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The Two Obamas

By Peter Slevin
INDIANAPOLIS -- Presidential campaigns play out in a series of overlapping dramas, a chain of one-act plays sometimes scripted and sometimes pure improv. Scene by scene, heroes and villains emerge and recede as the principals vie for the audience's affection.

The candidates play many roles, but this campaign has presented few juxtapositions as stark as Sen. Barack Obama's performance this week ahead of Tuesday's primaries in North Carolina and Indiana. Wearing a suit coat and speaking in somber tones, Obama has twice called reporters together to push back against what he called "a bunch of rants that aren't grounded in truth" by his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

This Obama, struggling to keep his insurgent campaign from sinking under his long association with Wright, is the one getting the national headlines and the intensive scrutiny of the pundits and the blogophiles. The consensus driving the press conferences and the one-on-one interviews is that Obama has much explaining to do if he hopes to preserve his candidacy.

Obama's staff is worried about an emerging story line that it feels largely powerless to control. Although the Illinois senator retains a sizeable lead among the delegates that will choose the Democratic nominee in August, the rise of racial politics and the resurgence of questions about Obama's judgment and mettle have them concerned.

Yet Obama is playing another role amid all the interviews and the private strategy sessions and the calls to superdelegates. Day after day, he stands, with his sleeves rolled up, on raised platforms in high school and college gymnasiums where he delivers a lively and upbeat campaign pitch that invariably brings supporters to their feet, clapping and cheering.

In these performances, Obama barely mentions Wright. He mixes the themes of his campaign with policy -- most recently emphasizing his opposition to a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax -- and his personal story. Toward the end of remarks that typically last anywhere from 25 to 50 minutes, Obama has started grouping Wright with an array of issues that critics consider character questions.

The riff echoes lines that Obama used during his 2004 Senate campaign and the early stages of his White House run, when he and his wife Michelle introduced him as the skinny black guy with the funny name. If only people could know him, they said, they would see that he shares their values. Now, long after he hoped it would be necessary, he makes similar references that carry an edge, an assurance and a plea.

"You can see my opponents realize they don't have the better argument, so what they're now saying is, 'I don't know about Obama. We've got to know more about him,'" Obama told a late-night crowd of more than 17,000 people at the University of North Carolina, one of the largest of his 15-month campaign. "'He doesn't wear a flag pin. His former pastor says something. We don't know what his values are. We don't know if he's patriotric. He's got a funny name. Sounds Muslim.'"

Obama then pivoted to talk about his upbringing as a child born to a single mother two years before his father walked out. He tells of his Kansas grandparents enduring the Depression then going to work, his grandfather in the Army in Europe during World War II and his grandmother on an assembly line at a bomber factory.

He described his rise through top universities to the U.S. Senate and then how Michelle Obama moved from a working-class Chicago upbringing to attend Princeton and Harvard and a place at the threshold of the Oval Office as first lady, a line that drew loud cheers that continued to build through his peroration.

"Now here's my point. You want to know what my values are? You want to know about my patriotism?" Obama said in Chapel Hill, a trace of incredulity and defiance in his voice. "My patriotism is rooted in the fact that my story, Michelle's story, it is not possible anywhere else on earth. That the American dream, despite this country's imperfections, has always been there.

"The idea that each of us can grab for that dream, grab for what others might not believe is possible. That there are ladders of opportunity. That all of us can climb. That we're all created equal. That we're all endowed with certain inalienable rights, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness."

By this time, the crowd was on its feet as Obama's voice rose to a spirited shout.
"That we are willing to defend those liberties. That we're willing to shed blood for those liberties, we're willing to speak out for those liberties. That we are willing to fight to make sure that they are available for the next generation, and the generation after that and the generation after that, and we're always making America better.

"And we're not willing to settle for what the cynics tell us we have to accept. That we can make this country more just and more equal and more prosperous and more unified. That's why I love this country. That's why you love this country! That's what this election's about! That's what we're fighting for!"

Obama called out above cheers that grew ever louder as he drove toward his finish.

"That's why I need you to vote tomorrow and Thursday and Friday and Saturday and Tuesday," Obama explained. "And if you will stand with me, we will win this election. And you and I will transform the country and transform this world. Thank you, everybody. God bless you!"

The speechmaking done, Obama's voice gave way to music as he waded into the buzzing crowd, another performance over and many more to come.

Posted at 2:26 PM ET on Apr 30, 2008
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Comments

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Stop all that whining. Many of you sound really pathetic. You are hiding behind your internet safe houses and saying really hateful things. Make your own choices, but stop attacking others for theirs. Many of you sound like the type that would blow up a place of learning because YOU ARE NOT HAPPY. You have no problem hurting people who have done nothing but follow their dreams. Why don't you get a dream of your own. Obama, Hillary, McCain whichever. But be prepared to deal with the results. Get your lazy behind to the polls and put up or shut up. Lay off those racially motivated, nasty words. I am sure you are educated enough to speak without being nasty. Then again are you????

Posted by: Col | May 29, 2008 5:56 PM

Now, after all this, do you really think Democrats will win? The candidates are weary, the voter are fade-up.

Get ready for four more years of military rule in America.

Posted by: ukidding | May 1, 2008 3:42 AM

From the media, the shows, the interviews and the many posts one can easily see skin color is the only determinant for voting. Blacks vote for Obama because their are black, whites vote for Obama out of guilt. Period. For these guys, no one supports Obama out of conviction.

The flip side of that reasoning is whites that support Hilary are actually opposing a black man, and blacks supporting her do so out of slave mentality and not because they truly support her and they are convinced of her.

That is the most ridiculous thing to say about voters. The media that that boxes voter should be stopped from biasing the vote. Vote profiling should be banned until the end of election so that voters should not be boxed into voting contrary to their free convictions. Vote profilling, i.e. analysis by age, education, race, etc. can be done after election. In Canada, we don't have voter profilling and it helps us to vote as an individual. I think that is the idea behind individual freedom and democracy.

The democratic primary got messy because of vote profiling, which turn it somehow a feud between groups ... whites against blacks, the youth and the educated rather than individual votes based on issues and merit. When the vote about group thinking rather than individual conviction, all sorts of non-issues will be burning issues while real issues are pushed back.

Posted by: a canadian | May 1, 2008 3:10 AM

Can we all just get along? In spite of our differences, let us learn to love each other, we're all creators of God. Human Beings!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 12:22 AM

JakeD likes to change the rules after the game is 3/4 over. Remind me never to play poker with him. Obama's still holding the Royal Flush.

Posted by: Joyce | April 30, 2008 7:22 PM

Obama snores and farts, note.

Posted by: Jack Leg | April 30, 2008 7:15 PM


The Truth said:

"People are ready to fight each other. How in the hell does that unite us? "

That's the nature of these people, note.


Posted by: Billw | April 30, 2008 7:13 PM


Obama has lost integrity and votes, note.

Better put, his lack of integrity has been exposed.

Posted by: Billw | April 30, 2008 7:10 PM

Joyce:

Barack HUSSEIN Obama is not in the lead in popular vote (once Florida and Michigan are counted ; )

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_vote_count.html

Posted by: JakeD | April 30, 2008 7:06 PM


Obama has lost integrity and votes, note.

Better put, his loss of integrity has been exposed.

Posted by: Billw | April 30, 2008 7:04 PM

jacksmith...
You're not making any sense. Why would the winner quit? Obama is the candidate ahead in both popular votes and delegates. Do you honestly think the Republicans don't have any vetting left to do on the Clintons? They have a documentary ready in the sleaze vault....and it's a heckuva lot worse than what a pastor said.

Posted by: Joyce | April 30, 2008 6:59 PM

Josh in Seattle...
You got it! It's too bad the other candidates don't get it. The people are speaking and Obama is ahead and gaining on the Clinton machine in super delegates.

Meanwhile, Hillary is spinning another fantasy yarn about how she has always opposed outsourcing. Turns out the Magnequench deal with China, was given the go-ahead during Bill's presidency, and led to loss of more jobs in Indiana. The Clintons lie with such ease.

But, don't take my word for it....
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/election2008/story/35337.html

Posted by: Joyce | April 30, 2008 6:47 PM

I just read the highlights of the speech but I havent seen this speech on CNN, Fox News or anywhere else. Why arent they covering Obama appropriately?

Posted by: Wayne | April 30, 2008 3:31 PM
-------------------------------------
Wayne, go to c-span.org for complete speech.

Posted by: joy2 | April 30, 2008 6:36 PM

Hillary is Karl Rove in a Pantsuit. Dont be fooled by GOP'ers and people with high school educations or less. HRC is a flawed candidate. The reason that we are not talking about WhiteWater or Columbia free trade or the Rose law firm or Peter Paul - is because Obama is above muck raking.
In a way it does show that he is inexperienced, but it is also a testament to his character that he could be winning without any of that BS. We are tired of "Experienced Politicians" lying and pandering to get elected.

Obama 2008!!!

Posted by: Josh in Seattle | April 30, 2008 5:32 PM

How many PR companies did it take to decide to ditch Wright???? It was so political. Was wright in on it???? He said nothing new, why did it take so long?? He'll have something else up his sleeve....just wait!!

Posted by: tina | April 30, 2008 5:26 PM

DEBATE! DEBATE!! DEBATE!!!

It's time for everyone to face the truth. Barack Obama has no real chance of winning the national election in November at this time. His crushing defeat in Pennsylvania makes that fact crystal clear. His best, and only real chance of winning in November is on a ticket with Hillary Clinton as her VP.

Hillary Clinton seemed almost somber at her Pennsylvania victory speech. As if part of her was hoping Obama could have proved he had some chance of winning against the republican attack machine, and their unlimited money, and resources.

But it is absolutely essential that the democrats take back the Whitehouse in November. America, and the American people are in a very desperate condition now. And the whole World has been doing all that they can to help keep us propped up.

Hillary Clinton say's that the heat, and decisions in the Whitehouse are much tougher than the ones on the campaign trail. But I think Mr. Obama faces a test of whether he has what it takes to be a commander and chief by facing the difficult facts, and the truth before him. And by doing what is best for the American people by dropping out of the race, and offering his whole hearted assistance to Hillary Clinton to help her take back the Whitehouse for the American people, and the World.

Mr. Obama is a great speaker. And I am confident he can explain to the American people the need, and wisdom of such a personal sacrifice for them. It should be clear to everyone by now that Hillary Clinton is fighting her heart out for the American people. She has known for a long time that Mr. Obama can not win this November. You have to remember that the Clinton's have won the Whitehouse twice before. They know what it takes.

If Mr. Obama fails his test of commander and chief we can only hope that Hillary Clinton can continue her heroic fight for the American people. And that she prevails. She will need all the continual support and help we can give her. She may fight like a superhuman. But she is only human.

Sen. Hillary Clinton: "You know, more people have now voted for me than have voted for my opponent. In fact, I now have more votes than anybody has ever had in a primary contest for a nomination. And it's also clear that we've got nine more important contests to go."

Sincerely

Jacksmith... Working Class :-)

Posted by: jacksmith | April 30, 2008 5:25 PM

OPERATION CHAOS!!!!!!!!
OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: FRED | April 30, 2008 5:08 PM

I feel so sorry for Obama. I don't think we the Americans have a choice anymore to pick our candidate, our Media picks them. A sad day for America. I hope you folks that work in the media can sleep well at nights. Because i'm sure you the MEDIA will be sending our son/daughters to more wars to come. Thank you Media.

Posted by: ann |
___________
Hey ann, the reason we didn't know about Wright and Obama was allowed to get so far ahead was because of the media. They covered up what we had been blogging about for months. There are still stories about him that haven't been covered. Khalidi, Abunimah, Robert Blackwell and Killerspin. The MSM has been protecting him. Wright just couldn't stay out of the spotlight.

I don't feel sorry for Obama. He should have left that church before he decided to run for president. That he didn't just shows his arrogance and lack of judgement. We are dealing with a president like that now. No thank you, ann!

Posted by: Obama Who? | April 30, 2008 4:56 PM

Does anyone really think that this is over? The other shoe will drop eventually. This is not a good omen. There have been so many red flags and they keep on coming!!

Posted by: charlieb | April 30, 2008 4:55 PM

If you want to find out the real truth about Obama's relationship with Ayers, call Bernardine Dohrn in Chicago at 312-618-3630

Posted by: freddy | April 30, 2008 4:53 PM

Due to their past sins, the caucassian establishment is incurably neurotic about anything exotic. I wish Obama would simply opt out of this race and let either McCain or Hillary lead this country for another four to eight years of unabated whining. Who the gods want to destroy, they first make mad. It started when they re-elected GWB despite the writing on the wall. God save America!

Posted by: Gesundheit | April 30, 2008 4:51 PM

I'm amazed at how the Koolaid Kids keep spouting the lie that Obama will unite us. What planet have you been living on the past few months? Obama has pit young against old, black against white, men against women, rich against poor, and college grads against non-college grads. People are ready to fight each other.

How in the hell does that unite us? The sooner he drops out and let's us get back to Democrats vs. Republicans, the better.

Posted by: The Truth | April 30, 2008 4:49 PM

MY FELLOW "BITTER", STUPID, WORKING CLASS PEOPLE :-)

If you think like Barack Obama, that WORKING CLASS PEOPLE are just a bunch of "BITTER"!, STUPID, PEASANTS, Cash COWS!, and CANNON FODDER. :-(

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think Barack Obama with little or no experience would be better than Hillary Clinton with 35 years experience.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience can fix an economy on the verge of collapse better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) led the greatest economic expansion, and prosperity in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience fighting for universal health care can get it for you better than Hillary Clinton. Who anticipated this current health care crisis back in 1993, and fought a pitched battle against overwhelming odds to get universal health care for all the American people.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience can manage, and get us out of two wars better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) went to war only when he was convinced that he absolutely had to. Then completed the mission in record time against a nuclear power. AND DID NOT LOSE THE LIFE OF A SINGLE AMERICAN SOLDIER. NOT ONE!

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience saving the environment is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) left office with the greatest amount of environmental cleanup, and protections in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with little or no education experience is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) made higher education affordable for every American. And created higher job demand and starting salary's than they had ever been before or since.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience will be better than Hillary Clinton who spent 8 years at the right hand of President Bill Clinton. Who is already on record as one of the greatest Presidents in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that you can change the way Washington works with pretty speeches from Obama, rather than with the experience, and political expertise of two master politicians ON YOUR SIDE like Hillary and Bill Clinton..

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think all those Republicans voting for Obama in the Democratic primaries, and caucuses are doing so because they think he is a stronger Democratic candidate than Hillary Clinton. :-)

Best regards

jacksmith... Working Class :-)

p.s. You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you don't know that the huge amounts of money funding the Obama campaign to try and defeat Hillary Clinton is coming in from the insurance, and medical industry, that has been ripping you off, and killing you and your children. And denying you, and your loved ones the life saving medical care you needed. All just so they can make more huge immoral profits for them-selves off of your suffering...

You see, back in 1993 Hillary Clinton had the audacity, and nerve to try and get quality, affordable universal health care for everyone to prevent the suffering and needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of you each year. :-)

Approx. 100,000 of you die each year from medical accidents from a rush to profit by the insurance, and medical industry. Another 120,000 of you die each year from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don't die from. And I could go on, and on...

OBAMA AIDE: "WORKING-CLASS VOTERS NOT KEY FOR DEMOCRATS" :o

DEBATE! DEBATE!! DEBATE!!!...

Posted by: jacksmith | April 30, 2008 4:41 PM

.

NEOCONS 4 HILLARY

.

.

YESTERDAY'S SCRIPT:
.

Incite racial hatred against Muslims!

.


TODAY'S SCRIPT:
.

Incite racial hatred against Black Americans!

.
.

TOMORROW'S SCRIPT.

(to be announced on Fox News)


.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 30, 2008 4:41 PM

Who else is going to give to those organizations, you? (kidding ;)

But really, Barack's contributions to charity had nothing to do with my point. We all have our pet projects as far as that goes, mine is Habitat for Humanity, specifically Hurricane Katrina relief. But the Red Cross is cool, the UNCF is cool. Giving is the important thing.

My broader point was while you laughed about Cindy picking out White House drapes and ordering the help to make her "Muy Bueno Margaritas" to wash down her ill-gotten Oxycontin, you may have overlooked the possibility that Barack may have stemmed the tide of Wright's rhetoric with another flip of the script.

Now, that's not going to get Barack your vote, but then we all know he never had yours, which makes it somewhat irrelevant for what he was attempting to accomplish in his distancing himself from the Rev. He went after those sitting on the fence, and this may have knocked some over to his side.

Posted by: Gut Check | April 30, 2008 4:37 PM

I feel so sorry for Obama. I don't think we the Americans have a choice anymore to pick our candidate, our Media picks them. A sad day for America. I hope you folks that work in the media can sleep well at nights. Because i'm sure you the MEDIA will be sending our son/daughters to more wars to come. Thank you Media.

Posted by: ann | April 30, 2008 4:37 PM

I have been going from site to site to read peoples comments about the "post Wright" Obama situation and it is clear that the groupthink of the hour has left out any clear analysis of what actual implications the drama have. True, there has been some tempered critiques of how his judgment and calculations handling this relationship may inform the electorate either positively or negatively, but for the most part the sentiments are emotional repudiations. They are rife with assumptions and specious reasoning where we, as the audience, use the details to find a path towards our foregone conclusions.

I am an independent (i.e.. not a democrat or republican) and I too allocate my vote on a large part with emotion, what my gut tells me will work. My emotion, my research, and my analysis has led me to believe Barack Obama would be the best choice for president. It is because I inherently trust Obama that I give him the benefit of the doubt that the undecided voters hold back, and I can understand their trepidation. I am not an idealist, a white person voting for racial forgiveness, or a black person voting racial pride. I am an American who believes that it takes immense courage to change the way Washington works and that it is irrefutable that Barack Obama has that courage and has already begun to change the way that Washington works. This campaign has been the closest thing any of the 3 have had to an executive experience and organizationally, in tone, and financially he has been true the promise that he will use the presidency as a vehicle to change Washington.

Money, pandering, and fear based propaganda have corrupted our country because of the "post 9/11" thinking of the last 8 years. Whether you believe it is a performance or not, whether you trust Obama or not, he has set his agenda and all the momentum of his campaign on shifting the money engine of campaigning to small contributions of the many and away from the elite few. That alone has already been the realization of change, and I see no reason to doubt there is more to come. His campaign, regardless of whether he ultimately prevails, has tapped into the American desire to unite and solve our problems with compromise.

All individuals who want to be President are elite and swell with a sense of un-natural ambition or they wouldn't be able to get the job nor perform the job. I accept that Obama will fight for what this country needs. I think the tit for tat distractions are drowning out the real issues. Things like the proposed gas holiday which would solve nothing should be the focus now. The country needs to debate the differences between Barack's health care plan and Hillary, we need to start articulating why a new strategy for the middle east is required, and an honest analysis of our national infrastructure is imperative. On all these fronts Barack Obama has again attempted to change Washington even though we are still only in a campaign and he has done this by trying to speak to Americans like adults. I am saddened as I read all the web sites that are discussing the Wright controversy, not because they are anti-Obama overwhelmingly, but because they are overwhelmingly demonstrative that American's are not ready to talk to each other like adults.

Posted by: NoOneWillReadThis | April 30, 2008 4:33 PM

Gut Check-Bad News!

I judge People by their Actions.

NOT their Proclamations, and especially Not any PROMISES! :-(

Barack's Actions-Last Year, $46K to Charities for BLACK Based groups. $26K of it to a "Black"Church of which a Racist Cleric is now building a $Ten Million Mansion!

Then, to the United Negro College Fund, CARE(Africa), and his Wife's Black Dance Group!

I guess he has his Priorities Huh?

Me, I would have given at least SOMETHING to the Red Cross-Heck even the Red Crescent for that matter, and the Salvation Army.

But WAIT! They don't cater to JUST BLACK PEOPLE! THEY don't get "Barry's" Help!

Haven't you caught on YET, why I do not get called out?! ;~)

I BITE! :-)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 30, 2008 4:18 PM

This is Obama's test, the blow-up for which Hillary, who once had a lock on the nomination, has been trolling. I think he answered it well, and trust the media will return to his campaign speech and connection with the voters.

For the sake of my three draft age sons, I hope and pray that Obama is elected President.

McCain scares the living daylights out of me, and Hillary isn't much better. Obliterate Iran? What neocon nut is advising her?

Posted by: Helen | April 30, 2008 4:12 PM

Anybody else read the news that Rev. Wright's Press Club event was set up by Clinton, through one of her supporters?

This is the part that I think has been missed. That this was a set up and Wright either was naive or deliberately tried to destroy Obama's campaign.

This is just another example of Rovian politics via Clinton.

Also, this speech is another example of the same Obama we have all seen and many admire. This is the same message that he has been putting forth. Is your attempt here to paint him as two-faced or as an actor? What are you trying to say in this piece?

Is this a hit job piece?

*******************************************
You need to go read Drudge Report again. The person in question who's last name is Reynolds, suggested TWO YEARS AGO to have Wright as a speaker....way before the controversy.
Please get your facts straight.

Posted by: concerned | April 30, 2008 4:09 PM

To those of you who adamantly oppose Senator Obama: Exactly what are you going to do IF he's elected? You people seem so violent. Are you going to hang yourselves....move to another country...rant about Obama being a racist for the next four years? Just what are you going to do?

Posted by: Nikki | April 30, 2008 4:04 PM

this comment board looks more like a racist, rhetorical YouTube board. i am a 100% obama supporter, but where is this article going? washington post, throw me a bone. doesn't the ghost of katherine graham loom over your conscience when you write? wait, does that rupert murdoch dude own you guys now?

does it not AMAZE all of the country that this man has not accepted a single red penny from corporations and lobbyists? i think this must scare the hell out of people. WE put him in the place he is. it's a frickin DEMOCRACY! it EXISTS! i've been waiting for it MY WHOLE LIFE!

obama NEEDS to talking about POLICY, domestic and abroad. people don't like reading too much so they want to hear little sound bytes about huge complicated issues like the war and healthcare... give 'em what they want already, obama!

lyndon johnson is the last democratic president to capture the "white" vote. Carter and Clinton discovered that you don't need all the white vote, you just need enough of it and the black vote. suck on that, america.

no one is accountable for their opinions on a comment board, so that's why ignorance reigns. god bless america.

Posted by: jackie | April 30, 2008 3:57 PM

OK Slevin. Freshman comp 101. You didn't make your case for two Obamas. All you did was show that Obama is not one demensional. We've got "one demensional" and his name is George W.

The other extreme is chameleon-- aka Hillary whatever it take to win Clinton

Posted by: Harpla | April 30, 2008 3:56 PM

Jake D, RAT-The, and esp. "nameless",

Since these boards are used for our own personal conjecture, let me posit a question to y'all:

For all the credit you give to Obama for being a performer, a smooth talker, empty suit, actor, did it ever occur to you that you along with the rest of main stream media just "got played"?

Dilemna: Going into NC and IN, Obama has no control over his message, because Wright is continually used like a "knife" to undercut any momentum gained.

Solution: Blunt all that by letting Wright going on a 4 day media binge, acting like a BUFFOON, a cartoon character wingnut, an egotistical maniac, with the topper being that his final appearance was arranged by a Clinton supporter. Obama cuts him off, he does the "hard thing, a sad and courageous act."

Wright plays minstrel, gives you the show you've been begging to see. Obama distances even further and gets front page press for it. He just took the "knife" out of their hands.

Nameless, you call Wright a BUFFOON, but I doubt Lyndon Baines Johnson thought that when Jeremiah was tending to him after heart surgery. I doubt that the professors that certified him as a Doctor thought that as well. He may have outlandish beliefs, but he's no fool. He knew what he was doing when he went on this tour, with the dancing, and the imitations. It was a comedy routine, and people ate it up.

If as many on these boards suggest, that Obama is indeed a conniving politician like all the rest, would you really put it past him to orchestrate this as an alternative to the "slow bleed" of his enemies attacks?

Posted by: Gut Check | April 30, 2008 3:55 PM

I don't like Obama, but he is better than the rest of the old farts!

McCain is mentally retarded and Clinton is just a sick old woman that lives in denial.

If the sheep (people) want a leader they will choose Obama. He's oblviously a natural leader as he is the only one of the three that wasn't world famous before the cam-pain.

I call the "people" sheep because they are!!!

Don't worry about voting though. Diebold and G. F-head Bush will take care of the voting for you!

Posted by: geo | April 30, 2008 3:53 PM

Also, I agree with many postings here. This is a ridiculous story and focus in the campaign when we have HUGE issues going on.

I would hate to the see the Post become like ABC or Fox.

Get a grip and report on something real that the candidates are talking about.

Not this crud

Posted by: Mike in Sac | April 30, 2008 3:52 PM

Iruku and Hank--your impressionistic caricatures are lame. Go back to your Republican or Clinton (there's a difference?) lair.

Posted by: edwcorey | April 30, 2008 3:52 PM

LOL! :-D

I am beginning to see why Obama had to use Lurch's Choo-Choo.

His Bus was in the Shop getting the Axles fixed from all the things it was Running Over!

Hey! It's the Pastor(Cleric)!

Whump, WHUMP!

He-Hee, Back Up! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 30, 2008 3:51 PM

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go.

-Wendell Berry

Posted by: Anonymous | April 30, 2008 3:50 PM

"we need a leader not a performer"?

You mean a leader like Bush? Yeah, that's a smart decision.

And as for Matt who says he's not much of a man, not much a leader, what the hell does that even mean??? Do you know the man?

I guess you're much more of a man than he he is right? I mean, anybody can come from a single parent household to be president of a law school to a US senator right? Yeah, not much of a man or leader there...

Posted by: spitandspiteDOTcom | April 30, 2008 3:49 PM

If Clinton or Mccain win more and more Americans will become cynical and the US will become more divided and weaker fewer countries will work with the US making it a giant rogue state. People will turn on each other blacks against whites against Hispanics and others. The American Spirit will descend into oblivion and the world will lose a leader unable to inspire with their absurd media culture where people chose lies over truth. Obama if composed may appeal to the better part of the peoples hearts and minds in America that will force them to look beyond their past wounds/pains and just move on with the task of Trusting God and that is where the blessing is.

Posted by: Michail Papatzimas | April 30, 2008 3:48 PM

Anybody else read the news that Rev. Wright's Press Club event was set up by Clinton, through one of her supporters?

This is the part that I think has been missed. That this was a set up and Wright either was naive or deliberately tried to destroy Obama's campaign.

This is just another example of Rovian politics via Clinton.

Also, this speech is another example of the same Obama we have all seen and many admire. This is the same message that he has been putting forth. Is your attempt here to paint him as two-faced or as an actor? What are you trying to say in this piece?

Is this a hit job piece?

Posted by: Mike in Sac | April 30, 2008 3:48 PM

Go Nader!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 30, 2008 3:47 PM

This talk about "he sat in church for 20 years' is the biggest load of BS i have ever heard.
Do the math people.

20 years of church service , even if he went every other week that is a total of 400 hours whichis less than 10 days of sermons over 20 years - and out of that, maybe 10% content was even vaguely controversial. So you are saying about 24 hours worth of semi-controversial material over 20 years, in a church that is more than about the pastor, should have sent obama bolting for the door? You are f*Y$(& kidding me!

What about the pedophile catholic priests?

What about Hagee?

What about a woman who was blowing our other candidates husband in the white house?

What about Mccain calling Cindy a "F4$(&($ cu&$"? http://rawstory.com/news/2008/McCain_temper_boiled_over_in_92_0407.html

what about McCain cheating on his first wife?

What about Hillary's connection with terrorists? http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/2008/04/18/hillarys-terrorist-ties/


And you pass judgement on Obama for what a pastor in his church says?


Get real fast and wake up guys. Obama is the best candidate to come along in a generation and if we dont wake up to that fact now, then we can face 4 or 8 more years of the same old until America loses its place as the greatest country on earth.

Posted by: Sean | April 30, 2008 3:46 PM

Obama is dangerous. God, please get rid of him. Thanks.

Posted by: President | April 30, 2008 3:44 PM

As of this morning:
Oil prices, $115/barrel, two soldiers died in Iraq Tuesday, Home foreclosures are at an all time high; Oil companies posted record profits (again); Regular gas in this city $3.79/gal. Health care is in crisis, jobs are being shipped out daily.
The Republican/McCain/Clinton response? Smear ads featuring Barack Obama and his former pastor.
A gas tax "holiday" which may save $20 this summer season; but may bankrupt the funds responsible for our infrastructure. A health care plan which is essentially the Bush plan. (McCain). In other words, no plan. Support of policies that have lead to the economic crisis and job losses we currently are in with China, Mexico, Colombia, and India (Clinton's NAFTA, CAFTA, China trade deals "Most Favored Nation Status"; McCain's endorsement of this plan.)
McCain's 100 year war and the not so veiled insistence that we attack Iran. Clinton's pledge to the oil sheiks of Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates that she would "obliterate Iran" with nuclear force if they were attacked.
Economy: McCain's campaign was nearly bankrupt until he "lent" himself $4 million dollars violating campaign finance laws. Clinton's "formidable" campaign, based on experience, has truly been bankrupt of money or ideas. Bills to small business owners in Ohio and Texas not being paid. Her employees' OWN health care not being paid.

Given the above issues that are facing this country, paired with the Clinton/McCain responses, or lack thereof, are THE reason the debate for the presidency keeps being focused on smear tactics and innuendo.
Neither Clinton nor McCain truly give a rat's arse about the American citizens who are truly suffering; the "blue collar" worker, the soldiers, the veterans, or anyone else. If they or their supporters truly cared, the issues would be paramount in their campaigns.
Posters on this site who routinely try to smear Obama with non issues; I've got a question for you. At the end of the day, when you've scored your various "gotcha" points of "Rezko, Wright, Ayers, Muslim, Hamas, terrorist, boogeyman", do you honestly feel better about yourself and your campaign? Are any of the above smear points going to lower the price of gas? Bring our troops home? Save your house or job? Provide health care for your family?
Or are you going to continue to support candidates like Bush/McCain/Clinton, who will tell you what you want to hear, all the while enriching themselves while selling out the country. You supporters who are so virulent, and would never support Obama under any circumstances, is Clinton sharing her moneymaking secrets ($109 million) with you? What about McCain?
No, you will vote on hot button wedge issues like before, and get screwed again. They will be laughing all the way to the bank.

If for once, you can get by your biases, (racial, sexual, philosophical or other), and vote for your best interests, I'm confident that you will choose Obama.
Bottom line: do you want to do better the next four years than you have the last seven? The last 15? The last 20?

Posted by: Walt | April 30, 2008 3:42 PM

I wish the media would focus on Hillary and McCain as much as they do on Obama. Anybody with half a brain can see they are giving Hillary and McCain a free ride. They say something negative about those two very seldom to appear like they are not biased. They attack Obama every day on any little thing they can find or make up. I think they know that the average voter is dumb enough to believe anything they say so since they dislike Obama because of his color they make you think Hillary and McCain have no skeletons in their closet. Only morons listen to our biased media that helped put the idiot we now have in the White House.

Posted by: Jim | April 30, 2008 3:40 PM

As I kid I loved listening to X-Clan, BDP, and Public Enemy. I loved their black power/fight the power message; their references to Marcus Garvey and Farrakhan. It sounded strong, strident, determined. But, that was high-school. Looking back I recognize how hostile and racist the ranting lyrics were. There was hate in those songs, anger in those beats. Grand Verbalizer Brother J (X-Clan) was spouting singularly separatist, racist lyrics. I grew out of it all by 19 years old, almost ashamed at myself and the time I wasted "licking shots" at "the man". Black Liberation Theology would be childish if not so warped, dangerous, and widely sympathized. It is an infantile, jingoistic dogma that really has no place whatsover in America. NO PLACE. Obama is indeed tainted by this stuff. If me, a 19 year old kid can figure out it's all garbage, surely a man like Obama should have figured it out. He didn't. And he now deserves the stain these Wrights and Farrakhans leave on him. Obama's campaign has been his biography and now his supporters are angry people are investigating that biography.

Posted by: Joseph Iruku | April 30, 2008 3:40 PM

I is very smart. i watch fox news all day. Rush Limbug is my hero. And hannity's poster is on my walls. Hussein obama is a dangerus man. he been to harvard and his mother married a black man. he is not white. he is only half white. his paster is crazy and peepel still wanna vote for this man. i will vote mccain and i dont care if we are in iraW FOR a 1000 years. So what if more americans die. at least we will take out more of those husseins that live tehre. our country has to conquer the entire middle east an dmake sure that these black fellows dont become our leaders..

i am just saying what other people feel but dont have the balls to say

Posted by: Hank | April 30, 2008 3:40 PM

"but once someone is anonymous on the internet, all their ridiculous, racist, needlessly competitive tendencies come out."

They are propagandists and they have a name. They are called "trolls" and "tools".

They are people paid to make false impressions and opinions on the internet.

It shows how desperate the Republicans are.

Posted by: Daniel | April 30, 2008 3:39 PM

Barack Obama is our greatest hope to achieve some measure of corruption free, corporate lobbyist free government of by and for the people with understanding and tolerance for all. It is ABOUT TIME. After eight years of Bush-Cheney and Rove, etal, it is about time to end mud bath politics and begin civil discourse. You know, toughness is NOT fighting dirty to win. Toughness is facing issues head-on with dignity and guts without losing your cool AND without sinking to the mud bath level. And that, my friends IS Barack Obama.

Sheila Jackson
Greer, SC

Posted by: Sheila Jackson | April 30, 2008 3:39 PM

Obama only did what he had to do to get the nomination. You can't convince me that he sat in this church for over 20 years and had no clue. If so, he is not brilliant, but the dumbest man on earth, and therefore unelectable.

Posted by: Delores | April 30, 2008 3:38 PM

Calvin Butts, whose support Hillary courted and was so happy to have after South Carolina, invited Fidel Castro to speak at his church and gave that dictator a platform here in the US. Why no blowback to Hillary on that?

Posted by: timbnyc | April 30, 2008 3:38 PM

Obama will be the next president of the United States of America. What is your fear?

Posted by: Factory Worker, Akron Ohio | April 30, 2008 3:37 PM

It's pretty amusing. Every time I see an inbred call him Hussein, I donate another dollar to his campaign. Not too surprisingly, I'm reaching my $4600 limit pretty quickly.

Posted by: Polly | April 30, 2008 3:37 PM

My god these comments are all so troubling.

This is exactly the kind of thing people wanna get past, and maybe people can act cordial in person, but once someone is anonymous on the internet, all their ridiculous, racist, needlessly competitive tendencies come out.

Posted by: Lootch | April 30, 2008 3:36 PM

Obama's true colors are finally showing. He's just a novice in dealing with people and a nothing in dealing with other nations. Why he is still in the hunt does not say much for the Democrats. Bring him on, bring him on....McCain will prevail.

Posted by: Clyde Nugget | April 30, 2008 3:36 PM

Obama abandoned again, his mom, dad, step dad, and now pastor. If Obamas pastor doesn't respect Obama, WHY SHOULD I ????

Posted by: marc | April 30, 2008 3:35 PM

The fact is, Obama is the only presidential candidate left that actually listens to people and thoughtfully considers opposing views. I disagree with him on a number of policy positions, but he's clearly the best candidate to work with all parties and get some things done.

Posted by: Franklin | April 30, 2008 3:34 PM

The propagandists need some new material.....quick before they kill themselves.....

Lets see what Obama's house plants are saying!!

Maybe Obama starved his plants of water? or his plants aren't happy with the quality of sun they get?

Faux News! Run with that! Toe tappers?

Truth by repetition!
Fact by consensus!

Tell you what.....I could give a flying F what Rev. Wright says. I could also give a flying F what the media has to say about Obama now.

It doesn't matter WHAT Barack Obama does........Hillary will make sure the media frames Obama as some kind of extremist. No one can overcome the cursory US media, which time and time again starves the public of facts and pumps them up with sensationalism.

This country has allot of growing up to do. Until America grows up, someone like Obama will never be President. The people of this country don't want the truth, we want to be right.

My hopes and dreams of a united country are with Barack Obama.

Posted by: Daniel | April 30, 2008 3:33 PM

Ifhillary does not get the nomination please redirect your vote to MCCAin he will do better than hussein.

Posted by: frank | April 30, 2008 3:33 PM

To McCainiacs and Hillerites, please let us rally around Barak now, no more hate. He must do that which every politician must do. But with our support, he will be elected President. Perhaps a serious discussion on reparations for our past sins of slavery and Jim Crow laws can then begin. Once America has paid for it past mistakes by voting for Obama, and the Reparations checks are sent, the healing and acceptance of the majority can be considered by the minority. Change we can believe in!

Posted by: Obamamania | April 30, 2008 3:31 PM

I just read the highlights of the speech but I havent seen this speech on CNN, Fox News or anywhere else. Why arent they covering Obama appropriately?

Posted by: Wayne | April 30, 2008 3:31 PM

It's incredible to me how some of the most liberal minds are truly so narrow minded. Just about 90% of the comments on this blog have racist tones against blacks and against white. Really ironic. Go Democrats!

Posted by: nicky1228 | April 30, 2008 3:30 PM

I like Obama for the exact same reasons that Baron Hill endorsed him.

The divide the United States status quo has got to be eliminated and Hillary is the status quo.

Posted by: ApostasyUSA | April 30, 2008 3:29 PM

You really say it all (Obama is an empty suit) when at the end of your articel you say: "...another performance over and many more to come.", i.e. Obama is an unknown that knows how to "perform". We need a leader, not a performer.

Posted by: Peter Thomas | April 30, 2008 3:29 PM


OBAMA AND HIS CAKE

Obama's figured that black democrats would support him out of racial loyalty, and a lot of whites would do the same in order to not be accused of being racial. This put him ahead, but has now backfired due to his close association to reverend Wright and Wright's character being exposed. Can't have your cake and eat it too. Regarding the media, they went with the "Obama phenomena" as it made sensational news, upped their viewer ratings, and made them money. This created bias toward Obama, got him free advertising of the best kind, and put him ahead. Now the hot news getting viewer attention is Wright, so the media has gone with him and has damaged Obama, likely beyond repair. Again you can't have your cake and eat it too. Had Obamas close relationship with shady characters and the hate-filled racist Wright been known at the outset, he would have been out of the race months ago. Noting Obama has stated Wright was like an uncle or close family to him and that he would not disown him, he cannot now backtrack without it being obvious he is shallow and doing it for political gain. Anyway, he has based his campaign on being a uniter, but he can't even achieve harmony with his pastor of 20 years. So much for being a uniter. This along with his dealings with unscrupulous characters, clearly shows he has misrepresented himself from the outset, thusly anything he says from here on out can be taken as self-serving. The bottom line is he cannot be trusted.

Posted by: Billw | April 30, 2008 3:29 PM

Hmmm, why didn't you report he gives the same speech, word for word, at allthe high school gyms and civic centers?
Others, even your own reporters have said this.
But your spin tries to make him look better.

the real obama? a great speech Reader.
not much of a man
not anything of leader.
nice voice though

Posted by: Trey | April 30, 2008 3:27 PM

Really...so Obama has some complexities that are deep and rich...certainly a better fair the last 8 years of the 6-sided faces (shallow at that) of G.W...

Let's all move on and actually grow some here...is this even possible...??

Posted by: Matt | April 30, 2008 3:25 PM

I don't see the "two Obamas" here... Obama has maintained the same image his entire campaign.

I am so sick of this Wright stuff. How can Obama be grilled for months for what another has said when Hillary is not held accountable for her own lies?

Posted by: jencm | April 30, 2008 3:24 PM

I have to Laugh!

The RepubliCANs knew that a RepubliCAN would have a Hard time this Election.

Soooooo, we Nominated a RINO! ;~)

A RINO that is an "Old School" Democrat of the John F. Kennedy Mold. Senator, Navy Guy, War Hero.

The RepubliCAN hopefully will be the Capital Hill Outsider, Economically Strong, Ex-Governor of a Liberal State, Venture Capitalist, and Fiscal Conservative Mitt Romney! :-)

Together, they will challenge the Socialist, World Labor Party/Soros endorsed "Barry" Hussein, and probably Richardson.

It will be close. BUT, at the end of the day, the American People will prevent the Take-Over of our Country by the same group that has done so little good to Britain, France, Germany and is wrecking Spain!

The US is NOT going to go all out Leftist-Not THIS Year! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 30, 2008 3:18 PM

Obama is so slick, but here the evidence he can not deny. On the TV program THE VIEW, Obama declared that Reverend Wright accepted that his view were inappropriate and mischaracterized. Then weeks later Wright goes on a national Hate America Press Tour? Just goes to prove how immature and green Obama is. And this is being generous. Watching this video one can only conclude Obama simply lied. Go ahead check it out yourselves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6J7yJ9R5p0

Posted by: Leanza Cornett | April 30, 2008 3:07 PM

THAT "BUFFOON" IS YOUR NEXT PRESIDENT FOOL

WHAT DOES THAT MAKE YOU?

A RACIST IMBECILE

Posted by: Anonymous | April 30, 2008 3:06 PM

Bad news "Michelle".

The McCain's want to keep using the "House-Keepers" they already have.

THEY, know how to prepare the Margaritas right and also make "Muy Bueno" Comida!

Comprende? ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 30, 2008 3:04 PM

And CINDY is OK with the Drapes MICHELE OBAMA picked out.

HILLARY, "MICHELE, I love your Drapes, mine would have been better though."

Posted by: Pope | April 30, 2008 3:00 PM

I Love these TWO black BUFFOONS fight!!

Obama is BUFFOON
Wright is BUFFOON

Posted by: Anonymous | April 30, 2008 2:57 PM

JAKE D you are just a dumb eff, but like Rev. Wright you are entitled to free speech.

You Dumb Eff, tell me the juicy stuff your pastor or priest knows about you. Do you even have a pastor?


I've attended the Catholic church for the past 23yrs and my priests don't know jack about me.

Posted by: Pope | April 30, 2008 2:49 PM

"So Mr. President, you want the Desk here, and the Credenza over there. You are fine with the Table there. The Carpet is also OK?

And CINDY is OK with the Drapes?"

Posted by: RAT-The | April 30, 2008 2:37 PM

I just waiting for Wright to fire back and tell us something really juicy about the "Obama" he's counseled, in private, for lo' these many, many years.

Posted by: JakeD | April 30, 2008 2:35 PM

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