It has evolved over time. It means that somebody like Brzezinski, who when he was national security adviser would be considered not outside of the mainstream in terms of his perspective on these issues, is now considered by many in the Jewish community anathema. I know Brzezinski, [but] he's not one of my key advisers. I've had lunch with him once, I've exchanged e-mails with him maybe three times. He came to Iowa to introduce me for a speech on Iraq. He and I agree that Iraq was an enormous strategic blunder and that input from him has been useful in assessing Iraq, as well as Pakistan, where actually, traditionally, if you will recall he was considered a hawk. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party was very suspicious of Brzezinski precisely because he was so tough on many of these issues. I do not share his views with respect to Israel. I have said so clearly and unequivocally.

The others that you refer to are former members of the Clinton administration. Somebody like a Tony Lake, the former national security adviser, or Susan Rice -- these are not anti-Israel individuals. These are people who strongly believe in Israel's right to exist. Strongly believe in a two-state solution. Strongly believe that the Palestinians have been irresponsible and have been strongly critical of them. Share my view that Israel has to remain a Jewish state, that the U.S. has a special relationship with the Jewish state. There's no inkling that there has been anything in anything that they've written that would suggest they're not stalwart friends of Israel.

This is where I get to be honest, and I hope I'm not out of school here. I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel, and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel. If we cannot have a honest dialogue about how do we achieve these goals, then we're not going to make progress. And frankly, some of the commentary that I've seen which suggests guilt by association or the notion that unless we are never ever going to ask any difficult questions about how we move peace forward or secure Israel that is nonmilitary or non-belligerent or doesn't talk about just crushing the opposition, that that somehow is being soft or anti-Israel, I think we're going to have problems moving forward. And that, I think, is something we have to have an honest dialogue about.

None of these e-mails talk about the fact that on the other side, members of my national finance committee, like Lester Crown, are considered about as hawkish and tough when it comes to Israel as anybody in the country. So, there's got to be some balance here. I've got a range of perspectives and a range of advisers who approach this issue. They would all be considered well within the mainstream of that bipartisan consensus that I raised or that we talked about in terms of being pro-Israel. There's never been any of my advisers who questioned the need for us to provide Israel with security, with military aid, with economic aid. That there has to be a two-state solution, that Israel has to remain a Jewish state. None of my advisers would suggest that, so I think it's important to keep some of these things in perspective. I understand people's concern with Brzezinski, given how much offense the Israeli lobby raised, but he's not one of my central advisers.

There is an article in Newsweek, not to make this overly political, this issue that shows that there has been a fairly systemic effort on the part of some of my opponent's supporters, I won't say it was sanctioned from the top, to constantly feed this suspicion, and I want people to take my words and my track record of years on this issue to heart. I got to admit this one is a plan.

On the political sensitivity of the Palestinian question inside the U.S.:
In terms of advisers and the kind of debate I think is fruitful, one of the things that struck me when I went to Israel was how much more open the debate was around these issues in Israel than they are sometimes here in the United States. It's very ironic. I sat down with the head of Israeli security forces, and his view of the Palestinians was incredibly nuanced because he's dealing with these people every day. There's good and there's bad, and he was willing to say sometimes we make mistakes and we made this miscalculation and if we are just pressing down on these folks constantly without giving them some prospects for hope, that's not good for our security situation. There was a very honest, thoughtful debate taking place inside Israel . All of you, I'm sure, have experienced this when you travel there.

Understandably, because of the pressure that Israel is under, I think the U.S. pro-Israel community is sometimes a little more protective or concerned about opening up that conversation. But all I'm saying though is that actually, ultimately should be our goal, to have that same clear-eyed view about how we approach these issues.

On whether the Democrats have to worry about Jewish voters deserting for the Republican Party over issues like Iran:
Look, the Jewish community is a) diverse, b) has interests beyond Israel . There is a ... the tradition of the Jewish community in America as a progressive force that is concerned with the poor, is concerned with the vulnerable, is concerned with children, is concerned with civil rights, is concerned with civil liberties. Those are values that I believe are much more evident in our Democratic Party, and that can't be forgotten. I think that what I've seen, and you would know better than I would, is that to the extent that there's been bleeding over into the Republican Party, it all has to do with this issue of Israel. And what I would simply suggest is look at the consequences of George Bush's policies. The proof is in the point. I do not understand how anybody who is concerned about Israel 's security and the threat of Iran could be supportive of George Bush's foreign policy. It has completely backfired. It is indisputable that Iran is the biggest strategic beneficiary of the war in Iraq . We have spent what will soon be close to a trillion dollars strengthening Iran, expanding their influence. How is that helpful to Israel? How is that helpful to Israel? You can't make that argument. And so the problem that we've seen in U.S. foreign policy generally has been this notion that being full of bluster and rattling sabers and being quick on the draw somehow makes you more secure.

And keep in mind that I don't know anybody in the Democratic Party, and I will say this for Hillary Clinton and I will say this for myself, who has indicated in any way that we would tolerate and allow to fester terrorist threats, that we wouldn't hunt down, capture or kill terrorists, that haven't been supportive of Israel capturing or killing terrorists. So it's not like we're a bunch of folks asking to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. When Israel launched its counterattack against Hezbollah in Lebanon during the summer of 2006, I was in South Africa at the time, a place that was not particularly friendly to Israel at the time, and I was asked by the press, what did you think? And I said, if somebody invades my country or is firing rockets into my country or kidnapping my soldiers, I will not tolerate that. And there's no nation in the world that would. So I don't see this softness within the Democratic Party on these issues. The question is, can we use our military power wisely? Can we be strategic in terms of how we move forward? And I think that is profoundly in the interests of Israel and in the interests of U.S. security.

On whether there should be negotiations with Hamas:
The answer is no. The answer is no and the distinction would be that Hamas is represented in the Palestinian legislature, or it was before the current rift, but they're not the head of state. They are not a recognized government. So I think there is a distinction to be drawn there and a legitimate distinction to be drawn. Now again, going back to my experiences in Israel and the discussions I've had with security officials there, I think that there are communications between the Israeli government and Hamas that may be two or three degrees removed, but people know what Hamas is thinking and what's going on, and the point is that with respect to Hamas, you can't have a conversation with somebody who doesn't think you should be on the other side of the table. At the point where they recognize Israel and its right to exist, at the point where they recognize that they are not going to be able to shove their worldview down the throats of others but are going to have to sit down and negotiate without resort to violence, then I think that will be a different circumstance. That's not the circumstance that we're in right now.

On opening up dialogue with Muslim world:
This is where I actually do think having lived in a Muslim country when I was a child is helpful in terms of giving a worldview and a world perspective. Now keep in mind, Indonesia is not the Arab world. So its brand of Islam was always very different. Women were riding on Vespas and going to work, and people weren't wearing head scarves until very recently -- that was actually an import from the Middle East. But here's what's interesting about Indonesia, it's a good case study. It had had a very tolerant, mild brand of Islam all the time that I was living there and basically up and through '97. And what happened was that you'll recall the Asian financial crisis hit them extraordinarily hard. Their gross domestic product contracted by 30 percent -- they had the equivalent of a Great Depression, but this was a country that was already extraordinarily poor. So, there was a direct correlation between the collapse of that economy and the rise of fundamentalist Islam inside of Indonesia. Partly it was exported by Saudi Wahhabist schools that were sent in and financing schools there, and suddenly you started seeing head scarves on the streets and Islamic organizations that were parroting some of the fundamentalist and more fanatical brands of Islam that we associate with the Middle East.

And the reason I raise that point is that although people will often say, well, terrorists are drawn from the middle class and just being poor doesn't mean that you're automatically ascribe to violent jihadist tendencies. What is absolutely true is that in the Arab world and in the Muslim world, I do think there is a correlation between the degree to which those communities function properly, give people hope, give people a sense of direction, give children education, and how vulnerable they are to these violent ideologies.

So what lessons do we learn from that, then? I am not naïve. There is a hard core of jihadist fundamentalists who we can't negotiate with. We have to hunt them down and knock them out. Incapacitate them. That's the military aspects of dealing with this phenomenon. Now, somebody like a Richard Clarke would estimate that the hard-core jihadists would gladly blow up this room -- maybe it's 30,000 people, maybe it's 40,000 people, maybe it's 50,000 people. But it is a finite number. And that is where military action and intelligence has to be directed. So all the things I've talked about in the past -- improving our intelligence capacity, improving our alliances, rolling up financial support, improving our homeland security, making sure that we have strike forces that are effective -- that's all the military, intelligence, police work that's required.

The question, then, is what do we do with the 1.3 billion Muslims, who are along a spectrum of belief. Some extraordinarily moderate, some very pious but not violent. How do we reach out to them? And it is my strong belief that that is the battlefield that we have to worry about, and that is where we have been losing badly over the last seven years. That is where Iraq has been a disaster. That is where the lack of effective public diplomacy has been a disaster. That is where our failure to challenge seriously human rights violations by countries like Saudi Arabia that are our allies has been a disaster. And so what we have to do is to speak to that broader Muslim world in a way that says we will consistently support human rights, women's rights. We will consistently invest in the kinds of educational opportunities for children in these communities, so that madrasas are not their only source of learning. We will consistently operate in ways that lead by example, so that we have no tolerance for a Guantanamo or renditions or torture. Those all contribute to people at least being open to our values and our ideas and a recognition that we are not the enemy and that the clash of civilizations is not inevitable.

Now, as I said, we enter into those conversations with the Muslim world being mindful that we also have to defend ourselves against those who will not accept the West, no matter how appropriately we engage. And that is the realism that has to leaven our hopefulness. But, we abandon the possibility of conversation with that broader Muslim world at our own peril. I think all we do then is further isolate it and feed the kinds of jihadist fanaticism that I think can be so...

By Washington Post editors  |  February 26, 2008; 10:25 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Dodd to Endorse Obama
Next: Richardson: 'I Might Soon' Endorse

Comments

Posted by: buspar and headache | August 20, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: zyprexa and agranulocytosis | August 17, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: paxil short gut syndrome | August 17, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

kqwfisb qlwx zbgfpe
effexor xr 37.5 mg side effects

Posted by: effexor xr 37.5 mg side effects | August 17, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

hlcksq pwor iudhgox
elavil medication type

Posted by: elavil medication type | August 17, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

sehdfx zbgcjeq hvmobyp hifwkun
levitra precautions

Posted by: levitra precautions | August 17, 2008 5:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: emsam how much is cost | August 16, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

powcgu wsiancx zlahpo
effexor medication chat

Posted by: effexor medication chat | August 16, 2008 3:11 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: elavil side effets | August 16, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

qdzmjy cblwt cpxiqv
effexor wellbutrin

Posted by: effexor wellbutrin | August 15, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: effexor xr and wellburin together | August 15, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

bpxo qihn muxz
adivan vs effexor

Posted by: adivan vs effexor | August 15, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: does buspar work for panic attacks | August 15, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

jgakseo dljfuhv wqrgm ntswja
propecia hair loss medication

Posted by: propecia hair loss medication | May 12, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

jgakseo dljfuhv wqrgm ntswja
propecia hair loss medication

Posted by: propecia hair loss medication | May 12, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

kasc bhgc labv osynlz
how propecia works

Posted by: how propecia works | May 12, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

kasc bhgc labv osynlz
how propecia works

Posted by: how propecia works | May 12, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: drug interaction soma symptom ultram | May 11, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: buy cheap ultram wall | May 11, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

wnrxgt
50 mg ultram

Posted by: 50 mg ultram | May 11, 2008 6:18 AM | Report abuse

xlfcvpz eucw
buy dir ultram

Posted by: buy dir ultram | May 10, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: drug effects more side ultram | May 10, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the commenters that this shows Obama has depth and knowledge.

The pro-Likud approach is only a partion of the Jewish community. And Labor was "it" until the Olso failure & there were no options left but security for the moment. That pro-Likud thing is a part of Walt & Weirth and not geninue as much as people WANT to make it out to be. Jewish American's voted 75 then 85% AGAINST Bush in the two elections. I get tired of the anti-semitic Bush-neo-con thing - because it's just plain false even when it's not meant anti-semitically.

He's underestimated the supportors of terrorism strongly in numbers in my opinion. Polls inside Arab & Muslim countries are higher on support of these types of warfare & western vehemence.

Again, he speaks well...and almost says something...but never really does. No a concrete plan in there on how to do what all of us know need doing. HOW do you reach out and educate? He's read the books on what to say... and says it. But he said Wright never said much that was hateful and now Brzezinski doesn't give him advice in this area. I'm not sure what to believe he really means. I'm not sure he knows.

But he's made so many foreign policy gaffs (being repremanded by Keyna's ambassored after his 2006 visit where they complainted to the state dept.)

He always sounds like he'll have great ideas. But know he sounds like a pre-Olso position.

It's a little unrealistic to think improving lives will be the key to reducing intolerance. Studies have shown suicide bombers are from upper middle class. Israel tried every economic program it could think of during Olso. It's like he's reading from the books so it sounds good, but doesn't quite know how it's really all going. This, like Rev. Wright, is getting coated by rose colored glasses. This stuff is tough, very tough.

Posted by: sheri | May 4, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Why Israel matters... I wondered if I'd ever run into a conflict of interest. Since my issues preferences matched on everything including Israel it was never an issue.

Then Bush came along and supposedly would be good for Israel. My sister & I decided his foreign policy would be bad for the US and therefore for Israel. And don't forget bad for the US!

See, no conflict. The thing is for a Jewish voter, on foreign policy they may know more and have more ablity to judge the policy on Israel than the rest of the policy.

Also, Israel is a very close ally of US, so as a non-Jew that matter. The US tried to form ties with Arab nations in middle east and wound up iwth Israel because it's democracy, multicultural, and has the US can-do attitude. It wasn't about Jews when the alliance was formed. It was before AIPAC. It was about having a canary in the coal mine of the middle east to help us out - and we've been having troubles there since the revolutionary days.

I'm an American, and I'm going to vote on domestical issues and foreign issues that suite my view of the world. Israel and US are enough alike that I can't see a conflict. If there ever is one - one of them will not meet my moral standards, and that's what I will vote on.

Posted by: sheri | May 4, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

qvahx ehfuvtx lyrkt hlayf owgknfc sldyivpu uxynotvqd ehwbzigm rnyoqmepv

Posted by: pfxsy uepj | April 16, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

xujh jlrxbvgu syvikuno fauhro yalxvdupq npjuqxwvs msrhopna

Posted by: dunlxfp gxjtq | April 16, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

xujh jlrxbvgu syvikuno fauhro yalxvdupq npjuqxwvs msrhopna

Posted by: dunlxfp gxjtq | April 16, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Not everyone can say they support any (political) thing their Pastor says so why would ANYONE hold Obama to a different standard WRIGHT or wrong?

http://OsiSpeaks.com

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | March 14, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

As an American, I am distressed by the lengths these candidates have to go to prove that they are pro-Israeli.

Let's be clear -- as Americans, or only national loyalty should be to the United States.

KEEP ISRAEL OUT OF OUR POLITICS.

Posted by: KarlesChrauthammer | March 10, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

This far into it, a blind man would listen and vote for the candidate who most resembled JFK.

Posted by: jd4lady | March 3, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

An article posted Feb. 28 about Obama and Ohio raises some elements that may be of interest: "Obama faces Ohio hearts and minds" (AmericanChronicle.com) at ...

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/53747

Posted by: SteveHammons | February 28, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

______________
Commitment to the BLACK Community

Commitment to the BLACK Family

Adherence to the BLACK Work Ethic

Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the BLACK Community

Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting BLACK Institutions

Pledge allegiance to all BLACK leadership who espouse and embrace the BLACK Value System

Personal commitment to embracement of the BLACK Value System
____________

Replace "black" with "Jewish" and see how upset people get. Replace it with "Latino", or "Vietnamese", or "Native American", and see if anyone craps a brick.

Posted by: Jester1137 | February 28, 2008 6:00 AM | Report abuse

Obama "gets it."

He approaches people, life and world situations with reasoned logic, common sense with an intelligence tempered by patience, thoughtfulness and empathy. He is a fair and just person; brilliant, too. Modern politicians' dumb down the public with "talking points" whereas Obama talks "to" us not "at" us.

While I do not agree with all of his positions, I agree with most. Having researched most of the candidates from both parties Obama is the only one I felt would be trustworthy. With a lifetime dedicated to social justice, human rights and civil rights Obama will keep his word to close Guantanamo, ban torture, stop the extraordinary renditions, etc... Every person deserves to be treated with dignity no matter how heinous their crime.

Bush and his administration are under the impression by telling the world America is great and wonderful the world will believe it. After spending [wasting] hundreds of millions [billions?] of dollars on PR campaigns turned out to be another exercise in futility the world community is still unconvinced. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand without action words are meaningless.

The Bush administration relegated centuries-old core American traditions and values to the trash bin. Reversing policies profoundly effected how the world community views America. During the past 7 years the US became synonymous with hypocrisy and stupidity. Today America is scorned for its hypocrisy and feared for its stupidity! Bush doesn't "get it."

A disconnect between word and action have consequences and repercussions. Bush still doesn't "get it."

But Obama gets it.

Posted by: serena1313 | February 28, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

I dont care what anyone says-Barak Obama is Leonard Nimoy's son.-"Live long and prosper-but if you do of course we will tax the pants off of you"

Posted by: tooclose2detroit | February 27, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Obams was wise to "..reject and denounce" Louis Farrakhan; the Prophet Muhammed's Black slave.

Farrakhan's only reason for endorsing an infidel is to further his mission of creating as much racial division as he can within the belly of the Beast (America the Great Satan) in the hope of gaining legitimacy for his 'Black Muslims' among the Muslim community, which has declared a world wide Fatwa against his Nation of Islam (Black Muslims).


Hopefully Obama's pastor will "...will be retiring this month". And hopefully he and Farrakhan will find a friendly country that will accept them and they can get the hell out of my country.

Posted by: Majacrusn | February 27, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"Zbigniew Brzezinski ... has upset some Jewish leaders with his endorsement of the authors of a recent book about the 'Israel lobby.'"

Oh, and which "recent book" would that be? The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, by any chance?

Why does it have to be referenced with byzantine indirection, as if one were trying to avoid citing the Protocols or some similar forgery?

Unless those "Jewish leaders" exert censorship over your blog, you should speak plainly like a man, Alec. Or is judicious self-censorship now understood to be the prudent career choice at the WaPo?

Posted by: mhonley | February 27, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

The actual quote from "Audacity" that JakeD distorts:

"In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

Posted by: dpbush | February 27, 2008 2:43 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Alec MacGillis, for publishing this transcription--profoundly helpful and quite interesting. (Wish I could say the same for some of the above postings ... sigh...)

Posted by: robson.vicky | February 27, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Jewish voters need to respond to the obvious; Obama although denouncing Farrakhan - is in total support of anti-Jewish sentiments. If you vote for Obama, be ready to accept the obvious - Israel will suffer at Jewish American hands as will Israel.....and we haven't even addressed the radical black caucus that will hold the key to the White House should he be elected. Think about this
What Obama said:
"Now keep in mind that Indonesia is not the Arab world, so its brand of Islam was always very different. Now keep in mind, Indonesia is not the Arab world. So its brand of Islam was always very different." How out of it is he - Islam is Islam - either radical, moderate or passive - but still Islam.

I agree with another contributor, that Obama is the may be a great human being, but really study what is on the table and you will come to the conclusion that many of us have, and you will see that most, if they study what he says, most have this "uneasy" or "funny" feeling about him..follow your gut..Hillary may be have issues but recognize the "devil you know is better than the devil you don't" and truly, who really knows Obama

Posted by: coulstaff | February 26, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

"This is where I actually do think having lived in a Muslim country when I was a child is helpful in terms of giving a worldview and a world perspective."

Wow at Obama's age of 10 when he was in Indonesia I will have good perspective of East Africa! Are you kidding? At that age no one cares about politics ot are not racist but as grow older difference in culture, hatred, etc. gets embedded into you from surroundings.

Coming from country with second largest muslim population in the world and also have lived in east Africa (Kenya is part of East Africa) I can tell for certainty that normally muslim will not merry to non-muslim unless non-muslim converts to muslim. If your father is muslim, than you will be raised as muslim even in Indonesia. Obama's half brother and sister are pious and observant muslim. Therefore, Obama was raised as a muslim until he came back to US and her mom or grand parent exposed him to church and he converted to christianity.

Obama is partially right that most of muslim in Indonesia are observant of mild Islam.

I am not saying that he is still muslim but he should not hide his middle name and facts about his religion in childhood over which he had no control, and he should stop bragging that as he lived in Indonesia up to age 10 that he became expert in foreign relation.

Posted by: pkailesh | February 26, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

While I agree that JakeD does not seriously believe all that he posts, I don't think he's attempting humor. He's divisive and antagonistic. How many people do you know who find that amusing?

Obama's grasp of the issues is really awe-inspiring. Anyone that thinks he's all fluff is not paying attention. You might not agree with all of his positions, but how can you not admire his passion, his intelligence and his desire to improve this country?

Posted by: BarackTheVote | February 26, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I think many of Jake's comments are tongue in cheek. Is that our Brave New World of the future---one with no sense of humor where Obama is concerned?

According to news accounts, Obama gives two kinds of speeches: Ones with teleprompters, and ones that he's given so many times before that they're memorized and for which he doesn't need prompting.

The concerns about Obama and his attitude toward Jews and Muslims have gone on for so long, no one should be surprised that he has no problem answering those questions.

Posted by: Beatrix1 | February 26, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

pwintersmd asked: "These remarks by Obama show him to be extraordinarily thoughtful. If it turns out they were made without notes, I am truly amazed by him."

This 45 min. session took place two days ago in Cleveland and the questions were posed by about 100 LEADERS of Jewis community.

What you see is what you get.

Posted by: berhe | February 26, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I am stunned whenever this man holds discussions like this. Jesus he's brilliant. And his particular brilliance in this situation is not isolated. Just watch his various newspaper editorial board interviews. His depth, his learning, his grasp of the issues and his eloquence are unmatched in today's American political landscape. Believe it or not, he is actually better in these settings than he is in his much vaunted speeches.

Posted by: mcgish | February 26, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Well said novamike.

Posted by: bryan_444 | February 26, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I am an African-American woman and I attend a predominately black church and have been going to black church's all of my life. The black church is the mother of self accountability for black folks.
___________________________________

I am a white male, but I want to thank you for this comment as a reply to the poster who implied that Obama's church was somehow racist for wanting concentrate its efforts in the African American community.

It seems to me that we often put African Americans between a rock and a hard place on issues like this. On the one hand, we are critical because of programs like Head Start and affirmative action, saying that these are just handouts to people who won't help themselves.

But then, when we see genuine efforts on the part of their churches and community leaders to inspire self-reliance within their community, the response is that these appeals for black people to help their own communities are somehow racist because they don't extend the help to white people as well.

This is a double-bind that no one can live with, a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" dilemma that is just surreal.

I think we should be encouraging African American churches and other organizations to do these sorts of outreach programs within their own communities, especially at a time when so many social programs are being de-funded by the government.

As to the poster who said these African American congregations have a double standard, because if a white church said we want to help the "white community", it would immediately be branded racist.

This is probably true, but we have to keep in mind that a racial double standard already exists in this country, and it is not African Americans who created it.

Besides, a better way to think of this is not as a racial issue but a community issue. If a church in a white community said we want to do things to help our own community (rather than the "white" community) everyone would think that was just great. So perhaps, instead of making it about skin color, we should make it about helping our own neighborhoods.

Posted by: novamike | February 26, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,
While I'm surprised to hear you say it, I agree that FDR was a true patriot. That does not change the fact that intering Japanese-Americans was wrong. It was before my time, but I would gladly have stood beside them in the face of that injustice.
I will also say that like Senator Obama, "I will stand with the Muslims" who are unfairly persecuted for the actions of others.

Posted by: bryan_444 | February 26, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, that is why Obama's statement is true American. FDR was wrong about internment; the founding fathers were wrong about accepting slavery. We must learn from our past mistakes. The great US of A must live up to it's ideal of life and liberty for ALL! And we must work together to be vigilant. Sadly many of us are not there as yet, you included.

Posted by: dougla_1 | February 26, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

mharrell:

While drug dealers have First Amendment rights, that doesn't mean I'm going to vote any of them into office, does it? Speaking of which, why hasn't Obama answered WHEN (if) he stopped doing drugs and did he ever sell drugs?

dougla_1:

You don't think that FDR was "a true American patriot"?! He sent Japanese-AMERICANS to internment camps. I, for one, will stand against the Muslims if it comes to that?

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,
What a low-life you are!
You'll be out of service pretty soon because HRC is going down.I hope you get off the couch and find some kind of employment.May I suggest KKK?

Posted by: ednyo2000 | February 26, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The Brzezinski question...is he the father of Mika Brzezinski? She announced on the MSNBC Morning Joe show a few weeks ago that her brother works for McCain and her father works for Obama? Is this the father she speaks about??

Posted by: hazwalnut | February 26, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Clinton is groundbreaking woman but Obama is a phony progressive and Nader is the best and here is why:

Over the past few months, we've heard a lot of rhetoric about change, hope, courage and experience from Barack Obama and John McCain.

But what about the facts on the ground?

Take a moment to test your civics knowledge in this election year.

Of the following Presidential candidates - Ralph Nader, Barak Obama and John McCain - which one supports a single payer, Canadian style, free choice, Medicare for all health care system?

Answer: Ralph Nader

Which one supports solar energy and would take nuclear power off the table?

Answer: Ralph Nader

Which one would cut the huge bloated wasteful military budget?

Answer: Ralph Nader

Which one would reverse U.S. Middle East policy in Israel/Palestine, Iraq and Iran?

Answer: Ralph Nader

Which one would launch an aggressive crackdown on corporate crime and corporate welfare?

Answer: Ralph Nader

Who has consistently supported the Palestinian right to nationhood and peaceful settlement?

Answer: Ralph Nader
(Obama has flip-flopped and has now been bought off by the Israel lobby)

Who has never been in cahoots with the likes of Exelon corp. or Rezko?

Answer: Ralph Nader

Who has spent his entire life working for the common people like you and me and has written books to advance the rights of consumers?

Answer: Ralph Nader
(Obama wrote his books about himself while Nader was looking out for us.)

Who has been direct about proclaiming that Bush is a war criminal?

Answer: Ralph Nader

Which candidate has opposed all wars, every time?

Answer: Ralph Nader
(Obama supports bombing Pakistan and war against Afghanistan)

Some claim that having a racial minority as president would send a positive message to the world. So which candidate would be best suited to address the troubed areas in the world?

Answer: Once again, Ralph Nader, an Arab-American
(Who better to quell the anti-American sentiment in Arab world than an Arab-American)

Can you guess the others?

What's off the table for Ralph?

The empty rhetoric.

The empty gesture.

The empty politics.

What's on the table?

Taking these issues seriously - all the way to action.

Challenging the corporate domination of our democracy.

Organizing young and old alike, 1,000 in every Congressional district in the country, half a million strong, to take back the country from the corporations.

If Obama or McCain and their parties had seriously and effectively addressed these and other necessities vital to the American people, there would be no need for Ralph Nader to run for President.

Ralph Nader would be happily out of business.

But we've waited so very long - and still - not a blip on the political radar screen on any of these issues.

So in this pivotal election year, ask yourself this fundamental question:

Which side are you on?

The corporate criminals, the big banks, Wall Street, the credit card companies, the nuclear power industry, the war profiteers, the agribusiness giants, the health insurance industry, the polluters, the drug companies, the unionbusters, Big Oil, the corporate Democrats and corporate Republicans?

Or with people fighting back?

Vote Nader!

Posted by: bhatttt | February 26, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans ... have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging," he laments. "I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." Sen. Barack Hussein Obama

JakeD, this quote actually makes me apreciate even more the good junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. This is a quote worthy of a true American patriot!

Posted by: dougla_1 | February 26, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Through unstated changes could Obama reinvent the U.S.? Are you ready for change? Honestly speaking, the only change that amounts to a hill of beans is changing ones own heart. If Obama can change your heart then he is another new Messiah. Don't forget bush thinks he's one also. It's a god complex.

Posted by: seedobecome | February 26, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

JakeD - Well if you are basing your arguement on the First Amendment, then what exactly is the problem that you have with the Value System that his church has posted? Obama didn't write them, nor did he post them.

Posted by: mharrell | February 26, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan endorses Obama saying:

"This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better," he said. "This young man is capturing audiences of black and brown and red and yellow. If you look at Barack Obama's audiences and look at the effect of his words, those people are being transformed."

Farrakhan compared Obama to the religion's founder, Fard Muhammad, who also had a white mother and black father.

"A black man with a white mother became a savior to us," he told the crowd of mostly followers. "A black man with a white mother could turn out to be one who can lift America from her fall."
_____________
What about the white folks in the audience?
Oh right, they're "devils".

Lift America from what fall?

Yep, those people are being transformed alright. Into cult members.

Posted by: brigittepj | February 26, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

sbjiggy:

Are you saying there were never any L.A. riots?

bryan_444:

See link to Obama's church web site I provided above.

Midwestreader1:

I don't have the page number in front of me -- try a Google search.

mharrell:

Even drug dealers have First Amendment rights.

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

These remarks by Obama show him to be extraordinarily thoughtful. If it turns out they were made without notes, I am truly amazed by him.

Posted by: pwintersmd | February 26, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

JakeD - The police use the slogan "To Protect and Serve", now would it be acceptable if a drug dealer were to adapt this phrase to mean protecting his product and serving his customers?

Posted by: mharrell | February 26, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

JakeD - The police use the slogan "To Protect and Serve", now would it be acceptable if a drug dealer were to adapt this term to mean protecting his product and serving his customers?

Posted by: mharrell | February 26, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

JakeD is such an ASS! my gawd. Jake I thought you reserved your myopic thought processes to "The Swamp" at The Chi Tribune.

Listen here, you comparing a Black Church preaching Black sustenance; to a White church preaching White sustenance, is like comparing apples to oranges. You keep forgetting the context from whence the Black Church evolved - Slavery.

Someone/Something has always had to uplift African Americans in this country. That someone/something was originally - and still is in many cases - The Black Church. The Original beacon of hope for blacks in this country was the black church. I am sure that you would not argue this factoid.

So your point of the White church preaching white sustenance and how that would look IS MISSING THE POINT ENTIRELY as to why Obama's church promotes this creed. White were never oppressed in this country, so there has never been a NEED for White churches to preach white self-sustenance.

Obama got his "Audacity of Hope" from his church in the '80's, and now he is going to ride the "Audacity of Hope" ALL THE WAY to the White House.

Deal with it.

Posted by: Rapcetera | February 26, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

JakeD wrote:

From "Audacity of Hope":

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

I just recently bought this book. Can you give me the page #, so I can look up the context of this quotation?

Posted by: Midwestreader1 | February 26, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

What pledge of allegiance are you refering to?

Posted by: bryan_444 | February 26, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:

The sad part about your question is that you actually believe that it is insightful.

The fact that you place Jackson and Sharpton in the same audience as "10,000 rioters" only tells us how you view them and the rest of the African-American community.

Further, your question continues to highlight how naive, uninformed, and insensitive so many Americans remain to be in regards to the black experience in America. I think anybody who has the courage to call attention to the African American community to stand up for itself and be accountable for its actions while contributing to that cause, deserves applause, not ridicule.

Posted by: sbjiggy | February 26, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, bryan_444, for the clarification : )

Anyone ELSE actually have a concern about Obama's church's "Pledge [of] allegiance to all BLACK leadership who espouse and embrace the BLACK Value System" as set forth above?

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

JaheD,
Maybe I was unclear in my first post, but the white and black communities are in different situations. As a result, while the words might be the same, the meaning and the intent behind those words would be drasticly different.

Therefore I have no problem with a message of working togeather to overcome common obstacles, and I DO have a problem with a message of working togeather to continue our oppresion of a disadvantaged minority.

Posted by: bryan_444 | February 26, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

this was a great read. i am an american who is muslim and it really makes me sad that Islam is so scary to ppl. I also hate terrorism and extremism and denounce this! I also wear a headscarf, am highly educated, work, and make my own decisions and am very liberal in my views. so when will americans realize that all muslims are not cut from the same cloth and headscarf does not equal extremism?

Posted by: ZEES | February 26, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

whatmeregister:

Are you SURE it was a trascription error?

rupertornelius:

I am not black -- I am simply postulating what the reaction would be if a white church used the exact same language in reverse -- do YOU think it would be O.K. then?

bryan_444:

Why don't you have a problem with Obama's church making those statements then?

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

He is A MUSLIM AGENT

Posted by: ermias.kifle | February 26, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

If the Clintons PASTOR makes those kind of remarks, Jackson Inc and Sharptons would show up with 10,000 rioters.

If the Clintons PASTOR makes those kind of remarks, Jackson Inc and Sharptons would show up with 10,000 rioters.

==================================

Posted by: ermias.kifle | February 26, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

My advice to Obama is to better tune up his health plan message, and re-iterate the challenge to Hillary how her health care plan will be enforced. Be prepared with quoted positions on Hillary's support of NAFTA, and current flip-flop on the issue. Most importantly, give your supporters credit for supporting you and the political process during this long nomination process. Then if Hillary attacks you after that point, she is attacking your supporters (i.e. the people of the US).

Obama in 08!

Posted by: ajtiger92 | February 26, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

JakeD: "Whereas, Bush does not belong to the KKK either."

The KKK endorsed Ronald Reagan in 1980. If you believe Farrakhan's support of Obama means Obama supports Screwy Louie, then by that logic Reagan was a closet Klansman as well.

Posted by: whatmeregister | February 26, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, I WOULD have a problem with a predominately white church making those types statements, and I imagine Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would as well. I think the idea that they would show up with 10,000 rioters is a bit of an exageration.

Posted by: bryan_444 | February 26, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Jake D is black?

Posted by: rupertornelius | February 26, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Why is it so bad that a man representing a Black church that supports the Black community. The urban Black community is in a shambles. Republicans are always complaining about dependence on Government and not doing enough for self. So if the community is struggling and the church in the community is focusing a specific support in that community then that is wrong? That is the exact Black Value System that Bill Cosby refers to. To stop whining about what the "white man" isn't giving you and do for self. I think that is commendable.

Posted by: ne_voice | February 26, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

JakeD: "I didn't have a problem with the content of that quote, as much as it seemed strange to me Obama repeated the exact same sentence twice -- kinda like a glitch in the system -- have you ever seen that movie 'The Matrix'?"

Have you ever heard of a cut-&-paste transcription error?

It seems you have a problem distinguishing fiction from reality. First "The Manchurian Candidate," then Tom Clancy and now "The Matrix." Maybe you need to reacquaint yourself with the Real World from time to time. (And no, I don't mean the MTV series.)

Posted by: whatmeregister | February 26, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

bryan_444:

Can you at least answer the follow-up question?

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

hyperlexis:

You "don't care" about Obama's church's doctrine above?

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,
Considering that the white and black communities in this country are in a very different places (politically, economicly, culturaly,...), replacing the word black with the word white in the previous poster's statement would drasticly change the context of those statements.

Posted by: bryan_444 | February 26, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Don't care. I want National Health Care, I'm also Jewish, and I'm also supporting Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: hyperlexis | February 26, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Follow-up question: assuming you personally would not have any problem with it, how long do you think it would take for Sharpton and Jackson to be out front of that church with 10,000 rioters?

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your input, changingfaces11. I take it you would not have any problem with a predominately white church doing the same thing in reverse?

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I want to comment on some people's concern about Obama's church. I am an African-American woman and I attend a predominately black church and have been going to black church's all of my life. The black church is the mother of self accountability for black folks.
The black church preaches to it's members the responsibility we have to have morals and values that represent Christ.
So when the church has a doctrine about it's members making a commitment to the black community, it is not meant to represent a notion of seclusion and prejudice against another group, instead it is about having enough pride in your own community to do things for yourself. The message is to take responsibility and not rely on the government to do things for you. Take care of your own family, don't expect a handout from the government, get up and get a legitimate job, don't get money through illegitimate means.
Now a lot of these older churches, with old school pastors, use the whole black movement talk of the 60's to express these ideas but that is what is really meant.

Posted by: changingfaces11 | February 26, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow. After the chimp in chief, a guy who can actually put together a coherent argument on his feet without handlers. who actually takes unrehearsed question from an audience he hasn't hand-picked. What a refreshing change.

Posted by: thebobbob | February 26, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

robthewsoncamb:

Whereas, Bush does not belong to the KKK either.

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

From today's "Head of State":
headofstate.blogspot.com
Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Clinton Compares Obama To Bush

In a speech at George Washington University yesterday, Hillary Clinton compared Barack Obama to Bush, saying "We cannot let that happen again"

Obama, of course, is not Bush.

Whereas Bush in intellectually incurious, and views intellect and complexity with fear, masked by a reflexive and reductionistic contempt, Obama is intellectually curious, seeks out and embraces ideas, and is interested in their utility, rather than their conforming to a narrow and predetermined plan, and will bring this intellectual strength and ability to his policies.

Whereas Bush is inflexible to the point of parody--and tragedy--making a virtue of failing to reexamine assumptions even when it is clear they are not working-- because cognitive rigidity is, for him, equated with strength, as opposed to the "weakness" of making distinctions--Obama has both firm convictions and the ability to advance and adapt those beliefs to changing circumstances. He has the ability to adapt on the basis of effectiveness and utility--rather than to react impulsively, to stand stubbornly still without any substantive basis, or to fail to adapt, based on fear.

Whereas Bush begins from a point of defensiveness, viewing much of the world in terms of those who need to be taken down a peg from their know-it-all-stance--the hallmark of a life of earlier resentments, imposed on the world of foreign policy--Obama operates from a position of engagement with people and with ideas. He wants to know; is capable of objective evaluation, and seeks to bring new voices into his dialogue, rather than deflecting them.

Whereas Bush has used advisers as a circle of wagons and a complexity filter, keeping criticism, real-world intricacies, and cognitive dissonance to a minimum, Obama appears to welcome advice, using advisers as a resources rather than as a shield.

And, whereas Bush, connects with the resentments of the angry everyday man, who feels unfairly downtrodden by those that, in their intellectual and emotional confidence and passion, remind them of their own flaws and fears, and who resents those who might receive help, when they feel they have received none, is unlike Obama--who connects with the willingness to aspire rather than to the fear of it; to the hope of devoting the best of oneself to a community and nation rather than self-protectively dividing it; and to the desire to replace the primacy of tactics and cronyism in favor of shared principle and truth."

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/02/clinton-compares-obama-to-bush.html

Posted by: robthewsoncamb | February 26, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

For once, I agree with Lonewacko. The press also needs to ask Obama about his church's doctrine:

Commitment to the BLACK Community

Commitment to the BLACK Family

Adherence to the BLACK Work Ethic

Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the BLACK Community

Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting BLACK Institutions

Pledge allegiance to all BLACK leadership who espouse and embrace the BLACK Value System

Personal commitment to embracement of the BLACK Value System

(Emphasis added)

If you don't believe me, look it up on Obama's own church web site: Trinity United Church of Christ http://www.tucc.org/black_value_system.html

Now, take that doctrine and substitute WHITE for BLACK! If a "white" church put out that kind of doctrine, how long do you think it would take for Sharpton and Jackson to be out front with 10,000 rioters?

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Just to clarify, the leader of the nation Islam did not endorsed Obama.

Posted by: baboU | February 26, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

BlahBlahBlah314:

I didn't have a problem with the content of that quote, as much as it seemed strange to me Obama repeated the exact same sentence twice -- kinda like a glitch in the system -- have you ever seen that movie "The Matrix"?

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

How about if I just quote from Obama's OWN books and don't even ask questions:

"Dreams of My Father":

I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race.

From "Audacity of Hope":

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

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Jake D:
Get out your map or globe (maybe there's a McDonald's placemat that can help you here) and look for Indonesia. Notice its proximity to mainland Asia. Now look at the CIA factbook: look at the racial makeup. Now please tell me that you can separate the term Arab from Muslim. Please.

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah314 | February 26, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Alec MacGillis:

Why weren't you the one asking the questions? Isn't that your job? Why are you relying on non-"reporters" to do your job?

I don't follow the topics Obama discussed in detail, but I'd imagine he said many things above that require a more in-depth explanation.

Why didn't you ask him a follow-up?

But, at least you did a very good transcription job, although the WaPo could have saved money simply by hiring a local transcription service.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | February 26, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Ouch, people -- no need for ad hominem attacks -- I am not even making any "argument" for or against any candidate. I am simply asking honest questions.

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"Did anyone else ever read Tom Clancy's "Executive Orders" where one of the President's bodyguards is an Iranian-American sleeper agent named Jeff Rahman who tries to assassinate the President?"

I'm surprised JakeD apparently doesn't know about Huma Abedin. If he did, why would he make this "argument"?

Posted by: flarrfan | February 26, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't agree with Obama on every point here, but this dissertation is clearly serious, honest, brave, well-informed, and thoroughly deserving of respect. And not a teleprompter in sight.

"There is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel."

This is not only a courageous comment in these circumstances, it's also hitting the nail on the head. Likud is not now the governing party in Israel, it's in opposition as often as in government, it never gets anywhere near 50% of the vote.

Obama is absolutely right that the public debate on these matters in Israel is often much more nuanced and intelligent than in the US. Yet Likudniks utterly dominate the discourse in America. Listening to Israel means listening to all Israelis, not just the far right.

Posted by: Bud0 | February 26, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD: "Obama did NOT deny he was a sleeper agent though."

He also didn't deny that he was ten feet tall. Does that make him a giant? America deserves Bush, if JakeD is representative of the US population: average IQ 95.

Posted by: edwcorey | February 26, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm certain that Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life -- I still have this funny feeling about him ; )

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

You don't think it's just a bit strange that Obama said:

"Now keep in mind that Indonesia is not the Arab world, so its brand of Islam was always very different. Now keep in mind, Indonesia is not the Arab world. So its brand of Islam was always very different."

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama reminds me not so much of Kennedy, but of another politician from Germany, who did have a vision for change and was the first to open up a diplomatic venue to communist states in the interest of the people both Western and Eastern Germany. I wrote about that here:

http://tpzoo.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/barack-obama-willy-brandt-and-foreign-policy/

Posted by: old_europe | February 26, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm retired, drapernm, with way too much time not spent golfing ; )

That being said, my hypothesis is just as valid as the 9/11 conspiracy theorists who say George Bush planted demolition charges at the WTC.

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else ever read Tom Clancy's "Executive Orders" where one of the President's bodyguards is an Iranian-American sleeper agent named Jeff Rahman who tries to assassinate the President?

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Right, Jake, and he conspicuously did NOT deny that he's a pod person from the planet XXyhrg. And if you rearrange all the letters in his words, you can spell out: Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!

Get a life, Jake.

Posted by: drapernm | February 26, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

He said, she said. Finger pointing. Confusing arguments. Just when I think I have a grip on particular issues then I hear the opposing view and I feel like there are voices whispering in my ear.....
http://thefiresidepost.com/2008/02/26/schizophrenic-politics-a-penrose-triangle/

Posted by: glclark4750 | February 26, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

never mind the tough rhetoric; what can Hillary say that will turn things around for her tonight? Absolutely nothing. Way tool ate for anything substantial.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl | February 26, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I see that this morning for the first time the aggregate polling in Texas compiles by the WaPo has moved Obama into the lead.

My guess is he wins the Lone Star State by 10 points next Tuesday.

Harold Ickes will have to add Texas to the list of states that don't count because Obama has an inherent demographic advantage.

Posted by: steveboyington | February 26, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Now tell me how many former or current American politicians are as informed as this guy is when it comes to foreign policy toward both Jewish and Muslim population in the world. Although, I don't agree this litmus test in being pro-Israel US president but I understand their concerns as a Muslim living in the US.

Go Obama!

Posted by: mjimale | February 26, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Quick! Take down this article. More people like myself will read it and see that Obama actually has depth and can talk about issues, and doesn't pander to every interest group.

Does this mean I am no longer an Obamanut, but an intelligent voter who supports Obama?

The Clinton rhetoric on Obama as an empty suit seems sillier by the day.

Remember the Alamo: 3/4/08

Posted by: steveboyington | February 26, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Hillary has warned him- let's see if that actually helps, or hurts her:

Barack vs Hillary Analysis
The Home Stretch- Hillary's Personal Alamo:

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=53

Posted by: davidmwe | February 26, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Obama did NOT deny he was a sleeper agent though.

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company