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Obama Casts Himself as the True Underdog in Pa.

By Shailagh Murray
PHILADELPHIA -- Sen. Barack Obama offered a riposte to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's "Rocky" reference during a speech to the AFL-CIO here in the fictional prizefighter's home town.

"I know there's been some talk about Rocky Balboa over the last couple of days. We all love Rocky," but, he added, "last time I checked, I was the underdog in this state."

Obama continued, as the crowd laughed, "You know, 'Rocky' was a movie. So is the idea that somebody can fight for working people, and at the same time embrace a broken system in Washington."

He also announced, "I'm tearing up the bowling alley in the White House," and replacing it with a basketball court, referring to his ill-fated outing in Altoona.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 2, 2008; 10:45 AM ET
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This Cleaver guy (Emanuel Cleaver, Rep.) doesn't know what the heck he's talking about: Obama a "mediocre speaker"? And that "Obama wouldn't rate, even compared to his own controversial pastor, Jeremiah Wright"?? Obviously this guy has a particularly 'skewed' set of criteria for judging speakers! Look at Pastor Wright: Hands all flailing all over the place, whole body swinging from side to side, head "twisting & turning" like a contortionist - it's gets highly "distracting" watching him speak. It is "body-language personified" to a ridiculous level! From my vantage point, he is not cogent enough to articulate everything in the speech alone, & it would appear he used his grossly-exaggerated body movements to make up for that. I mean if you closed your eyes and just listened to both men speak, there wouldn't be ANY doubt as to WHO is the much better speaker of the two. Obama's sentence-construct shows a lot more finesse, sophistication & style - very JFK-like & Martin Luther King (MLK). I don't know if Pastor Wright speaks a little differently when he talks about other non-controversial issues, but what we have seen, so far, is an oratorical style full of sonant dynamics - a lot of "highs & lows" within a relatively short time. That kind of style probably lends itself well for a very "emotional" type(s) of issue (like "hate", for instance).

Obama's oratorical style is just the opposite - very little sonant dynamics, but kind of mostly "even Stevens" in tone, except for when, for emphasis, he draws out the length of certain vowels or speech inflections (eg. "We haaaaaaave............"), very much in the style of JFK & MLK who, I know, have thrilled & excited countless millions without having to flail their arms & hands everywhere! I have NO doubts Obama would have closely studied, probably long ago, the speaking styles of these 2 great men, in order to learn from, and there's ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with that as how many people have managed to do that? Obama is very cool (even "under fire"!) calm, collected, doesn't "distract" with too much body language, and his speech style is very pleasant to hear - he can infuse "Life" into words. Hilary has a tiny bit of that & McCain, with all respects, has none of that. As a speaker, Obama is both "electric & electrifying", charismatic, mercurial,.....The effect he has on his listeners, regardless of whatever issue he's on, is absolutely unprecedented.....I have absolutely NO doubts that like myself, a lot of people, whether watching him live or on TV would just be sitting or standing there transfixed, mesmerized by this orator......

Just last week, Joe Lieberman (I, Connecticut) compared McCain to JFK. This is plain dumb. McCain & Obama are miles apart as orators. Compared to Obama, McCain sounds unconvincing & pretty dour - when he talks, you would think he could sound like ANYBODY (like your next-door neighbor!)!

Obama oozes a quiet, collected, calm, dignified strength that is totally indispensable in intaking that 3.00am call. Whatever time of the day or night, you CAN count on him not "mis-speak", sleep-deprived or not [Didn't she say "I clearly remember....blah, blah, blah...", when recounting the Bosnian experience? "Sleep-deprived" was just a very poor excuse when she painted herself into a corner - "clearly remember" & "sleep-deprived" are BOTH totally incongruous!].

Do you want a President who has, invariably, shown up to be a chronic, inverterate, habitual, fraudulent, egregious and not-so-glib liar, who consorts with extremely rich people (many of whom had either criminal convictions or standing indictmemts against them quashed by Bill Clinton in exchange for large sums of money), power-lobbyists & corporate interests in Washington [ALL with their own self, vested interests] OR somebody, even as brilliantly-qualified (academically) as he was, humbly & with dignity, serving the interests of the poor, disadvantaged & the disenfranchised of Chicago slums, trying to give them a voice in a world in which the rich wouldn't certainly give a damn about?? WHO do you think carries the Spirit of Lincoln MORE?? With his fancy academic training & credentials, he could have easily gone for the big money, but he chose not to.... For the very first time in living memory, you have a Presidential candidate who has the ability to "fire the imagination" and inspire like no other....since JFK....

Just look around the world: WHO has got an enormous amount of support groups everywhere.....People who would NOT normally pay much attention to an American Presidential election are sitting at the edge of their seats, just like Americans - ALL because of this one man - they ALL want him to win! Can't you "Clintonites" even see that? Your candidate is TOAST! Wake up & see the "writing on the wall". Divest your emotions and just scrutinize the issues & facts. Obama is the better candidate - by a "country mile" (Aussie lingo!)......

As for you hardcore "Clintonites" who say you will vote for McCain if Obama gets the nomination, your spite & petty, small-mindedness are frightening - you ARE the very kind of people America feels really sorry for who's at the top. To you I say: just grow up. If you have to carry that kind of "baggage" with you through life, you are the most "Non-ideal" voter because you distort the "Big Picture" & the Truth.........America, for ALL Americans, can do WITHOUT you.....

Posted by: lonesky1 | April 3, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

To CaliGuy,

I am supporting Senator Clinton for President and I am a male. I choose to support her because of her more reasoned approach to withdrawl from Iraq and her experience in dealing with the Republican "hate machine".

Senator Obama is a fine person, a man of integrirty and strength. I prefer Senator Clinton because she has the experience and the positions that will attract more of the center and highlight more effectively, why Senator McCain is beholden to the far right and will poison the Supreme Court for years and years to come.

What I find most distressing is the venom spewed by supporters of Senator Obama. Your passion is remarkable but your class is non-existant

Posted by: mylesmcpartland | April 2, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Polls, polls, polls . . . according to the same polls Senator Clinton had a 30 point lead over Senator Obama early in the Democratic primary. Nothing wrong with taking polls, but it is too early in the game to take the presidential election polls seriously. A lot can happen between now and November.

Posted by: felicitymason | April 2, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Any free thinking person still voting for this guy needs to get their head examined.

Posted by: cleocat | April 2, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse


So basically you are buying into the horribly flawed logic that Clinton tries to mae about swing states?

You don't honestly think the GOP is going to give Hillary a free pass on umpteen questionable issues from the 90's do you?

They'll be playing 'That 90's Show' ads all summer long if she gets the nomination. That'll really fire up their base and Hillary will be fairly lucky to win.

Scary to see so many people incapable of critical thinking.

Meanwhile - there are also a lot of ways to carve up McCain over past and current deeds. But Obama would clear have the greater Moral authority than HRC on this.

Posted by: sylhyntm | April 2, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh good!!! Let's spend tax payers dollars on things that really count!!

Posted by: cbl0213 | April 2, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I had wondered how Hil could claim the Rocky role, since she was the big favorite at the start of this election. But according to her supporters she can say anything, do anything and it's ok. However heaven help the man who notices her deficiencies or lies.

Posted by: larryecoffey | April 2, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Keep bowling Obama, it's the best thing I've seen you do as a man of action, and not words.

Posted by: jen0830 | April 2, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse


I don't know anyone actually supporting her, but she has received over 12 million votes so far.

Posted by: JakeD | April 2, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse


There are more recent polls out than March 18th, and it is always better to use the average of multiple polls. Currently, John SIDNEY McCain leads both Hillary DIANE Clinton and Barack HUSSEIN Obama in the Electoral College count.

McCain (304) vs. Clinton (203)

McCain (324) vs. Obama (205)

Posted by: JakeD | April 2, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

And by the way, who is supporting the Clintons? Everyone I know is either voting for Obama or even McCain. Every Democrat I've talked to is disgusted by what they've done to the Party. And these were once loyal supporters.

So apart from her using her gender to attract women voters, do any of you know anyone actually supporting her?

Posted by: Caliguy75 | April 2, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is already trying to lie about Pennsylvania and back peddle from their view that they would have a Pennsylvania blowout to now her being the underdog. . . I think the Clinton fatigue is finally hitting PA just like it's hit every other state that has had to deal with this non-sense campaign.

The media has been far too nice to her on all of this.

But just get ready for her big 3 Day Scare the Crap Out of You campaign right before the primary. Who cares if she lies, as long as it works, right? That's the kind of leader we want leading our nation. Heck, it worked for Bush and look how great he turned out to be.

An Obama upset would be a huge gift to America at this stage in the game, but I'm not sure even that would force her out. She seems determined to bring this Party down no matter the cost.

My thoughts are that after this is all over, the resentment for what she and her husband have done to this country over the last few months will be so strong that she won't even get re-elected to the Senate. She nor her husband deserve no place in politics any longer and this campaign has only brought out their true colors.

Shame on them.

Posted by: Caliguy75 | April 2, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

In a general election matchup in Florida, McCain closely trails Clinton 42 percent to 44 percent but McCain leads Obama, who would be the first black president, 46 percent to 37 percent, according to the poll.

This compares to a 53 - 41 percent lead in a March 18 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. In general election match ups of the three largest and most important swing states in the Electoral College, the survey finds.

* Florida: Clinton 44 percent - McCain 42 percent; McCain beats Obama 46 - 37 percent;

* Ohio: Clinton beats McCain 48 - 39 percent; Obama gets 43 percent to McCain's 42 percent;

* Pennsylvania: Clinton tops McCain 48 - 40 percent; Obama leads McCain 43 - 39 percent.

Regardless of whom you favor, would it change your mind if the Democratic nominee is more capable of winning swing states?


Posted by: f.fox1212 | April 2, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

You can't play basketball in the White House basement; the ceilings are too low. But if you want to get rid of that alley, Mr. Obama, two words: roller rink.

Posted by: ComfortablyDumb | April 2, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Yeah the last time I checked Hilary had a double digit lead in PA, and everyone has openly admitted that PA would be an uphill battle for Sen. Obama. So I don't know where Sen. Clinton got the idea that she was the underdog? But you know what, I may just have to let her have this one because in the Rocky movie that she referenced, Rocky lost at the end! LOL!

Posted by: ms_pisces1 | April 2, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Shame on your Mr. Obama. I too love basketball, but I met my fiancee bowling (ironically, the only time she's been bowling as an adult...). Bowling has been good to me.

Mr. Obama, keep that bowling alley!

Posted by: scott032 | April 2, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

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