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Obama's Pocketful of Talismans

By Shailagh Murray
ALBUQUERQUE - Sen. Barack Obama emptied his pocket at a town hall meeting here today, but it wasn't loose change he showed the crowd.

"People are so generous to me, investing their hopes in me," Obama said, holding up a cupped hand full of trinkets. "This I usually don't show in these town hall meetings. I have all these things that people give me -- all these different little good luck charms."

"A Native American woman gave me this eagle," Obama told the all-female audience, as he picked through the pile. "This person gave me a lucky poker chip."

He described a typical transaction: "They'll hand it to you, and they'll say, I want you to be well, but I want you to fight for me."

The woman who prompted the show-and-tell session with a question about what kept Obama grounded, took back the microphone to remark, "You're endowed with a great many people's spirits, and I hope and I see that you take that responsibility very seriously."

Obama responded, "Sometimes I take it too seriously. It's hard getting to bed these days."

The Democratic candidate later explained that he had collected "50, maybe 100" keepsakes from supporters, explaining, "I try to select a number on any given day" to carry around with him. He hedged when spokesman Robert Gibbs asked to borrow the poker chip later tonight, when the campaign hits Las Vegas. "I might let you take it down," Obama told his aide.

By Post Editor  |  June 23, 2008; 8:06 PM ET
 
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Comments

In the last two elections people voted for the lesser to two evils, if Democrats could have come up with just one person fit to lead this country, they would have won.

Posted by: Tired | June 29, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

All this touchy, fell good stuff. We are talking about the leader of a soon NOT to be "most powerful nation in the world". Wake up America! We need a STRONG experenced leader NOW. Is this the best we can do?

Posted by: Tired | June 29, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Ladies and Gentlemen, for the last 8 years Republicans have been badgering and beating up the Democrats, and the Dems just stood there and took it without fighting back. NOT THIS YEAR. Not this time. Finally we have a Democratic candidate who is fighting back hard, who is making the right points and making the right arguments to bring America forward. We are witnessing the beginning of a Democrat party revival lead by a great man with great intelligence and great vision. Do not back down from Republican slander. These guys are idiots. Every problem we are facing today you can be 100% sure is due to Republican politics. We have a choice this year between the same old crap, or change that will lead America in a better direction. Alternative energy is the solution, not oil oil oil that is the base and the strength of the Republican party. We've already given the Exxons and Enrons far too much. Vote for change, Obama 2008!

Posted by: Joe Dumars | June 24, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

dj333: four years ago, Bush supporters had a bad habit of misrepresenting comments made in order to shill for their candidate. It's interesting to see that many BHO supporters have picked up where many Bush supporters left off.

When BHO referred to a 10% rise as "skyrocketing", he was being misleading in order to scapegoat those who support our laws.

When BHO more recently referred to a 10% rise as "doubling", he was simply lying.

In other words, it's a lie to call a 10% rise a "doubling".

Read his quote here, and then compare it with the facts:

http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007708.html

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | June 24, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

let me preface my comments by saying i'm a life-long democrat and i'm abstaining from my right to vote in this general election. In addition, i don't care if obama is black or red..muslim or buddhist.

what i do care about is his repeated dishonesty (flip flopping) and major character flaws. he used people like rezko, ayers, rev wright and rev pfledger to advance his political career in chicago. now that they are of no use to him or even detrimental to him - he kicks them to the curb.

if the man betrays decade long friendships out of political expediency, what the hell makes you people think he gives a crap about your issues?

his only concern is himself.

Posted by: gskrptr | June 24, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

dj333: four years ago, Bush supporters had a bad habit of misrepresenting comments made in order to shill for their candidate. It's interesting to see that many BHO supporters have picked up where many Bush supporters left off.

When BHO referred to a 10% rise as "skyrocketing", he was being misleading in order to scapegoat those who support our laws.

When BHO more recently referred to a 10% rise as "doubling", he was simply lying.

In other words, it's a lie to call a 10% rise a "doubling".

Read his quote here, and then compare it with the facts:

http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007708.html

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | June 24, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Get use to saying President Obama and learn to enjoy it because , you are going to be saying it for 8 years.

Posted by: James in Oregon | June 24, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

LoneWacko,

(Nice name, BTW - let's hope it's accurate)

So Obama's Big Lie was to call a 10.3 percent increase of hate crimes against hispanics "skyrocketing"??? Or to say that people who make their living off of telling people to be pissed off bear some of the blame for what those pissed off people do?

Crime generally moves in small percentages. In 2006 the murder rate "jumped" 4.8 percent and the overall violent crime rate was up 2.5 percent "marking the largest annual increase in crime in the United States since 1991" (http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/06/12/crime.rate/). If those numbers are a huge jump, I'd say it's pretty safe to call 10.3 percent "skyrocketing".

Your post actually says more about your knowledge of crime rates than it does Obama's honesty.

Posted by: dj333 | June 24, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Great Karela let's just allow the socialist leaning countries of the world pick our president so we can have 10% unemployment and 'free' health care just like them. Don't you realize no matter our issues this is still the most desirable place in the world to live. I don't think most would enjoy the standard of leaving in most western European countries compared to the US. The reasons people don't like us is what makes us better.

Posted by: Andy | June 24, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Wonderful, Everybody likes Obama because he makes them feel warm and fuzzy. I guess that's how we got Carter.

Posted by: Andy | June 24, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Ebony Flash?
There has got to be some more important issues to share about Obama besides who gave him a trinket. How about talking about how he made the comment: "America is NO LONGER a Christian nation". Can you address that?
-------------------------------------------
Yes, moron..."America is no longer JUST a Christian nation". Cherry pick and parse all you want, but go back to Faux Noise.

Posted by: md83 | June 24, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Obama cares about people. They give him things that have deep meaning to them and he honors those things in the spirit they were given in. I support Obama because I deeply feel that he supports real people everywhere. The world thinks so too: In a worldwide poll of 30,000 people in 24 countries, the world overwhelmingly hopes that Obama will be the next U.S. President because they feel that the choices he makes will make the world a better place for everyone. How overwhelmingly? Well, for an example, about 8 out of 10 in Germany and Spain and lots of other places choose Obama over McCain. There is a genuineness about him that is missing in McCain's plastic smile and opaque eyes.

Posted by: karela | June 24, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Hey Wm Tate, the Democratic primaries are over and Obama is the winner. It's time to unite behind the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama.

If you are so concerned about Hillary Clinton, stop worrying about her lines used during the campaign, and heed Hillary's call for you to pay down her debt of ~$23 million!

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 24, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Considering what happens to people who support him I'd have mojos too. Kennedy gets a brain tumor, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois gets floods, Rezco gets prison. Did George Carlin support him? Maybe so.

Posted by: Lynn E | June 24, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

""Arrogance" equals acceptable racism here".
*******************
Maybe its just plain old unattractive arrogance, not "code".

Posted by: Echo21 | June 24, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"I want you to fight for me."

So now he's stealing Hillary's lines? Now that IS audacious!

-Wm Tate,
http://www.atimelikethis.us/

Posted by: Wm Tate | June 24, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Regarding racism, obama is the only candidate who has ever mentioned the word. This approach is clearly a tactic that helped him beat out clinton.

Posted by: rvallone | June 24, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

From "Head of State"
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/06/what-republicans-have-already-figured.html

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What the Republicans Have Already Figured Out: "Arrogance" Equals Allowable Racism

What you will be seeing in the coming days:

The Republicans have already figured it out.

They know that precisely because Obama's greatest strength is in the fact that he offers something new, a change from long-held traditions of the past--that it is also his greatest weakness

They know that the fervent bubbly enthusiasm is a concern--deeply buried ambiguities about race, deeply held racism, especially among older voters

For a time, they were caught by the dilemma that Obama seemed invulnerable--that any attack, particularly the attacks that they have honed and used for so long, steeped in insinuation and vicious invention, would be regarded as racist.

Hence, the dilemma for the usual swift boat strategy.

Now they have found it. They have realized that:

1) Americans want to be free of the burdens and division of racism

2) Many of them--including many of those who wish to be free--are not

3) Republicans cannot raise racist issues frontally, because many people hold such views at the same time that they do not wish to see themselves as holding them

4) They need a substitute--distanced enough from overt racism to be acceptable to those who wish to see themselves as egalitarian but still hold deeply seated racial prejudices, and fears, yet close enough to evoke those very doubts and fears--yet one that they can claim is *not* racist--with the traditional smug pose of Republican innocence, hands up, pleased at their cleverness at providing one message while claiming another, the tradition of attack over thought and truth that carried us all the way to Iraq--and beyond.

The substitute is arrogance.

As the 527's gear up, look to see "arrogance" and "elitist" used again and again as this cycle's dark touchstone to evoke the deepest and unspoken doubts and fears, as they work in the mental demilitarized grey zone between racism and rationalization, calling up the vitriol with that classic combination of the pose of "clean hands" inevitably broken though by the barely contained, smug, blunt, adolescent glee of insinuated attack.

Elitist. He who grew up with a single mother. Who earned his academic progress through scholarships. Who turned down top law firms for the streets of Chicago and no pay.

No matter--the term itself will be enough to unleash the self-satisfied vitriolic scrawl--just enough of a peg to hang itself on to loose the traditional and safest prejudices, as always, so boldly feeling their unloosed anger as they ironically turn to the most familiar and comfortable shibboleths.

"Arrogance" equals acceptable racism here. One that can always be disclaimed. In other words, hiding truth behind a known facade, in the most common and seemingly pleasurable Republican tactic--fear inducing insinuation behind a known facade--and pleasure and pride in the manufacture of the known guise.

Wise up. Don't buy it. Turn such insinuated doubts away. If they need to manipulate you to stimulate your belief, question their motives.

If you didn't do it for Iraq--if you fell for the directed manipulation of fear, of the use of innuendo to stir undemonstrated and unrelated fears--you now have a second chance.

Do it now.

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/06/what-republicans-have-already-figured.html

Posted by: Robert Hewson | June 24, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

I agree, Susan. I think this gives insight into how seriously he takes the weight of what he's doing. That's a promising sign. Real change starts with sincerely caring about the people you represent, and it seems that Obama does actually care.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I agree, Susan. I think this gives insight into how seriously he takes the weight of what he's doing. That's a promising sign. Real change starts with sincerely caring about the people you represent.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

rfsdfsdfdsfdsf

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 2:21 AM | Report abuse

There has got to be some more important issues to share about Obama besides who gave him a trinket. How about talking about how he made the comment: "America is NO LONGER a Christian nation". Can you address that?

Posted by: Ebonyflash | June 24, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Food for thought on the "experience" angle:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/142892

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

I find it interesting and nice that he is given these things and he keeps them and carrys some around everyday.
I heard the black band he wears was given to him by the mother of a solider who died in Iraq. It was his and she gave it to him to wear in his memory.
I found that very powerful.

Posted by: vwcat | June 23, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to ask every reader of the WaPo which of these is more of a public service:

1. If Shailagh Murray discusses what's in BHO's pockets, or

2. If Shailagh Murray calls BHO on one of his lies:

http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007708.html

Please write the WaPo's ombudsman and tell her you want real reporting, not pocket fluff.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | June 23, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

McCain '08

Posted by: Clinton 2012 | June 23, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

"And this Glass Vial was given to...

Uh, never mind that one!" ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | June 23, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA GOTS HIS MOJO.

Posted by: Daddio | June 23, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

It does sound cool, right up until someone gives him their "lucky severed head" to schlep around.

Posted by: Piter | June 23, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I think this is pretty cool, actually.

He could have just tossed all the stuff people gave him, but he didn't.

All the cynics will think this is more fluff, but it really isn't. It's a reflection of the type of person he is.

Posted by: Susan | June 23, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm,

Gotta wonder how many "Keepsakes" are Recordings of Conversations? ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | June 23, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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